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Keen’s Predictions for 2010

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?

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Epiny - December 30, 2009

I think Blizzard would want 5-6 months between SC2 and Cataclysm. I heard the expansions are suppose to launch every 6 months after that for SC2 so expect the first one for XMas 2010.

D3 in 2011

I’m not sure on Final Fantasy. I could see an August-Dec launch being viable if they really are as ready for Beta as they appear to be.

SWTOR will need to launch 3 months before or after Catclysm. I think after is better. If they go for a Nov/Dec launch they will get and keep more subs then having people sign up then leave to try out Catclysm.

I agree with the rest.

Mark - December 30, 2009

I don’t see Cataclysm coming out any later than spring because that will be a complete and utter failure on Blizzards attempt to speed up the expansion release process which they claim to be doing.

I agree with the star trek prediction and I am sure I will be one of those people but since I am currently not playing any mmo’s and have no interest in playing wow again I plan on hanging around it for a bit. I guess if it fails like I think it could I might have to give fallen earth a bigger look.

McJigg - December 30, 2009

I can see your Star Trek prediction very well becoming true, if not for the NDA I’d list why.

Stabs - December 30, 2009

DCUO will launch around July, will be good and will steadily suck players away from Champions and City Of X.

Cataclysm will see WoW go free to pay. This paves the way for Blizzard’s new MMO, SC2, and Diablo 3. They simply need to break people out of the “only play one game” mode to support their other titles. Hardcore WoW players will spend so much on the cash shop that profits will remain largely the same as when it was a sub game or even increase.

Stabs - December 30, 2009

*free to play (damn my poor proof-reading and lack of an edit button!)

Luk - December 30, 2009

1. You forgot to mention that Star Trek will become Cryptic flagship title and will be bundled with Campions Online under 1 sub
2. Right on
3. Sure
4. After much praise and posting about it Keen will quit Allods in disgust, because it will be flooded with gold sellers, overpriced MT and Russian mafia PvPiers.
5. Agree
6. RTS? who cares because MMOs are where the money are at.
7. Nope
8. No idea. 50/50 chance for GA to be anything besides another niche title like Fallen Earth.
9. And Steam will be bigger than ever.
10. And the next console will be XCube 120 from MS and trifecta of creative minds like Bill Roper, Paul Burnett and Brad McQuaid.

ogrebears - December 30, 2009

Console wise i think Sony and Microsoft have very little reasons to introduce a new console. Sony would probably just put a better graphics card in the Ps4, and Microsoft would include blue-ray and a higher end graphic card.

Nintendo has to bring out a new console soon though. Hardware wise the Wii in ancient. It has a 754Mhz CPU, and less 64+24MB of Video Ram…

Jesse - December 30, 2009

1. Blizzard is going to change arenas in WoW to have something like the new dungeon tool. You can queue in a group or just join a random.

2. Warhammer Online will close down shortly after Allods is released.

3. Allods will get over 100k accounts in the first month after release, and a significant bump when Warhammer shuts down.

Epiny - December 30, 2009

@Jesse you actually think Warhammer will close down? How many MMO have EVER closed for good… not many and those few that have were in far worse shape that WAR has been or ever was.

@ogrebear
Console life spans are about 5 years as the primary system. If one manufactor is going to announce their new one you can be sure they all are going to. They also need to do the annoucement about 12 months prior to the launch to build hype… so yes 2010 is perfect for them to do it.

mikesaysno - December 30, 2009

I’m on the fence as to whether or not I think there will be a new console announcement this year. Nintendo is the only company that really needs to do it, and at least they can launch one that is relatively cheap. The current console generation graphics are still fairly solid. The economy may keep these companies back from pushing out new hardware now since people may be reluctant to buy them when the average consumer is content with what they have.

I agree with most everything else though. I hope Global Agenda is a success. Their office is right down the road from me and they are a good group of people. I like that they are trying something different and I really hope they can pull it off. I’m more excited about that than Star Trek. I’d go into detail as to why I am so not excited about Star Trek, but there is that pesky NDA.

Terroni - December 30, 2009

APB will be the surprise hit of the year! (MMO-ish wise)

Grant - December 30, 2009

Star Trek will join the list of one hit wonder MMOs, those that landed with a big splash and quickly evaporated away (I’m thinking WAR, AoC, Aion).

I will say again that Global Agenda will become a niche hit. Their long term survival depends on two things though. First, they need to realize they’re not WoW and manage resources accordlingly. Second, they need to find a way to keep map design fresh and interesting over time, perhaps through user map design contests.

Frankly Blizzard could launch Cataclysm with or without a major shoe dropping, people would still be upset. For some reason, they’re always upset about WoW. The true sign of MMO failure is when no one cares I suppose.

