Massively Overthinking: Counting the hits and misses of our 2015 predictions

Every year, we lodge our predictions for the next. Funny, strange, and deadly serious, these predictions are a glance back on the naïvetés of 2014 and a chance to reflect on the last 365 days before launching into a new round of predictions and awards. In this week’s Massively Overthinking, we’ll be doing just that: Scoring last year’s predictions for 2015, counting both the hits and the misses, cheering when we got it right and giggling like fools with perfect hindsight when we whiffed at bat.

Note, the predictions naturally include notes from two former writers, both of whom now work for game studios, but they’re fun and we love them, so we’re including them!

World of Warcraft

Bree: World of Warcraft will drop down to 8 million players by summer, but it’ll go back up to 8.5 million when the next expansion, Murloc Invasion, is announced at BlizzCon in the fall (instead of farms and garrisons, the “special” mechanic will be swimming pools). Jokes aside, WoW lost way more players this year than even my dire forecast suggested and didn’t perk up after Legion was announced. Murloc Invasion would have been better tbh.

Eliot: World of Warcraft’s subscribers dip again, and we hear about another expansion toward the end of the year, but the looming threat of another content lull does the game no favors. Unfortunately spot on.

Mike: World of Warcraft’s three million subscriber boost will probably vanish by mid-year if not earlier. Yep!

Guild Wars 2

Toli: ArenaNet will announce Guild Wars 2’s first traditional expansion at PAX Prime for release in 2016, and the major features of it will be new Legendary items, one (and only one) new weapon option for each profession, and mounts, but no player housing. The setting will either be Elona or the unopened areas surrounding the current map. Mostly hits, though we’re missing mounts still, and it was PAX South!

Bree: Finally, we have to be getting a Guild Wars 2 expansion/campaign, but I think it’ll launch late in 2015. It won’t be Cantha exactly, but it’ll be big; Toli’s probably right about Elona or the northern desert. It won’t come with a level cap bump; it will come with a new playable race (Tengu?) and two new classes whose mechanics didn’t port over yet (Rit and Derv, though maybe not called that). A few hits there, though the Revenant is more of a Rit than a Dervish, and we still have no extra playable race.

Eliot: Guild Wars 2 announces its first expansion (complete with cries that it should have come out far sooner). Yep.

Mike: Guild Wars 2 will get at least the promise of an expansion. And more!

WildStar

Bree: WildStar will perk up a bit, though probably not to SWTOR or FFXIV levels of rebound. I think we’ll see [it] move to a buy-to-play model in 2015. Free-to-play it was to be. We don’t yet know how much it rebounded.

Eliot: WildStar [will] make the free-to-play leap. Score.

Justin: WildStar will go free-to-play and gradually turn the game into a respectable and crowd-pleasing title. Still working on that bit…

Larry: WildStar will actually create a true free-to-play model. I foresee the game creating a modular design possibly based on C.R.E.D.D. The price of C.R.E.D.D. will drop, and we will see certain aspects of the game cost a certain amount of C.R.E.D.D. For instance, raiding might cost one C.R.E.D.D. and PvP would cost another. And since you can buy C.R.E.D.D. with in-game currency, there will be people who can play the game literally for free. The rest of the studio costs will be made up from cosmetics and consumables which will be sold in the cashshop. F2P yes, but the C.R.E.D.D. hasn’t figured much in the transition.

Final Fantasy XIV

Toli: Final Fantasy XIV‘s Heavensward expansion will launch and bring in a huge influx of new players to the game, and a few veteran players will claim it’s been ruined. Years from now, some people who started playing during Heavensward’s heyday will say it was the only time the game was good. SE won’t release hard numbers, so we don’t know how much Heavensward bolstered the playerbase still.

Bree: Heavensward will be huge and run away with the expansion of the year. Whether it wins any awards remains to be seen.

Eliot: Final Fantasy XIV continues to pull good numbers leading into its first expansion, until by the end of the year people sort of have to start realizing that the game managed to sort of slip a lot of radars but is making plenty of money.

Mike: FFXIV will hum along under the radar like it did in 2014, slowly leeching people from this or that MMO.

Elder Scrolls Online

Bree: I fully expect to see The Elder Scrolls Online bragging about 3-4 million players after that console launch, but that’ll fade by the end of the year. I think we’ll see [it] move to a buy-to-play model in 2015 […] just in time for its long-delayed console launch. Big hit on the B2P and console launch, but miss on the bragging. ESO has never released brag numbers.

