Massively Overthinking: MMO predictions for 2016

Now that we've all had a good laugh at the things we got wrong and marveled at the things we got right in last year's predictions, it's time to issue our MMO genre predictions for 2016. Massively Overthinking will even be joined by some Patreon contributors for this edition!

Let's do this.

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): The downward trend in global MMO subscriptions will continue throughout 2016, with World of Warcraft getting a spike when Legion is released but falling down to below 4 million subs. EVE Online's subscriber numbers will naturally track with this trend, but I predict that daily peak logins will actually rise in 2016 following the Citadel expansion and we'll get some more awesome sandboxy news stories out of it. With global subs decreasing, I think we'll see some more big crowdfunding-style innovations in MMO business models throughout the genre in 2016 with schemes similar to Dota 2's TI5 Compendium or the creative rewards in Path of Exile's founder's packs.

I think we'll see some big movements in e-sports, with more sports channels picking up coverage of major MOBA tournaments and more official e-sports organisations and academies popping up. There'll be intense competition in the competitive team-based shooter market as a lot of very similar games like Overwatch, Gigantic, Paragon, Battleborne, Paladins, Wildfire, Battlecry, and Lawbreakers, start to release and try to find their feet. Some will attempt to capitalise on the idea of being a MOBA-shooter hybrid, some will focus on e-sports and competitive gameplay, some won't release in 2016, and some will end up as smaller casual shooters that we all forget about by 2017. There simply isn't enough capacity in the market for all of these games to thrive at the same time, so I would predict that the games that throw money at e-sports will survive and those that don't will quietly disappear.

Finally, I know I predict this every year, but Star Citizen's crowdfunding will finally dry up once it's past the 100 million mark. Pledges have slowed down dramatically throughout this past year and were given the final push to 100m by a combination of factors including the Alpha 2.0 reveals at CitizenCon, the Derek Smart drama, and a series of aggressive sales and marketing pushes. People also have a strong psychological attraction to round numbers, so there's been a lot of organic movement within the community to help it hit the 100 million mark and we won't see that same fervor in the future. If we go by the current development schedule, I would expect passive organic growth will push it to 105 million by launch, and with aggressive enough marketing it could top out at 120-125 million, but that's just an educated guess. On the development side, I predict that Star Citizen will see slow but steady progress throughout the year and the sky will not fall on us.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): I think World of Warcraft will see another huge boost in subs when Legion launches in, let's say, September, but we won't know about it because Blizzard isn't talking about that anymore, ahem. It'll lose almost all of them within six months. That's just how it goes now.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will double in size by summer thanks to the movies. Expect a tie-in expansion. (Hey, Star Wars Galaxies shoehorned in Mustafar. It'll happen.) TERA, Path of Exile, and Marvel Heroes will continue to rake in absurd piles of money and everyone will continue to not notice. WildStar won't. Lost Ark will be the surprise import hit of the year.

Something big will happen for Turbine. Either it gets a new game or it loses one. I have a bad feeling about it on the whole. Trion will announce two more pseudo-MMOs, one an import and one home-brewed. Final Fantasy XIV will get another expansion. Guild Wars 2 won't, but it'll get plenty of hefty patches as it tries to reclaim all the loyalists it alienated in 2015. Crowfall and Camelot Unchained will go neck-and-neck trying to maintain their hold on the PvP and RvR crowds; meanwhile, Lord British will calmly launch Shroud of the Avatar and mop up the roleplayers and PvEers, and Revival will continue to mystify everyone.

Multiplayer sandboxes like ARK and OARPGs like Marvel Heroes will continue to pull attention from the MMORPG market. At least 10 more MOBAs, MMOCTGs, and online shooters will be belatedly released and fail to gain any traction whatsoever. VR will continue to earn skepticism rather than consumer dollars. Destiny will finally get a PC port. The Division will continue to not launch.

Daybreak will announce that it's starting EverQuest Next from scratch. Again. OK, just kidding. I actually think we'll get a ton of EverQuest Next info next year, and it's a pity they'll have scared everyone half to death in the meantime.

On the whole, I see 2016 as another recovery year like 2015. It's not going to get a ton of traditional 2005-era themeparks. The games that exist will buff up or wither, and the new games are blending genres.

