Back at the turn of the year, I put together a bunch of wildly guessing predictions on what’s to come for the year 2011. Well, if you can believe it, we’re actually half-way done with the year already and I figured now was a good time to see how I’ve done so far, and update some of my prognostications. We’ll just go straight on down the list as it was written originally and see how I fared. It probably won’t be pretty… but hey, I never said I was Nostradamus. I’m probably about a thousand times closer to his cousin, Nostra-dumbass. Bazinga!
THE LAUNCH HYSTERIA AND EVENTUAL SUCCESS OF DCUO
Well I was half right… there was a ton of launch hysteria around this game. People were confused by the insistence of SOE to launch the game on two platforms with identical UIs, and there was an army of folks who tried the game and either loved it or hated it. But what I was completely wrong on was just how successful it would be. A general lack of content, PvP exploits, and of course the whole Sony network outage all helped drop the title’s PC fanbase quite drastically. It still does quite well on the PS3 all things considered, and the MegaServers launching this month should liven things up for the game’s stalwarts. But one wonders whether SOE can turn this ship around under a new director and ever see the kind of success it should.
THE EARLY SUCCESS AND DROP OFF OF RIFT
I originally figured Rift would make a big splash (which it did) and then drop off quickly much like other games have recently. But the thing is that it appears that Trion’s flagship title has some legs. Its developers listen and implement ideas at an alarming rate, and while it may be “Yet Another Fantasy MMORPG” it certainly has captured the interest of more than a few people. Well done, Trion. Let’s see you do it again with End of Nations and Petroglyph.
SW: TOR WILL LAUNCH HOLIDAY 2011... AND IT WILL CREATE A SH*T-STORM
Obviously this one hasn’t even come to pass yet, but I will assert that the game is absolutely going to create a mess for all sorts of forum moderators across the internet. And I think the release date could still come true, especially with Mass Effect 3 launching in 2012 for sure now. I suspect that BioWare is in a Mexican Standoff with the company that makes the game below, and neither wants to announce a release date ahead of the other.
GUILD WARS 2 WILL MEET EXPECTATIONS... SORT OF
(Still waiting again…)
I really can’t add to this yet. While I’ve played the game and it seems like it could very easily be a massive success, there’s just no telling until we see how it all shakes out after launch. And like SW:TOR, who knows if it’s even going to launch this year? Maybe we’ll get some announcements at E3, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
STO GOES F2P
(It’s a matter of time now.)
In the six months since I wrote the above, Cryptic has been divested from Atari and picked up by Perfect World. I am willing to bet almost every single thing I own that before the year is out we’ll at least have an announcement of STO’s conversion to the freemium model donned by Champions Online before it. This isn’t even a prediction anymore… it’s a predated fact.
JUMPGATE EVOLUTION WILL RELEASE TO LITTLE FANFARE, BUT MUCH ACCLAIM
This makes me sad. I’ve played JGE a few times in recent years, and every time I played it I saw a very fun game with incredibly massive space battles and great RvR potential. To think that’s probably going to be lost in development hell because of the legal issues surrounding NetDevil and its publishers is just plain “suckitude” on all levels. Hopefully it’ll get a chance to see the light of day, and then maybe some others will feel the nostalgic pangs of Wing Commander like I did playing Jumpgate, but it’s kind of hard to hold onto hope right now.
BLIZZARD WILL TEASE NEXT MMO, AND GIVE D3 RELEASE DATE
(Too much waiting!)
See the bolded part above. Don’t make me wait forever, Blizzard. And while you’re at it, make BlizzCon count this year and give us some meat on Titan already.
EARTHRISE WILL START SLOW AND BUILD LIKE EVE
(Half and half)
I think I can safely say that Earthrise started slow when it launched, plagued by bugs and frustrating to many. But it’s probably too early to tell if Masthead’s game will grow with time and patience from players. Who knows, maybe the days of “the slow build” are gone for MMOs. Anymore it seems like you either have the goods or you don’t. Even games who sell well right off the bat aren’t guaranteed long-term success.
BETHESDA WILL ANNOUNCE AN ONLINE ELDER SCROLLS
(It’s coming… I can taste it.)
Skyrim aside, I can’t escape the feeling that Bethesda is up to a whole lot more than another offline Elder Scrolls. If an online iteration doesn’t come, I highly suspect that they’ll move forward with the below when the inevitable happens.
FALLOUT ONLINE WILL REVERT TO BETHESDA
(Give it time.)
As we heard recently, Interplay seems to be struggling with its last-ditch effort to Online-inize Fallout, and if they don’t find funding and keep the development of their Fallout Online alive it’s only a matter of time before those rights fall back to Bethesda.
2011 WILL ACTUALLY SEE SEVERAL DECENT MMO LAUNCHES
(Well… we got one so far.)
In terms of “solid technical launches), I suppose you could say we’ve seen quite a few. But only one game has seemingly become a real success in the space. And if the other titles we’re waiting on for Fall/Winter 2011 launches don’t make their predicted windows, then 2011 will likely be remembered as the year Rift ruled the nest.