Eliot: The Elder Scrolls Online [will] make the free-to-play leap, and ESO’s console launch gets quietly shoved under the rug. B2P! And console launch did happen, at least.

Justin: Elder Scrolls Online will finally come to consoles in the spring and be so well-received that it will make up for the long wait and will propel that title back into the spotlight. Justin also predicted it would not go free-to-play, which was partly right. It’s hard to argue ESO is in the spotlight.

Larry: I’d say the [MMO] that has the biggest chance of turning around is Elder Scrolls. The IP for ESO obviously has a great following, but I think the clincher for that game turning itself around will be things like the Justice system. When the game launched, I don’t believe the designers had a firm grasp on what it took to make a good MMO, but now that they’ve had time to get their feet wet, they will put out content that MMO players and Elder Scrolls fans will both enjoy. Will it go free-to-play? I don’t think it will until they launch the game for console, and then it will not be a true free-to-play (not even a hybrid like Star Wars: The Old Republic) but a trial like World of Warcraft.

Mike: Elder Scrolls Online is going free-to-play. B2P! Interesting how so many of us missed B2P.

ArcheAge and Trion

Bree: I don’t see ArcheAge recovering, though I do think Trion will somehow manage to clean up its image this year, probably through RIFT and maybe by announcing a new home-grown MMO. I think now Trove helped Trion more than anything.

Eliot: At the start of the year, ArcheAge finally gets out of its launch fiasco and starts settling into a reasonable groove; it never makes a huge splash, but it’s solid for the people who want to play it.

MJ: ArcheAge can actually go either way: It will find a way to move past its troubles and deliver a solid experience for the fans or it will do a server merge and the game will crash and burn due to the land fiasco. Here are MJ’s thoughts today: “ArcheAge did, in fact, server merge — and the land situation did cause a big uproar. Servers do not appear to have recovered.”

EverQuest Next, H1Z1, and ‘SOE’

Toli: We’ll start to get a great deal of information about EQ Next. Sigh.

Bree: H1Z1 will launch and make a bigger splash than anticipated because it’s not indie fast-cash junk. Still not launched, but it did make a nice chunk of change. I do think it’s interesting just how many of us commented on H1Z1 given the year it’s had, and everyone expected EQN to be doing just fine.

Eliot: H1Z1 fails to make the desired impression and fades into the background.

Justin: H1Z1 will be buggy and somewhat forgettable, while Landmark will get everyone jazzed up when it officially launches next summer and EverQuest Next will begin its beta program. Still no sign of Landmark’s launch or EQN.

Mike: This time next year no one will remember there was a game called H1Z1Landmark might make some good gains if its features are on par with what SOE is promising.

MJ: I see H1Z1 finding its groove and filling a fun niche, taking over the post-apocalyptic genre. At some point during the year the difference between Landmark and EverQuest Next will finally click and people will wonder why they were ever confused in the first place (possibly even denying they ever were!). Landmark launches after a lengthy open beta, and then EverQuest Next launches soon after, surprising only those who didn’t get the dual-development situation. After the amazing adventures players cook up with Landmark’s game master system, someone in the community is going to get a job in the industry creating quests and events while another moves on to join devs in developing assets! Not one of us saw the SOE/Daybreak implosion coming, which is probably the reason for the faith in the EQ franchise games.

Star Citizen

Mike: Star Citizen will make eight hundred million more dollars. At least.

MJ: To the chagrin of detractors, Star Citizen will deploy modules that will utterly wow folks and the resulting frenzy to back the game will net even more millions. MJ calls this one a win: “SC deployed the persistent universe Alpha 2.0 update (that’s a pretty wow thing!), and it definitely kept bringing in the millions.”

The Secret World and Funcom

Eliot: The Secret World expands again and turns some heads by moving into southern Africa.

Justin: The Secret World will announce that it’s going to Africa with its next expansion.

Cryptic’s games

Bree: Cryptic will finally announce that secret MMO it’s working on, and it’s zombies. Still no word on that game.

Eliot: Champions Online quietly moves into maintenance mode; Cryptic’s other games continue to do good trade. Champs actually got some love this year!

Justin: Cryptic will finally reveal its newest MMO, which will be a (why not) post-apocalyptic horror western with a strong showtunes element. I’d play that.

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SWTOR

Eliot: Star Wars: The Old Republic puts out another expansion. As always!

Mike: SWTOR might enter hemorrhage mode, depending on how much interest Shadow of Revan was able to generate. Plenty, apparently.

LOTRO and Turbine

Eliot: Lord of the Rings Online gets a little bit closer to Mordor. Finally, we’re at the White City!

