Before I go into any 2010 predictions, let’s take a look at my predictions from last year. I diverged from my tradition of safe bets, and went with more specific predictions (and many more of them) than ever before. How’d I do? Read beyond the break.
Original Post: MMO Predictions for 2009
- 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. [Verdict: So far, so good. Hopefully they never do. 1/1]
- 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. [Verdict: Seems about right. 2/2]
- Turbine will attempt something major such as the introduction of microtransactions to improve the profitability of Dungeons & Dragons Online. [Verdict: Nailed that one. And it seems to be working. 3/3]
- 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.[Verdict: Hard to say for certain. The first half is right. Half point. 3.5/4]
- 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. [Verdict: Correct. The first half, at least. I’m not willing to research if it increased GTA IV playtime. 4.5/5]
- 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! [Verdict: Doh. I wanted it to come out! 4.5/6]
- 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. [Verdict: No announcement yet. 4.5/7]
- 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. [Verdict: I’m giving myself half a point here even though no cancellation has been mentioned. 5/8 .]
- 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.[Verdict: The first half is right. The second might be, but I’m lazy. 5.5/9]
- 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. [Verdict: Sadly, this was a gimme. 6.5/10]
- 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! [Verdict: This was a hope. I was wrong. 6.5/11]
6.5/11 (59%). That would be a failing grade in a class, but I’d be considered MMOstradamus in some circles. This year, I’ll probably come up with fewer predictions. Those should be forthcoming in the next week.