Speaking of which, my candidate for the “put it out of its misery” award goes to Vanguard. It along with SWG, reminds me of the demotivatinal poster… http://www.despair.com/mis24x30prin.html

Rog - December 30, 2009

And on rainy days it will rain.

Arthur1977 - December 30, 2009

I hope your prediction #7 is wrong. I am really looking forward to seeing FF XIV on my PS3 in 2010!

Intruder313 - December 30, 2009

I’ve finally retired from WoW though I plan to take a look at Cataclysm – I hear they’ve already hinted at a Nov/Dec 2010 date as you predicted.

Your other predictions seem prescient to me, though I’d be less kind to some of the games you list and I’m trying not to have any hopes for KOTOR as these can only lead to disappointment.

One further prediction I’d make is maybe Blizzard will start to drop some hints about their “Next Gen MMO / New IP”. Though with WoW/SC2 and possibly even D3 releases in 2010 maybe they want to keep it firmly under the table for now.

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We Fly Spitfires - December 31, 2009

I agree that we won’t see SW:TOR or Diablo 3 until 2011. I think that’s pretty much a certainity now. Otherwise I think you’re pretty spot on… although I’d say Cataclysm comes in the Summer, not November, even though I originally thought that too.

Hund - December 31, 2009

What you really wanted to say for #7 is that it will release in Japan in January of 2011 but it will be released in NA/Euro in December 2012.

TheChris - December 31, 2009

I believe that if Cataclysm beta invites are not sent out by the end of January, we will not see a late spring, early summer release. I’m trying to remember when my brother received his Lich king beta invite. I think it was at least 2-3 months before. What concerns me is that I have not seen any new info since Blizcon, I go to the site every once in a while to see if they have any new art, screen shots, or videos.

I agree with the Star Trek prediction.

Global Agenda sounds cool, I just hope thay can deliver.

Jesse - December 31, 2009

@Epiny It’s just speculation, but I’m thinking that Allods will draw a lot of players away from Warhammer. Allods could flop or do fine, and not take any players from Warhammer.

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Qpon - December 31, 2009

It’s been widely known that Microsoft has been developing “body recognition” software for a console to compete with the Wii … I expect that to be the biggest craze and hype for 2010 @ E3 heading into 2011.

Salbos - December 31, 2009

I know my son (and me to a lesser extent) can’t wait for Mass Effect 2, should be a huge hit in 2010.

Robert Schultz - December 31, 2009

Blizzard has mentioned somewhere that they expect Diablo 3 in 2012 at the earliest.

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JT - December 31, 2009

my prediction?

that you’re wrong about all of yours.

JT - December 31, 2009

also to all the tards that think D3 is comming out in 10, blizz said at blizzcon they are releasing 2 titles in 2010. obviously SC2 and Cataclysm they still have yet to release the last D3 class which they will at blizzcon in august 2010.

thanks nerds.

johnjohn - January 1, 2010

KEEN – where is the Mortal Online prediction!?!?!?!

By the way, Global Agenda is going to fail so hard it is going to be pathetic. That game is the next Crime Craft , or whatever that fail game was called.

Keen
Keen - January 1, 2010

I’ll predict that Mortal Online will be an overall letdown to most and see low-end success, if any.

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jericho - January 2, 2010

What makes you believe that FF14 won’t release til January? Are you thinking along the same lines as the SWTOR prediction?

I really do hope that you are wrong here. I was predicting a mid August/September Release. However, getting out of the way of Cataclysm would be the best bet. Yet waiting would put them inline with SWTOR as well. At some point you have to just pick a date and go with it.

Personally, I am growing weary of Aion, WoW while enjoyable is just plane old and I need my FF fix.

Keen
Keen - January 2, 2010

I’m basing it off what we know about the game and the Q3/Q4 market. This is going to be an enormous year of gaming. They may want to avoid a few major titles and a crowded market. Then again, they’ll be joining the others trying to delay for the same reason.

Buzzhead - February 1, 2010

The Shadowbane Emulator team will launch it’s private server “Resurrection” and the Hardcore PvP world will rejoice and get down to the business of Playing to Crush! once again. It will have it’s share of startup bugs as the server is being written from scratch by dedicated player/devs but will be ironed out and with its distributed server architecture will be lag free for over 100 vs 100 battles. The 500+ dedicated player base will grow to well over 2000 and word will spread of its small but health “niche” crew. Granking and griefing will ensue and many carebears will flee in terror, a new generation of players will surive… Then UBI will shut it all down in court as the SBemu devs start to mess with the client code and release new content in late 2010.

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