Justin: Lord of the Rings Online will reenact the Battle of Pelennor Fields. Turbine’s going to reveal a funky little mobile MMO that will make the industry rethink that space.

Sleeper hits

Eliot: Skyforge turns some heads by being better than it ought to be.

Justin: We’ll see at least one major sleeper hit of the year, which will most likely be Skyforge. I think a lot of us expected more of an impact from Skyforge.

Other games

Bree: Marvel Heroes will rebrand itself Marvel Heroes 2018. Marvel Heroes 2016, actually.

Eliot: Another studio picks up the concept of a Transformers MMO. Not yet!

Eliot: Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen will start attempting to raise money by selling untaxed cigarettes. Pantheon surviving and getting an investor surprised a lot of gamers.

Eliot: Destiny finally announces a PC port. Still nothing.

Mike: The Division won’t launch. Well this might just have been the safest bet on the whole page.

MJ: Shroud of the Avatar will continue to grow and pull in sandbox fans, winning over anyone who revels in player-generated content and community in a grittier fantasy setting. Score! MJ says, “SOTA is still gong strong and growing, with regular updates.”

MJ: Wander will quietly gain a strong, if small, following. MJ grudgingly admits defeat on this one. She writes now, “Wander pretty much died out with no updates of things to do and places to wander in. Too bad — it would have been nice to see something different really get a little foothold.”

Genre health

Toli: A new big MMO will be announced as being in development, but fans will still be so burned out on releases of the past year and the resulting struggles that everyone will cast a wary eye on it, particularly if it claims to do anything differently. Crowfall might fit that bill.

Bree: 2015 is going to be a recovery year. All of the disasters of 2014 have a solid year when they can rebuild and mature before the hype cycle for the next round of games begins. I still think of 2015 as a recovery year.

Justin: The Oculus Rift will fade into the novelty section of our memories. Ah, ’twas not to be.

Mike: E-sports will continue to seep into the mainstream, bringing bigger championship pools and higher quality productions. Bigger every year.

Mike: Crowdfunding and Kickstarter might even get better now that the initial gold rush has slowed and people are being more careful about whom they trust.

MJ: As a whole, the industry becomes more comfortable with and accepting of the idea of niche games, focusing on fulfilling the needs of the few that will support the game until their last breath and stop chasing after WoW-esque numbers and paychecks. It will be the year of of the sandbox (even more than 2014) as more titles with those coveted features become playable and not just concepts. And a few more games — thankfully — embrace the subscription or buy-to-play models. Niche has definitely been the buzzword this year.

Stay tuned later this month for our 2016 predictions!

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Armsman
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Armsman

Because Star Citizen is the only game I’m really interested in for 2016 (I play quite a few MMOs – but they’re all chugging along the standard MMO path so IMO nothing big to ‘predict’ there):

– The Star Citizen Alpha PU will continue to progress, BUT CIG won’t be able to maintain the ‘one or more features added per month’ efficiently. In the end over the course of the year – it may average out to one new feature every 45 days to 2 months. Still, it may progress from Alpha into Beta by the first quarter 2017. IMO The Star Citizen retail version of the PU will launch in the first quarter of 2018; but won’t have all the systems in the currently released (on the CIG/ISI site) Starmap. They may have 10 – 15 star systems available with a promise to expand rapidly (again this prediction goes to Q1 of 2018).
– Squadron 42 (the single player campaign) will publically launch to retail with the first group of missions (of the ‘trilogy’) by November/December of 2016. CR will declare that part of the SC crowdfund/KS campaign completed (and will start taking profits from the direct sales of SQ42 – but will still use some of those funds to continue SC PU development.)
PS: Regardless of any progress made on SC by CIG,  Derek Smart will declare ‘he was right’ (and if the SC project stalls badly or does end in 2016 he will have been, but it doesn’t take a degree in game design to realize just how big an undertaking the SC project is, and it’s easy to predict failure for something that has a large scope and a lot of innovation); EVEN if SQ42 is launched retail and the SC PU launches to retail in 1Q 2018. Why? Because DS will scour every promise and feature ever talked about by CR – and said missing feature will equal “Chris Roberts couldn’t deliver Star Citizen exactly as he promised…I was right.” On the flipside DS “Line of Defense” will enter it’s third year on Steam’s Early Access program; and DS will continue to proclaim ‘LoD is launching retail ‘soon’ (the original 2012 public release date was optimistic, and he can’t be faulted for taking the time he needs to finish because LoD isn’t crowfunded) – and will somehow be everything Star Citizen wasn’t…(and runs flawlessly to boot – as long as you’re not running German video drivers)…’ DS will also claim that EVERY bad LoD review is the result of a Star Citizen ‘White Knight’ out to tarnish DS’ sterling reputation (oh, and he’ll mention he has two PhDs at some point too.) LoD will continue to average 1 player per 24 hours on it’s game servers (Proving that DS probably does use his PC once a day for something other than posting to Twitter.)

