What good is having a blog if you can’t have some fun? For the last post of the year, I’ll make some predictions about 2011. Next year we’ll so how I did, ok?
- The Old Republic will not release in 2011: I know, they said its coming out then, but as I see it this game has two problems going for it: 1) It’s hugely ambitious, and 2) it’s hugely ambitious. What does that mean? Well for starters its got full voice acting throughout. This means that bug fixing is no simple task. In a non-voiced game, if something didn’t work as intended, you could change and tweak things until it did. Did the quest giver tell you to go to the shore of the ocean to get something for a quest, but the shore wasn’t designed to supply the quest item for as many people as need it? Well, you can’t change the location, since it’s spoken in dialog, you have to do a lot more work to get it fixed. The second part of hugely ambitious is that this is likely going to be a VERY different game than people are expecting. It’s a lot more story focused, more like a traditional Single-player game that you happen to play with thousands of other people on-line at a time. It’s something that hasn’t been tried in MMO’s yet, but the genre is approaching it slowly. TOR just leaps and bounds its way past other MMO’s and goes hog-wild into the idea of character-focused gameplay. Something WoW players will find pretty alien, and I am not sure that’s a good thing.
- There will be a successful MMO on the iPad: Well, with as many iPads as were handed out at Christmas, the market is screaming for a good MMO to be released on it. Likely to be fantasy-based, and use a lot of “traditional” MMO trappings. The world will start small, but grow as more and more players join whatever realms are available to them. They will be able to claim 100,000 users by the end of the year, which I believe is an achievable goal for any MMO that is worth it’s salt.
- A Zynga (or just a good social-network game) will snag a major license. Something along the lines of Star Wars or Marvel. Maybe it needs to be something that appeals to housewives as well, like Avatar possibly. It will be a big deal.
- Blizzard will unveil their next MMO, “Titan” at the next Blizzcon: They kinda have to, right? I expected it last year, but if the leaked “release schedule” has any air of validity, they would need to announce it in 2011 to get the hype-machine going. Its fuzzy what it will be, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be microtransaction-based (as the $25 mounts and $10 mini-pets have proven a success in WoW). This one is almost a gimme, but I’ll only take credit if it’s MTX-based.
- Zynga will attempt to unshackle itself from Facebook, and fail: Never before have I seen the success of a company so attached to another one than the Facebook/Zynga relationship. Zynga needs to make a break and I think they will attempt their own version of Facebook just for their games. Unfortunately teaching old dogs new tricks is incredibly difficult, so getting people to make the switch will prove to be an insurmountable hurdle. So I can set up the 2012 prediction: Facebook and Zynga merge into a single entity (who buys who, I am not sure).
What are YOUR predictions for 2011? Keep it to one prediction per comment. I’ll try to approve new commentors as quickly as possible.