I think this next year is going to be an exciting one! I’m going to refer to 2010 as “The Year of the IP’s” because we have Star Trek, Star Wars, WarCraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Final Fantasy, and others all at our fingertips. I think we’ll be looking back in 2011 and calling this “The Blizzard of 2010″. I took a couple risks in my predictions marking some games as delayed and giving others release dates. I was tempted to say it all was going to be delayed but that’s both depressing and no fun. I started with 10 predictions but I’ll add to them as I think of more.
1. Star Trek Online will be a quick pit stop for the impulse buyers, fans of Star Trek, and the crowd of desperate MMO players who want something new. It won’t see great “success” in the form of continued high praise and accolades from a large share of the playerbase nor growing numbers. It will have a moderate start due to so much apprehension created over Cryptic’s handling of Champions Online and taper down quickly as players experience the new combat, come down from the nostalgia high, and prepare to move on to the next big 2010 title. When people leave they will credit the content as being “not enough to keep their interest”.
2. SWTOR will not release in 2010. “When it’s finished” will be used as another meaning for “Avoiding Cataclysm”. No one can blame them.
3. Cataclysm will launch in November. It will, yet again, be another high quality expansion that will rocket WoW forward. The expansion will raise some controversy before release. I have a feeling that they’ll make an announcement that will upset the hornet’s nest and have players shaking their fists. Maybe some new way of doing content or an announcement about PvP. Whatever it is, players will forget all about it when the game launches.
4. Free-to-Play games will continue gaining more momentum. They’ll get closer to AAA quality in the form of games like Allods. This will attract the attention of the AAA market leading to the the AAA subscription model moving even deeper into the realm of microtransactions. What we saw in 2009 will only be the beginning. Perhaps the upsetting announcement in Cataclysm? By the end of 2010 it will be popular belief that microtransactions on the whole are still not where this industry should go, but everyone will tolerate them more as being tacked on to the subscription model.
5. Diablo 3 will only be mentioned briefly in a “coming in 2011″ announcement. Even then we won’t believe them.
6. StarCraft 2 will release in late summer, perhaps near August. StarCraft will be a huge success and resurrect RTS gaming. The planned “expansions” or additional campaigns set to release will keep SC2 and RTS games on everyone’s mind. Prepare to see more in the future as this remains one of the few markets that PC gaming still controls.
7. Final Fantasy 14 won’t launch in 2010. They will announce a January 2011 release.
8. Global Agenda will see moderately high success at launch and continue to be a title that players think they can go back to, pick up and play, and enjoy. It won’t be quite what everyone expects and as a result they may lose a chunk of players, but they’ll continue to add to the game throughout 2010 to entice people. “The next best thing” will be Global Agenda’s biggest enemy. The best thing they have going for them right now is that they’re trying something new that players haven’t seen before. When they’re no longer new, what will hold people?
9. PC Gaming as a whole will see a rise as exclusive titles such as StarCraft launch and others like Diablo 3 and SWTOR come a year closer to launch.
10. E3 Predictions: A new console will be announced for 2012. Nintendo will finally give us a new Zelda for the console announcement.
What are your predictions for 2010?