ZenDadaist
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ZenDadaist

Aw, comments were not preserved from the old site. I can’t remember what I predicted to see if I was right or wrong…

Koshelkin
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Koshelkin

melissaheather It’s almost unimaginable for me that Daybreak would go back on the development of their most successful and reknown IP. I firmly believe EQ Next is in the works and coming. I see them rather take their time, hiding away, then doing a years long media campaign and be pushed to release.

confectionally
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confectionally

I miss Anatoli’s writing so much :(

Zariarn
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Zariarn

I’m surprised we haven’t seen more from Daybreak on EQN.

melissaheather
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melissaheather

one of two things is true, 1) EQN is going to be awesome and they’re all under fierce NDAs as they toil and sweat down in programming bunkers at Daybreak, and we’re all going to be very pleasantly surprised when they suddenly reveal a game nearly ready, a game that is beyond Alpha status, and we’ll be surprised that they did all this work under our noses, with almost no publicity.
OR 
2) it’s dead and floundering and Daybreak is hoping we’ll just forget about that nasty little tidbit and focus on their next EQ2 expansion or EQ1 legacy rollback server. 
I want to believe option 1, but it’s hard for me to imagine Daybreak being that clueless about marketing that they would simply neglect their crown jewel title and IP, all while letting people mostly forget about it, even question its future or existence, and buzz entirely die.  Hard to believe Daybreak allows that, but that’s how it feels to me.

SwobyJ
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SwobyJ

PC sales increase due to growth of genres that encourage better hardware and better (than say Samsung VR or Sony VR) VR peripherals. Consoles continue to more blatantly merge with PCs, having ‘lost’ the fight against it (that is, if you want to consider it a clear conflict instead of just business), with increased streaming and gaming options. 2016-2017 will be the sharing between platforms and the test of whether VR can succeed in its introduction to the marketplace. If all succeeds, we can have a great vision of what the 2020s will be, sitting in 2017-2018.

SwobyJ
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SwobyJ

Sorenthaz “Rift will get a new expansion and quietly chug along.” Easiest prediction ever haha. I agree.

SwobyJ
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SwobyJ

Predictions for my games:RIFT – 4.0 is announced and possibly released in late year. Will not be the final expansion, but hope for the game dims. I don’t see a huge exodus compared to present day though, just decreased support as attention by Trion spreads out. Still a game to play. Worst case, filler content throughout 2016. Best case, something like a few Plane of Earth zones release. I’ve given up hope for a 4th Plane of Water zone to release, but maybe it’ll happen later on in another expansion (like how my hope for Planetouched Wilds turned out!).SWTOR – KOTFE continues and Season 2 occurs. No huge shakeups one way or another, regardless of the many threats to quit by players (companions, ops, etc issues). Best case 2016 is full of content every 1-2 months, of various sorts. Worst case Season 2 is abandoned and people wait even longer than before for anything.TSW – This is so hard. I really don’t know. Worst case it shuts down (a real possibility). Best case it pushes forward and even (at least the start of) a new zone releases! First half of year will definitely be about endgame and finishing Tokyo though, and I can see by the end of 2016 or in 2017, All Tokyo content bundled and discounted, as well as all pre-Tokyo DLC.

Madda
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Madda

Why thank you, good sir!

Rumm
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Rumm

Madda You know which line I liked for ;]

Polyanna
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Polyanna

The prediction nobody made that did come true: GW2 releases its first real expansion. And it utterly destroys the game.

Madda
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Madda

It will have to change its name after The Great Tumblr Offensive of 2016.

Madda
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Madda

Seems like an empty promise to Madda.

Vanblod
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Vanblod

Armsbend Madda My first thought, haha

SirMysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably
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SirMysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably

Quincha SirMysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably Probably, but I’m not sure if I should annoy readers with a post like that.

SirMysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably
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SirMysk Needs (More) Coffee, Probably

LiveFyre keeps telling me that an error occurred when I try to post my comment, so I’ll post the rest over at the blog, where it will be summarily ignored: http://sirmysk.tumblr.com/post/134526889114/2016-mmo-predictions

Vikingr
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Vikingr

Valkyriez 
Well, it more of a wish than prediction from me.

