MMO Predictions for 2009

I’ll try to look at how I did with last year’s predictions a bit later (along with the 2008 Nerfbat MMO Blog Awards). I suspect they’ll be fairly accurate, if only because I didn’t take many gambles. This year, let’s see if I can throw a few predictions out there that are both more specific and a little less likely, just to see how I do. Read beyond the break for my 2009 MMO Predictions.

  1. Worlds.com will fail to enforce its patent against NCSoft, and will not receive an out-of-court settlement. This prediction is almost more of a wish than a prediction, because it could spell major danger for MMOs as a whole if it goes through.
  2. The Chronicles of Spellborn will come out in North America to mixed reviews, but will maintain a fairly steady playerbase throughout the year (no major uptake of players when it comes out, but no major bleeds either). In short, it will be successful enough to stay live.
  3. Turbine will attempt something major such as the introduction of microtransactions to improve the profitability of Dungeons & Dragons Online.
  4. Aion will come out just before the year’s end, and will do extremely well initially. It will eventually prove itself one of the more successful MMOs in the US and Europe (top 5) 6-12 months after launch.
  5. All Points Bulletin will not come out in 2009, and each announced release date and/or delay will cause a minor surge in GTA IV playtime (well, at least mine). But, APB will not be canceled in 2009 either.
  6. Jumpgate Evolution will launch, and will go somewhat ignored by the MMO community despite being one of few space MMOs available. After the initial rumblings about NetDevil being the developer of Auto Assault so this game must be doomed to fail, we will see a steady increase in its userbase as space fans who aren’t in love with the complexity of EVE flock to the game in reluctant trickles. JGE will be a success!
  7. EA will announce a sports MMO hub from which players can use a single avatar in multiple EA Sports titles. This hub will include social locations in addition to gameplay spaces, and will be frequented by more NHL 2010 gamers than Madden 2010 players.
  8. Hero’s Journey, after many years of development, will continue to quietly disappear until gamers notice, then a controversy will erupt about its alleged phantom cancellation. Later in the year, its death with be officially confirmed.
  9. We will see even more MMO companies announce that they plan on using the microtransaction model. At least 25% of these companies should not be using the microtransaction model, as their MMOs are focused too much on player achievement to be supported this way.
  10. Darkfall will launch. It will be in a terrible, unfinished state. This will cause many to claim that its failure was due to PvP being a super-niche market, and all games of this type will fail. It will also cause many to claim that it was yet another poor implementation of a solid model, and that the naysayers shouldn’t dismiss PvP MMOs until a good one comes out.
  11. LEGO Universe will come out, and will gain a large, fairly young playerbase. The average age for the game will remain at around 16 years old, with most players between 10 and 13, but others (like me) reliving their LEGO days at an older age. This game will prove to turn NetDevil’s fortunes for the better, legitimizing game development in Colorado once again!

We’ll see how I do. I’m predicting I’ll get somewhere around 50% accuracy on these predictions… Including the prediction in the previous sentence. Oh, and feel free to do my work for me and tell me if I was right about my 2008 predictions. Happy New Year!

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19 Responses to "MMO Predictions for 2009"

  1. Look at Shwayder, doing blog posts on vacation!!

    I’m predicting 6/10 there…

  2. Peak

    I’m curious to see how Darkfall does.
    They have some good ideas, but I’m kinda leaning towards a flop.

    EQ2 for PVP will probably have my business for a while longer. :(

  3. WallisHall

    I hope you’re wrong about Darkfall.

    At the moment, it’s the only game that has any interest for me in the MMO world…

    Bored of EQ2, Vanguard, WOW… I so need something original and different and actually interesting.

    Unfortunately I believe you may be right.

  4. Don’t think SW:TOR will launch in 2009? If it does, what do you think will be the player reaction to it? I have my own guesses judging by their message boards. Interested in what you thought.

  5. [...] year, the blogging community has some more interesting predictions up, but I am caught up in the predictions thing now, so I [...]

  6. I think your list sucks. I mean, many items have already occured. You can’t predict things that have already happened.

    1) Worlds.com is going to fail, meaning, what exactly? Meaning there will be no official judgment? Or will this settle out? I’m guessing there wil be a judgement and it will not be in their favor. Other publishers would be smart to help fund this legal team.

    2) Okay, admitedly I know nothing about this game. But saying it will have mixed reviews, is a sure thing. Steady playerbase, I agree, but given I know zero about this game means it’s not going to be in the top 20 worldwide.

    3) Turbine will annouce microtransiactions for an existing game, or a future console MMO game.

    4) Aion has already been released actually. Just not in the US. Initial reviews place the buzz as being pushed out the door too early. The sudden release catching many folks off guard. US release is still a bit off as they know that this market will not support the same release as it has overseas.

    5) APB will not come out in 2009. This isn’t much of gamble. I agree completely.

    6) Jumpgate Evolution has been somewhat ignored by the MMO community and will continue to do so.

    7) I like your EA prediction. But yeah I think a Microsoft Live-esque EA Sports type system.

    8) Hero’s Journey, has already dissappeared. Hero Engine continues to improve as a middleware platform, Hero’s Journey keeps getting redone every time Hero Engine goes through a major upgrade.

