What a difference 12 months can make. Although the MMOG category did see some notable occurrences in 2014, I don't know many people who felt it lived up to the potential it seemed to have at this time a year ago. I wouldn't call it a disaster by any means, but neither did it knock my socks off. Entering 2015, I'm quietly optimistic. That said, I have questions about the what lies ahead, involving Landmark, The Elder Scrolls Online, EverQuest Next and more.
Will Landmark be a landmark for user-made content?
The concept of user-generated content has been tossed around for a number of years. At the intellectual level, it has always been exceptionally interesting, primarily because it has untold potential. In terms of actual implementations, however, relatively little has been fulfilled. So, it seems natural to wonder when we're likely to see a game that takes a truly significant step forward. Landmark is conceptually cool, and I'd like to see it will live up to its name. I also wish I were more confident that it will. Don't take this to mean I'm predicting it will fall flat. That would be a gross exaggeration. What I mean is that I simply don't know if the MMOG market has reached a state where it's sufficiently ready for SOE's title to pull in and retain a substantial user base.What impact will the console versions of The Elder Scrolls Online have?
When it was revealed that TESO would not launch simultaneously across platforms, I had my doubts as to whether this was the best course of action. As it became increasingly apparent the delay until it's available on consoles would be pretty lengthy, I've revisited this feeling a few times. All I can say right now is that the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Here again, I'd like to be clear. I don't want the game to bomb on the PS4 and Xbox One. Neither am I predicting it will. I'm fully content to wait and see what happens, and I have no emotional stake in what does. It's basically a no-lose for me. If it does well, I'll be happy for the team. If not, I'll be able to say my doubt was reasonable.Can EQN extend the franchise to a significantly broader audience?
If we start by accepting the premise that its predecessors are more hardcore than average, it may prove tricky for EQN to draw a wider audience as well as players who are familiar with one or both. It's a simple, undeniable market fact that less serious games – I'm not talking full-out casual, just relatively less serious – have the potential to appeal to a larger audience. It seems likely, however that EQ veterans would find such on offering to be at least somewhat dumbed down.Additional closing queries
The three questions discussed above are far from the only ones I have about what will happen in 2015. Here are just a few of the others: • Will WildStar go F2P by the end of the year? • How likely are we to see an import make a significant market impact? • Will 2015 be the year WoW goes F2P, at least in some markets?