Are you on the edge of your seat trying to guess what new innovations and game titles will be introduced at E3 this year? Well, you might not have to wait until June to find out. Few people know that as well as being a Community Manager, I am an accomplished tarot reader. I will now draw back the veil of mystery and illuminate for you The Future Of Gaming.*
(*Predictions on the Future of Gaming are for entertainment purposes only.)
1. What is the biggest gaming innovation that will be unveiled this year at E3?
Happiness; Prince Of Cups; Fortune
Cups are the suit relating to emotion, so "Prince of Cups" can be translated as "(Royalty) of Hearts" which obviously refers to the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3. The announcement of this game will bring great joy to fans of the series, and great wealth for the publishers. The fact that this title is categorized as an "innovation" suggests that it relies on new technology or peripherals, so my guess is that Kingdom Hearts 3 will involve sophisticated motion controls. PlayStation has reportedly been working on a new motion-based controller, so is it possible that Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming out for the PS3 after all? Time will tell.
2. Will ChangYou attend E3 this year?
Science; Ace of Disks; Art
Science is a card describing the coming together of logical inevitabilities. It is logical that ChangYou should want to attend E3, as an up-and-coming gaming company with a new American presence. The factors simply have to align to make this possible. Disks are the suit relating to wealth, so the question of whether ChangYou is going to E3 is a question of finances. The Art card suggests that a creative person with a strong personality is pulling the strings to free up the money. So I predict that ChangYou is going to E3, and will have a very creative booth that resembles an art installation - so if I'm right, expect to be wowed!
3. What will Dragon Oath be like a year from now?
Satiety; Princess of Wands; Queen of Cups
Satiety is the card of having enough to be satisfied, suggesting that changes to Dragon Oath will be modest and introduced gradually, but will keep offering new content to its users on a steady basis. The Princess of Wands and Queen of Cups represent the major changes. The Queen of Cups is a card of nurturing and comfort, so the Customer Service department and the systems for helping new players will show significant improvement. The Princess of Wands has to do with flashy changes that are skin-deep, so it most likely refers to new outfits in the Token Shop and other cosmetic additions. Dare we hope this extends as far as more options for character creation/customization?
4. Will free-to-play gaming increase in popularity in the near future?
Princess of Disks; Happiness; Strife
Yes, free-to-play games will increase in popularity. The Princess of Disks represents a person who is hopeful despite their lack of material resources, an apt card to symbolize free-to-play MMOs. Despite these limited resources, F2P games make people happy. So we can expect a greater acceptance for F2P games as legitimate games in the future - but going by the Strife card, the argument of pay-to-play vs. F2P won't end any time soon.
5. How is ChangYou's newest game (known as "Project Z") going to be received by the public?
Prudence; Peace; The Hierophant
The Hierophant is the holder of keys, the one who can grant access to secret places. This says that the game's success will be apparent as early as Closed Beta, when keys will be distributed to testers. The secret of its popularity is Peace - the game is relaxing and tranquil. Prudence represents practicality and sensible expectations, showing that Project Z will be well-managed and enjoy a reasonable rate of growth.
6. What will be the most interesting visual attraction at E3 this year?
Wealth; Interference; The Lovers
Interference and The Lovers suggest a star-crossed union - a pair that can never be together. Wealth implies that this will be some sort of flashy, big-budget production. Perhaps some sort of skit, or a dramatic trailer? Final Fantasy is famous for its melancholy plotlines of doomed romance, so my prediction is that we will see the first trailer for Final Fantasy XV this year, and it will be both stunningly beautiful and terribly sad.
7. Will Community Managers ever be entirely replaced by automated systems?
Futiility; Indolence; Worry
Futility represents frustration, and Worry represents panic (two major aspects of being a Community Manager.) This says quite clearly that human Community Managers will continue to be standard in the MMO industry. This does not necessarily mean that computers COULDN'T eventually be programmed to do this job. But the practice of using human CMs will endure for a long time, largely because of Indolence - this is the way things have always been done and no one feels like changing it.
8. How will future technology change our interest in Fantasy vs. Sci Fi MMOs?
Dominion; Prince of Swords; The Fool
Swords are the suit of intellect, so the Prince of Swords represents a limited imagination. The Fool represents the first step towards a new identity, or the most basic statement of that identity. This says that the original concepts of "Fantasy" and "Sci-Fi" will remain the essential variations of video games, even after tomorrow's Sci Fi has become yesterday's science. Dominion represents a struggle for dominance - the current relationship between Fantasy and Sci Fi titles, a sort of fighting friendship, will continue.
9. Will we ever develop Artificial Intelligence that equals human-level reasoning?
Change; Failure; The Knight of Disks
The Knight of Disks represents the significant financial resources that have been sunk into this line of research. Judging by Change, new innovations to Artificial Intelligence are indeed on the way. But from Failure, we can see that these efforts are doomed to fall short of human-level intelligence.
10. Will handheld gaming platforms such as the IPhone ever replace consoles entirely?
Luxury; Success; Fortune
As handheld gaming platforms become more luxurious in terms of high-level graphics, comfortable controls, and three-dimensional displays, they will increase in popularity and enjoy a great amount of success. However, the Wheel of Fortune always comes back to where it began, just as gamers will keep returning to consoles as new and better ones come out.
Hmmm... if I was right about all of this stuff, do you think James Randi
might be interested? Million dollars, here I come!