    9) We will see even more MMO companies announce that they plan on using the microtransaction model. At least 25% of these companies should not be using the microtransaction model, as their MMOs are focused too much on player achievement to be supported this way. I like this prediction, sadly I think you’re correct.

    10) Darkfall launch and subsequent game will fail. Tthis ship however and pinning this turd float to open world PvP is a red herring.

  7. So much hate, Garthilk. Responses to the questions…

    1) Worlds.com will fail to enforce their patent, and will not receive an out-of-court settlement. I hope.
    2) Predicting that it will have a steady playerbase is pretty risky given that the game is relatively unknown.
    3) That’s basically what I’m saying, yep.
    4) I didn’t even realize this was out overseas.
    5) I want it to come out this year, though.
    6) Yes, JGE has been relatively ignored. The gamble here is that it will start gaining recognition post-launch and will do well.
    7) Yes
    8) I’m looking for something official from them this year.
    9) Microtransactions are easily mishandled.
    10) The real gamble would be predicting success for Darkfall, I just don’t see. I wish a UO-esque PvP game would come out and be good, though. I really, really do.

  8. I clarified a few entries and added an 11th about LEGO Universe.

  9. JuJutsu

    “Tthis ship however and pinning this turd float to open world PvP is a red herring.”

    Turd float and open world pvp is not a red herring it’s redundant.

  10. Draegan

    I don’t think JGE is ignored that much in MMO circles.

    AION was released in Novemeber of last year in Korea. I would expect it to be released in EU and US no latter than Q2. If you do a google search you can find some decent live feeds. I’m not at home so I don’t have the links but you can email me later Ryan if you’re curious.

    Is Spellborn even doing well overseas?

    And I’m still not convinced Darkfail will even release. It’s supposed to come out in a few weeks but with only EU servers. :lol:

  11. Draegan

    Oh yeah, SW:TOR won’t see the light of day until 2010 and probably be released 2011.

  12. [...] everyone else is playing the MMO prognostications game. Can we play, too? Read on for WorldIV’s predictions for each [...]

  13. I’d like to see a UO style game succeed as well. I’m not thrilled about totally open PvP though. I think it attracts a crowd I’m not into.

    That said, I’m going to play the heck out of the Lego MMO!

  14. Nice post. :)

    I’ll be trying Darkfall as a 2nd game to Everquest 2 (and my odd LOTR session), mainly as I like some of the ideas they have. I’m not a pure PvP fan usually but it can make a nice alternative to my main PvE MMORPG gaming session.

    I like the idea you learn skills by actually using them and I quite fancy a highwayman type roll as I don’t think enough of my guild will try it to form a branch there.

    If anyone does try it out look out for Yetian. :)

    I’m still waiting for the Vanguard type MMO that actually works on release, a kind of next gen Everquest as Vanguard was meant to be, rather than the dumbing down an idea for the masses like Everquest 2 has done. Don’t get me wrong it’s still my favourite MMO but I just wish they had made it more of a challenge. I know aiming to the mass market like WoW is successful but too many try and do that to actual have a successful game in the end. I’d like someone to make an MMORPG for the more mature gamer who likes things not to be handed to him/her on a plate. I’m a casual gamer and I’d like to feel that death has a penalty and I have to work for things a bit.

  15. Darkfall Online will fail because of it’s PvP implementation. There is nothing in the implementation to stop or curtail griefing that can’t be gamed considerably. I’m sick and tired of the only solution to the problem being, “If you’re griefed, go grief them repeatedly.” In order for an open-PvP based game to be successful the notion of player control and ownership has to be addressed. In Darkfall Online, players occupy a part of the world. They don’t own it, They have next to no authority to police social behaviors within the part of the world they occupy and as a result open-PvP will go completely unchecked. It’s exactly the same problem that Shadowbane faced.

    I dare say that an open-PvP game will require in-game communities to have the ability to police themselves and dish out permanent or long lasting punishments for violating societal norms. Players need their cities to own the land and make laws for the land. From that ownership they should be able to permanently punish a griefer for misbehaving on their lands. Real consequence to non-consensual combat (a.k.a. griefing) is the only way to curb the occurence of it.

    Darkfall will fail to become the open-PvP game we all want to see happen because of this and you correctly predict all the pundits saying that UO failed in open-PvP, Shadowbane tried it and failed and now Darkfall failed so it must not be possible to build an open-PvP MMO. WoW’s the only real answer. I hope it doesn’t happen because I happen to be someone that is marching around a open-PvP game design looking for funding and Darkfall failing will make it all that much harder for me.

  16. [...] Plenty of people put forth their forward-looking posts, and I am going to do it as well.  Whether it is from a Steam-driven library of games, an aging MMO population, an economic recession, or plenty of different business models coming in to the MMO world, I believe that the subscription model of today is nearly done being “the way.”  Walk with me a second… [...]

  17. [...] in, as are outsiders commentary (like myself). Who could  have predicted something like this? Oh, every-one. The sooth-seeing of a terri-bad launch were so prevalent, it’s hard not to stumble over [...]

  18. [...] Original Post: MMO Predictions for 2009 [...]

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