Lights_andMusic
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Lights_andMusic

Armsbend Madda  :)

Armsbend
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Armsbend

Madda Colored is less offensive than Black?  News to me.

ZenDadaist
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ZenDadaist

Jack Kerras Yeah, I despise forced caps of how much of a thing you can earn/grind/farm because it really craps all over the ‘play how you want’ aspect. Dailies/Weeklies are the leading cause of my MMO burnout at the moment.

If today I’m in the mood to murder a billion goblins but can’t stomach the thought of harvesting wood, well then I’ll get my massacre on and accrue a zillion goblin kill points I can trade for awesome phats, and just leave the wood thing for tomorrow when I’m in deforestation mode. Slapping a cap on goblin kill points and tree kill points just means I feel forced to only kill a few goblins today and also I have to go and harvest a bunch of trees even though I am not in the mood for it, and tomorrow I’ll have to do the same in reverse because caps are bullshit. Oh and I have to get my Daily Dungeon in because I can’t leave it til the weekend and farm 7 of them back to back becasue the game won’t let me earn anything if I do it that way.

This is an advantage older games have over newer ones. Less of this daily/weekly capped currency crap. If I want to spend all day butchering mothership after mothership full of Lost Eden aliens for Victory Points in Anarchy Online, guess what? I CAN! No caps, no limits beyond my ability to stomach the Master of Time and Space boss for the 15th time that afternoon :p And chances are I won’t be in the mood to do that again for quite some time. And that will be ok.

Valkyriez
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Valkyriez

No one from DICE will be getting fired. SW:BF would have made bank.

squidgod2000
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squidgod2000

Madda
EQN – Will remain vaporware. Daybreak will give an update in the middle of the year, giving a predicted release date by mistake then, much like the reveal of the game itself. Smedly will give hints at how the health of the game is.

Haven’t you heard the news? (Landmark, but still)
“I can’t give specific details, but we are working hard on some new things that you will surely love. They are pretty exciting, but it is too early to give details.” -Talisker

That was over a month ago. The “announcement” thread on the forums was locked after a couple weeks of complaints.

ausj3w3l
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ausj3w3l

Madda both doa and LoL will point and laugh at any other Moba to get created

Jack Kerras
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Jack Kerras

I liked Skyforge kind of a lot… until I realized it had a weekly progression cap.

I don’t care if I don’t hit it.  I powerfully dislike being told I’m not allowed to play as much as I want because there are people who don’t want to play as much as me.  I didn’t like those stupid bars you could only craft four of a day in WoW, I didn’t like WoD’s ridiculous one-craft-per-day bullshit, I actively despite labor points systems of almost all stripes, I -fucking hate that mechanic- and I wish it would die forever.

Destiny and many others have done some good by making it so that basically all honest ‘progression’ comes from doing dailies for big huge XP/gold rewards, at which point you go back down to the miniscule growth rate you can manage without taking advantage of daily quests and such.  This is also kind of crappy, but for whatever reason it leaves me feeling less rancor for the game.  It’s sneakier, which is not really better, but it doesn’t make me quite as angry as ‘Welp, that’s it for today.  See you tomorrow!’.

They’re framed as bonuses, but really, they’re the true progression vector, and everyone who grinds their faces off can only do so well.  It aggravates me.  I like to eat up a game, set it aside, eat up another game, set that aside, and so on and so forth.  Having to come back and play at least a little a day?  Too much back and forth for me.  I will just stop playing them entirely if they tell me I’m done two hours in to what I’d very much like to be a full-on weekend binge.

That shit drives me straight up the wall.

crackfox
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crackfox

Ah, I was wondering what had happened to Wander. Disappointed.

Vaeresyn
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Vaeresyn

Celestial I agree with you. BDO & B&S are going to launch, but Crowfall will probably get pushed back. Legion will launch, but I’m not sure how that’ll go.

Vaeresyn
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Vaeresyn

I really hope Crowfall can be successful without making the cash shop too ridiculous, you know? When a game is comfortable charging 200+ for an item, no matter how good those items are, I start to worry. But I do hope it turns out good.

Siphaed
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Siphaed

Celestial 
SW:TOR launched an expansion and grew

FF:XIV launched an expansion and grew.

GW2 launch an expansion and grew.

TES:O launched on consoles and finally launched enough ‘DLC’ to become most of what it was said to be originally a year prior.

Wildstar relaunched as F2P and…screwed that up a bit…but still isn’t doing bad now-ish. 

