Every year around this time I like to toss my prophetic predictions into the mix of what the coming year will hold for the gaming industry. Last year’s predictions kicked my butt. I think almost all of them were completely wrong, and some were so bad I had to make sure Graev didn’t go in and edit them to make me look silly.
I thought SWTOR would have a great year and players would love Bioware’s support for the game. In reality, SWTOR was a financial disaster, went free to play, caused both of the Bioware Doctors to turn tail, and disappointed just about everyone I know.
A couple of them still remain to be seen. My prediction that GW2 would be a 3-monther might be true since it turned out to be a ‘play to beat’ game, but the game is still going strong enough for me to want to return very soon. Predicting that the subscription model would survive is technically true, and F2P has seen a decline in the MMO space, but that’s because B2P (buy to play) is now on the rise. I also thought indie gaming wouldn’t do so hot… sheesh was I wrong. Indie games rocked 2012.
Time for next year’s predictions!
1. Kickstarting (crowdfunding) MMO’s will grow in popularity to the point of causing obvious panic for publishers. More MMO’s will start Kickstarter campaigns and actually be successful.
2. ‘Old school’ will make a come back in a big way. Developers will realize it’s time to try what actually worked and abandon the modern tropes. In other words, themeparks won’t be the focus on 2013 and mechanics that remind us of the old days will return.
3. Emulators like SWGEmu and Project 1999 will continue to grow in popularity. The right people will finally take notice, and officially supported classic servers will finally be a reality because they can actually make money!
4. More older games will be re-released like Asheron’s Call 2 was this month and they will all do so well that some teams dedicate themselves entirely to re-releasing the past.
5. We will finally see the start of something new. That is to say, this whole debate about sandbox vs. themepark, WoW clones, etc., old ways vs. new ways, and stagnant development will be irrelevant because we will all be looking anxiously forward to an entirely new style of MMORPG. I’m thinking SOE’s EverQuest Next might do it.
6. F2P will be entirely gone because people will finally realize competing on price ruins the product, there’s no such thing as ‘free’, and short-term doesn’t matter when more money can be made longterm when you design a game to last.
(Now for some oddball ones)
7. Darkfall Unholy Wars won’t launch. Aventurine actually took the money and ran.
8. The Elder Scrolls Online will actually be a ton of fun and shock the world.
9. PC gaming will rule the world because console gamers realize they’re just playing on standardized PC’s.
10. Legislation will be passed banning the development of MOBA’s because of cyberbullying.
11. Blizzard will reveal project Titan, announce the last expansion for WoW, and announce WarCraft 4.
I think I finally have it right this year. I’d love to hear yours!