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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Turbine will attempt something major such as the introduction of microtransactions to improve the profitability of Dungeons & Dragons Online.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!