Star Citizen progressed a bit in disproving the “vaporware” theory surrounding it with 2.0

As for 2016, 

Camelot Unchained looks like it might launch.

Star Citizen might get 50% finished (;P).

Crowfall will do something.

GW2’s Season 3 of the Living Story will have launched.

WoW’s Legion -sadly- will have launched. 

….it doesn’t look that bleak of a year.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

I hope MO stuff brings less boring predictions for 2016, since most of what was said is of “winter will be cold, summer will be hot” type predictions.

ashfyn
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ashfyn

Madda  Madda is keen observer, as always.

However, Leah will not be resurrected; instead, Tyrael, taking advantage of a tear in the time-space continuum, will pull Cain back and return him to his rightful place as the Sage of Heaven.

Madda
Guest
Madda

Madda’s predictions for 2016

WoW – Down to below the 3 million mark until Legion is released, in which case the numbers will go back up to roughly 5 million. Holinka will unfortunately still be employed in his current position. A CM will leave.

EQN – Will remain vaporware. Daybreak will give an update in the middle of the year, giving a predicted release date by mistake then, much like the reveal of the game itself. Smedly will give hints at how the health of the game is.

SW:ToR – Population increase due to new Star Wars films. Knight of the Old Empire will still focus on solo story, content draught ensues.

Tera – Nothing new here. It will continue to be underrated and as “that game with the extra loli”.

ESO – Mass exodus after Bethesda announces Elder Scrolls: Back to Oblivion. Bethsda will look to push Fallout Online, before revealing the next year it will be a DayZ clone.

Blade and Soul – Remains profitable. Shifts to a one handed control style, which is met with an overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Phantasy Star Online 2 – The US office of SEGA will forget what the game is and prevent a Western release. Fans will call it the second most nut punch SEGA has done since Sonic the Hedgehog. Japanese begins training a select few of talented players as virtual warriors.

WildStar – Carbine will, sadly, have to sacrifice Pappy to NCSoft in order to gain a little more funding as they hope for more players to forgive them.

ArcheAge – Black Desert Online releases, fans flock to the new game, killing the game.

Black Desert Online – Will change its name after many protests. It will then be known as Colored Desert Online. It will then announce it will follow in ArcheAge’s footsteps.

Guild Wars 2 – ArenaNet will realize how silly their push on “e-sports” was. Continuing in the tradition, no focus on content to keep players invested.

Kickstarter – Derek Smart will create a Kickstarter for funds to hire a lawyer to continue to harass the Star Citizen team. He will then post a video after the Kickstarter fails, insulting the team, his fans, and every gamer.

Crowfall – Will be pushed back to 2017.

Paladins – Fernando will still be infuriating to play against.

CS:GO – AWPs will become the best weapon in game.

LoL – Will continue to say how bad DOTA2 is.

Dota2 – Will continue to say how bad LoL is.

Hearthstone – People will begin to realize the futility of a virtual trading card game, then proceed to purchase the newest card back.

Diablo 3 – Diablo 4 leaked. Leah is resurrected and becomes either an angel, an incarnation of Diablo, or as a minor enemy in the story. Nelphalem will be said to become the main villian.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

enamelizer that’s why I get a laugh out of them. Now that we have hind sight on our side, the obvious ones are still obvious and the vague ones still make me think…yeah I guess if you push real hard…like hit it with a truck you can make that fit :)

Maquiame
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Maquiame

2016 Prediction: At least 2 more progressive forward thinking mmos will appear to give Chronicles of Elryria and Revival some competition in the Virtual World renaissance. https://www.revivalgame.com/philosophy/mission_statement

Damonvile
Guest
Damonvile

MikedotFoster To be fair, people seem the like the battle arena in H1Z1 where as the survival part is more of a joke ( look at the arma vrs h1z1 video ) so you were kind of right.

Sorenthaz
Guest
Sorenthaz

I don’t really pay attention enough to the many MMOs out there now but if I had to make a few predictions here goes:

WoW – Legion will deliver in most if not all areas, and they’ll likely report numbers that matter more now that sub numbers won’t be reported (which was a dumb idea to do to begin with as no one else does that for a reason).  It won’t be the savior expansion to bring back millions, but it doesn’t need to be.  It’ll be out by July at the very latest, but will most likely be aimed at a May or June release.