Don't care, bored.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): World of Warcraft: Legion launches in July of 2016. While its systems are praised and the leveling game is strong, the endgame model undergoes some hasty revisions in the wake of negative feedback, with challenge mode dungeons becoming queueable and more token-based rewards moving in. There's no indication that the content droughts are going anywhere, however, and by the end of the year people are already steeling themselves for another year without any content.

Final Fantasy XIV will announce its second expansion near the end of the year after more regular and well-received updates, continuing to chart more or less the same course while quietly gathering momentum. A major push to improve the existing housing system will be one of the big centerpieces around the middle of the year, allowing players more freedom to purchase a house compared to the existing limitations. The game begins to market more aggressively as the year goes on as well.

Guild Wars 2 stumbles on the post Heart of Thorns update, with players clamoring not for the first time that the game is lacking in much to do once you're done with the core experience. Little is done with raiding as a concept, and by the time the game announces its next big content update they seem to have been quietly dropped.

Star Wars: The Old Republic continues along its new story course before introducing another expansion mid-year that focuses far more heavily on allowing players to form teams of two for challenging multi-stage content. It also diversifies its reward structure to encourage playing with another player as your companion.

WildStar has a hard time capitalizing on its popularity post-business conversion, but it does continue to bring out updates and there are rumors of a free-to-play expansion for the game. Star Trek Online starts discussing another expansion of its own, bringing in parts of the Gamma Quadrant into the game. The Elder Scrolls Online announces its first buy-to-play expansion. Elite: Dangerous continues to quietly acquire the features that Star Citizen promises without half of the fanfare, while the long wait for Star Citizen in a playable and consistent form begins to finally dampen enthusiasm. The Repopulation has to do some major work to turn itself around after its engine woes persist. Blade & Soul launches a bit modestly, but also does well enough that its future on these shores is relatively assured.

Meanwhile, this is a year of stuff to be excited about. Two new MMOs are announced, big titles like Crowfall move into more large-scale testing, and existing games try to break out of ruts. If 2015 was a year of recovery, 2016 is one in which we're all looking to tomorrow and feeling excited.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Let's engage in some serious wishful thinking and bizarre speculation, shall we? Funcom will announce that Anarchy Online 2 is in the works to mollify the three commenters we have always begging for it (plus, it'd be pretty cool). Daybreak will finally get its act together, shore up Landmark, expand H1Z1's survival mode, and start talking about EQ Next again. Trion Worlds will announce that it's bringing back one formerly dead MMO to life -- but which one will be a total surprise! Blizzard will make money and World of Warcraft's subscriber count will end the year at 7 million. Cryptic will announce its new game that's been in development, which will dote on a popular IP and release in early 2017. RSI will delay Star Citizen several times, sending the fanbase into a tizzy. ArenaNet will announce the second expansion for Guild Wars 2 called "We're nuking Cantha so no one can ever go there ever again, just because you wouldn't stop nagging us." BioWare's final chapter in the new SWTOR storyline will hold a shocking revelation and jump us forward in time so that players will be right alongside the new movies.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): My predictions are clearly just wishful thinking, and I know these things have a high probability of never coming true. When it comes to MMOs, I'm not ready to be a realist. I am still holding out hope for the genre because it's really the only genre of game that I thoroughly enjoy anymore. I like the occasional RPG, but they don't hold my attention like they used to. So my first prediction for next year is a hopeful one: We will see an unexpected resurgence in the MMO genre.

The genre is primed for a revival, and leading that charge will be Star Citizen. The funny thing about my prediction about Star Citizen doing well is that I'm likely not going to play the game. I believe that Star Citizen will probably have a huge boom. I don't think it will launch like a triple A single player game or even the console launch of Elder Scrolls Online, but it's already exceeded expectations. All it has to do now is meet expectations to be successful. By the end of the year, it will have settled into a niche very similar to that of EVE Online: a hugely loyal playerbase that only plays that one game because it holds everything they've ever wanted in an online game.

Lastly, I believe that Daybreak is about to surprise us. I believe the company has been healing. It’s been sitting back, waiting for the air to clear. Sometime next year, we will hear about a major shake up in its suite of games, and people are going to believe that the company has its game-face back on.

