Sorry, I guess somehow I didn’t realize I was supposed to do this since I had a blog – and I apologize for totally missing the boat last January. So here’s five predictions and a few tidbits from me to you about the year to come:
1. Despite the obvious interest and backing they could generate, no on will announce work on a Transformers or G.I. Joe MMORPG in the coming year. Which is probably fine, because if the movies are any indication, their ability to completely trash the IP is unparalleled.
2. Bethesda will finally…officially… announce their Elder Scrolls MMO. Also, this is a hunch, but…it won’t be set in Tamriel. I know it would make no sense not to use their established IP, but…companies don’t always do the smart thing.
3. SWTOR will not be released in 2010.
4. WAR will finally announce what everyone has been waiting for – more races and classes. I’m betting Wood Elves and Vampire Counts.
5. EVE will finally get ambulated. They won’t have a choice – its time to step up to the plate, or let STO own a patch of the space mmo business that they don’t have a flag already planted on.
Anticipated Release: Star Trek Online
I’ll know in about two weeks if it was worth the sleepless nights I’m enduring right now. And honestly, some of my anticipation is the happiness of again having a game with real life friends playing along right beside me. The last time I had that was, outside of a random few nights in Vanguard, World of Warcraft. How this will stack up with my online community in EVE will be interesting. I have no beef with Cryptic myself – I’m enjoying Champions, so I’m hopeful that the game will be halfway decent.
Anticipated Failure: Cataclysm
You can smell it in the air already. Big, successful companies start dying when they start drinking their own koolaid, and believing in their own invulnerability, buying into their own hype. WoW believes it can’t be killed. It believes it has too many people and too much control over the market to fall. And so they are going to do something that is guarenteed to alienate people – making changes to old favorites – and they believe that it can’t hurt them – that they will carry on and grow even bigger from it. They are wrong. This will be WoW’s “jumping the shark” moment.
Desired Beta Spot: The Secret World
It just looks awesome. And its either that or World of Darkness, but I’m not a huge fan of WoD. Anyway, it looks good, and I’m hoping to get in.
Anticipated Release: Everything that’s not an MMORPG
There is a growing trend of releasing shooters online and calling them MMO’s – which they technically are – but covering them and treating them and in some cases even trying to call and designate them as RPG’s. Stargate, The Agency, Jumpgate, That…criminal one who’s name I can’t remember. I have no interest in any of these. By the current market definition, Modern Warfare 2 is an MMO. Something about that just isn’t right.
Wanted Game Death: Pirates of the Burning Sea
I don’t want it, but I’m pretty sure its going to happen. Which is sad – the combat by ship is solid, proof of that comes from its reincarnation in Star Trek Online. The avatar combat is fun and the builds are myriad. But…the economy is a horrific mess. It is literally impossible to build most of the ships with one character – even with one account. And there is…very little else to build. The supply bundle and unrest system though is amazing – I’m surprised EVE hasn’t done something similar yet – and I hope it shows up elsewhere. Not to mention the raw material sludgefest that you need a chart or six to untangle. Anyway, the bottom line is that SOE will need to clear some cap space to bring in its new games, ands it already proven its willingness to ditch titles with the loss of Matrix Online this year. Sad but true.
And award for the game that will interest me the most and make me watch the most this year…
Van Canegham has had a hand in breaking new ground in the RPG industry not once. Not twice. But three times. So we can be reasonably assured that he sees or is working himself on something very new and intriquing with his backers at Trion.
Anyway, that’s my 2010 stuff, such as it is.