Trion games – Defiance will go into maintenance mode or at least will have the console servers shut down so they can focus on the PC version.  Trove will continue to be their most positive game.  Rift will get a new expansion and quietly chug along.  Devilian will do about as eh-ish as everyone expects it to do.  ArcheAge will continue to have blunderous moves because I don’t see XL or Trion fixing anything. That new game done by Trion (already forget what it’s called) will either never make it out of beta because it’s too niche or will manage to find that niche they’re aiming for.   Overall Trion will continue being that company that could’ve been something greater, but grew too ambitious and will still be trying to move on from the damage done to themselves.

Tera – Will continue being that quiet underrated game that adds a lot of cool content for those who enjoy it.
FFXIV – Will likely continue to grow and get some awesome new content patches.  Likely will add in some new and interesting side features and perhaps a new class/job.
ESO – Will steadily improve with the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild DLCs, as well as with their removal of the Veteran Ranks system.  May possibly make its endgame more sandboxy akin to the Elder Scrolls games as a result.  And will hopefully get a new Adventure Zone and Trials into the mix.
Blade and Soul – Not sure honestly.  Haven’t done enough research.  Will probably find a decent audience though.  Feels like it could end up with a similar fate that other Korean MMOs of similar nature have had though.  I.e. Tera and Aion where there’s initial hype then it kind of dies down but people will still refer back to its combat system fondly.

Phantasy Star Online 2 – Will finally get some news for a Western release… maybe?  :(  Meanwhile the Japanese version will continue getting oodles of content and love.

GW2 – ArenaNet will figure out their next visionary path for content updates or whatever and roll with that before changing their minds again later down the road.  Nah but seriously GW2 will continue chugging along and ANet will probably try to hype up whatever their next big thing is by the middle of the year.
Wildstar – Will probably still be in a recovery process but will also be getting new content out, possibly announcing an expansion before the end of the year.
SWTOR – Another expansion by the end of the year, maybe a new “expansion” before then that adds a new feature which quickly gets scrapped/forgotten about like Strongholds and Starfighter… Other than that, business as usual with new story chapters and attempts to get more people to subscribe.

Indie/Kickstarter MMOs/Online Games – Project Gorgon and Camelot Unchained will rock people’s socks off as they get closer to launching, with CU likely launching by the end of the year and PG possibly getting there by December.  Star Citizen will continue to be the super over-hyped space sim but won’t officially launch before the end of 2016.  Crowfall, Gloria Victis, and Revival will continue to look promising.  Tree of Life will launch by the end of the year and will be a pleasant surprise for many looking to find a good sandbox MMO.  Dungeon Defenders II will enter beta and possibly launch before the end of the year. 

Other – Hoping a Wild West or a third-person Black Flag-esque Pirate MMO will get into works.

MOBAs – LoL will start to hit a slow but steady decline in player numbers and continue casualizing the game in an attempt to get more people into it, similar to what WoW did.   Heroes of the Storm and Smite will both grow quite popular as esports, especially when they get fully launched in China.   DotA 2’s Korean scene might actually grow more to where they’ll start dominating at international events, as is the fate of all MOBAs and RTSes.   Nothing else will really come out that will be able to join the Big 4.  

Shooters – Overwatch will be big, possibly even grow big as an esport.  CSGO will continue growing and remain the biggest non-MOBA esport scene.  Paladins will likely stay in beta throughout the year similar to Smite’s lengthy beta, and in that time will likely have a new character or two added every month, as well as gain more monetization stuff (skins, voice packs, announcer packs… basically most of the stuff Smite has), character customization beyond the cards system (alternate weapons/abilities maybe?), and more game modes (including a competitive/ranked mode that has more refined rules and better deck handling to avoid some of the heavy RNG with cards, and possibly a more MOBA-esque mode as well).  Tribes Ascend will become the shooter it should have been, and may see somewhat of a revival as a result.

Hearthstone – More adventure packs and so on.  Will likely continue growing more popular as an esport.

Diablo 3 – Expansion announced by Blizzcon.  New seasonal stuff of course before then.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

The way Landmark and EQN have been handled really confuses me and really does make it look like they butchered most of the teams working on that stuff. Landmark seems to be stuck in permanent closed “Early Access” mode, EQN has got basically little to no news to the point where it might become vaporware, and the only positive news we seem to ever be getting out of Daybreak is the EQ expansions and H1Z1 still being fairly popular.
But it feels like they’ve missed the mark with H1Z1 (as they’re focusing more on Battle Royale than the survival MMO-like mode that was supposed to be further fleshed out) and are just kind of in full money-milking mode right now to make up for all the hemmorhaging that’s been happening ever since Sony cut them off.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Some interesting questions I hope y’all take a swing at in 2016 predictions.

