Now that we are officially in 2016 I'm going to look into my crystal ball and scry what the future holds for us over the next 12 months. One of these will come true. They rest may not. I'll leave it up to you to decide which ones are which. (My money is on number 2).
Prediction 1: The new hotness that is Blade & Soul will be dropped on the unwashed masses in Q1 2016 from NC West. Players will at first flock to it claiming how it has changed their lives. Sites will praise it for its innovative PvP systems. By the start of the fourth month after release server populations will dwindle and talks of a single unified server will surface. The rank and file player will be disappointed with the games stumbles. The trolls will be pleased.
Prediction 2: Black Desert Online - One players becomes so enraptured by the limitless possibilities to create different faces and bodies with the character creation tool they will spend 4 months working on their avatar before they finally log into the game. Once they finally do they will find the server they choose barren of other players. This person will promptly log out of the game and then fly into a fit of rage smashing their machine to bits never to MMO again.
Prediction 3: The juggernaut that is Star Citizen will crack $150 MM USD in crowd funding and people will still keep wailing about crowd funding! Cloud Imperium Games will restructure, close down an office, open up a new office, and finally release another beta module for a part of the game that doesn't have much to do with what the game was supposed to be during the original kickstarter. Trolls will continue to troll the game in an attempt to make a name for themselves while subversively pushing their own agenda meanwhile legitimate concerns about crowd funding and consumer protectionism will continue to be swept under the rug because, well, $150 MM can't be wrong!
Prediction 4: Another survival game will release on steam under the guise of "early access" in order to start drawing revenue before the game is complete, or even mildly functional. In a coordinated effort that starts off on the social website Reddit one poster, NameUnknown, decides to "kick it old school" and create a mob scene. NameUnknown takes it to the survival game developers to see if they have what it takes to survive their physical protest and actually having to meet a customer face to face (egads)! NameUnknown and his Reddit posse meet outside the "development studio" with pitchforks in hand to find out that the development studio is actually some poor graduate student living in his parent's basement while attending the University of On High College. Apparently I'm Gonna Kill you SuckaZ is really a sociology experiment for the student's Ph.D thesis. Reddit is not amused.
Prediction 5: I will start a new column very soonTM where I go back and play older MMOs and let you know whether or not I think they are worth your time. I'll also try and dredge up some fun facts and stories about the game and how it may have left its mark on the genre. This is similar to the Wayback series I used to do only this column won't be streamed or dependent on developer involvement.
I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to 2016. I had a blast in 2015 and if someone finally sticks it to all these "early access" titles I'll be more than pleased. My hat's off to you NameUnknown. Happy New Year everyone.