CCP deserves a prediction with the VC investment and the only company supporting the Samsung, Sony and Facebook VR devices. Perhaps a proxy for the “what is VR’s impact in ’16? Which IMO is pretty unrelated to how big will VR be in 2024”

Will there be any big/AAA MMOs announced in ’16 (excluding Asian imports?)  

EQN/DBG? idk. Ouija boards could guess better than I.

Funcom?

GW2 – HoT’s impact.  Raiding and eSports and less solo friendly will be appreciated by some but not all.

NCSoft?  Will this big NA/EU push happen? Will it be mobile only? Will GW2 & WS get spun out?

P.S.: Expansion of the ’15 year: I don’t play 14 or GW2 but they are popular with the staff so the Sophie’s Choice will be interesting.

ChristopherPierce
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ChristopherPierce

The Everquest stuff made me sad.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

Telwar  Accessory After The Fact is still criminal; best not to know.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

H1Z1 clearly outperformed my expectations, although hasn’t the focus evolved from the “massive” in the earlier marketing message?

Wildstar going f2p wasn’t a surprise; GW2 was.

re “A new big MMO will be announced … Crowfall might fit that bill.”  CF is a solid game from a solid team, but even in these latter days, I just don’t see how a few million dollars – or even quadruple that – constitutes big.

Celestial
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Celestial

2014 was a bleak year for MMOGs.  2015 continued that, and 2016 doesn’t appear to be any different from the outset.

AthieV
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AthieV

It’s been an interesting year. Probably not as bad for the genre we love as 2014 was. But yet most objective indicators seem to still point in the same direction. MMOs continue to drop play time on the various services like Raptr, Google trends numbers for most of the big games (and for the genre as a whole) continue to erode.
Oh, well. Even if our hobby is shrinking, here’s to a year in which a bunch of games engineered amazing experiences for us all! And a heartfelt warm winter’s hug to the developers who have done so much work!

Armsbend
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Armsbend

My prediction for 2016:  ArcheAge gets moved to ‘Other Games’.

Telwar
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Telwar

I kind of wonder what they promised the investor with Pantheon.

MikedotFoster
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MikedotFoster

Hey I did good! Except that people like H1Z1 way more than I expected.

tylercles
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tylercles

I actually saved my predictions from the comment section last year. Not sure if they can be recovered from the Site of the Before Times, so you may have to take my word for it that these were my actual predictions, but regardless:

“WildStar will go free to play early in the year. It will finally start to stabilize and develop a small but contented following. Despite this, it will continue to be a favourite punching bag for commenters for years to come.” Pretty close. Timing was off, and the comment section seems to have forgiven it more than I expected it to.

“ESO will be reasonably successful on consoles. Near the end of the year, it will announce a buy to play conversion.” Timing was wrong again, but otherwise pretty on the money.

“Destiny will announce a PC port, but it may not launch until 2016.” Swing and a miss.

“WoW’s subs will crash hard once the “new expansion smell” wears off, and by summer, subs will be at a low not seen since before Burning Crusade. Blizzard will backtrack hard on the no flying and begin talking about how they have a GREAT new idea to solve the problem coming in 7.0.” Pretty much spot-on. They didn’t backtrack on no flying as quickly or dramatically as I expected.

“Something something Star Citizen rabble rabble nerd rage.” Yeah pretty much.

“Eleventy-bajillion new MOBAs will be announced. 98.4% of these will be forgotten thirty seconds later.”  Feels like the MOBA rush slowed down a little this year, but maybe that’s because I forgot them so readily.

“Skyforge will continue to get less hype than it probably should.” I guess that’s correct? Not much hype, anyway. Depends on how much you think it deserves.

“Guild Wars 2 will continue to consternate all and sundry by not announcing an expansion.” Complete miss.

On the whole I thing I did pretty well.

Vikingr
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Vikingr

My predictions for 2016:

– Electronic Arts announce they are working on a new Wing Commander single player episode for PC, Mac, and consoles.
– Patrick Bach in DICE gets fired for underestimating Star Wars fans’ need for space combat in Battlefield.
– CIG releases Squadron 42 and get wild reviews all over the world. New backers storm to the RSI website.
– Elite: Dangerous wins more game rewards.
– PC sales increase, together with graphic cards and joysticks/HOTAS, because of the new dawn of space sims.

schlag sweetleaf
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schlag sweetleaf

fastcart

enamelizer
Guest
enamelizer

Just like real fortune telling, the less you say and the more vague you are, the more likely you can claim a correct prediction!

Love this piece, lets do it quarterly. :)

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