My last prediction is that everything that I said will happen in complete reverse. I view 2016 as the make-it-or-break-it year for MMOs, and despite other companies having successful MMOs, I believe those two companies hold the keys for the future of the genre.

One last negative prediction: World of Warcraft’s Legion will fall flat and the game will continue to bleed subscriptions.

evegiftguide

Matt Daniel (@Matt_DanielMVOP): I'm really terrible at following trends and making predictions about them, so I'm really just gonna be making stuff up. So here we go: I think a whole lot of MMO Kickstarters are going to promise awesome things then run out of money about a quarter of the way through development and ultimately become vaporware. I also predict that I will get my hopes way too high for most of those games and be crestfallen when they inevitably fail. Also, I probably will still remain unable to just pick a damn game and stick with it for a change. So more of the same is what I'm saying, basically.

2308487-605432_20131004_005

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): I'm not one for predictions. I'm more of a take-life-as-it-comes kind of person -- and then see the positive in it, of course! And if there's one thing that 2015 has demonstrated it's that some things come out of left field and totally surprise you no matter how much thought you put into the future's possibilities. But Bree wouldn't let me have any Christmas cookies until I yanked out my +3 crystal orb of possible future seeing and gave a report. So here goes!

In 2016 I see games. Lots of games. MMOs and ARPGs and WTHs will be spawning like invading alien pod critters taking over the planet. Well, at least our free time. With so many games out there, I see folks having to hire personal assistants to keep track of their gaming schedules and commitments. New software will also be Kickstarted to facilitate the collection and prioritization of raid times, special in-game events, guild meetings, PvP ambushes, questing follow-through, resource gathering expeditions, and daily log in rewards. These assistants will be making the big bucks keeping folks on a tight schedule to make the most of everything... and just plain make it to things! (Remembering all your passwords will be an extra charge. Reminders to eat can be negotiated on a per diem basis, but food and beverage delivery services, as well as I.V. caffeine hook ups, are only available as the highest premium add-on to a monthly subscription package. Any third-party communication with family to let them know you are alive, to remind kids to do their homework, or to tell your S.O. "just five more minutes..." will be paid per interaction. Like I said: This new career path will be the way to riches!)

I see the whole debate over what constitutes Massive in that first M of MMO finally resolving. From 2016 on out the M will stand for Many. That's right -- Many Multiplayer Online. Or Maybe Multiplayer Online? It doesn't matter the number of players really, because the industry will embrace the private shard idea of games and anything that will allow you and at least a few friends to play together will be all the MMO you need. In fact, it might as well just be My Multiplayer Online! Sing it with me! "My little Multiplayer, my little multiplayer, what is gaming all about..." Great, now I want a pony.

I also see Dragons There will be dragons. Mark my words, there will be dragons. A-yup. Dragons. And maybe dinosaurs in tutus.

Patreon donor Archebius: In terms of general industry trends, a lot hinges on The Division. If it performs well, then we’ll start to see a broader group of AAA games pushing for the experience that Destiny and The Division represent: KMMO, or Kinda Massively Multiplayer Online. We’ll probably see a fantasy KMMO get announced. More games will focus on small-team tactics, and pin it on like multiplayer used to be. If it fails, then most of the major multiplayer development will go towards trying to catch lightning in a bottle with the next Hearthstone or LoL.

New MMO development will largely be dominated by indie studios pursuing ever more fragmenting divisions in the community. New Kickstarters will be launched for the hardest of the hardcore. Some will be new MUDs for those who remember the good old days before graphics; others will be dedicated to gankers, with power level entirely dependent on time invested. It will have a minimal UI, with most of the budget going towards humiliating emotes.

The Neutral: Guild Wars 2 will putt along, never really capturing the e-sports market that they’re seeking. No new expansion will be announced, just a few content patches. EVE will hold steady with their quality-of-life improvements; CCP will give more details on its VR game and start building hype. ARK will reveal that the entire game world is actually built on the back of a huge dinosaur; if you manage to tame it, you can use it to attack other servers.

The Bad: Black Desert, stripped of several unique features, and despite being a decent game, will fail to capture the hype it generated. Chronicles of Elyria will continue to weird people out with its Pay-2-Reincarnate system, despite being a promising game. Destiny, without much new content, will hemorrhage players until Destiny 2 is announced later this year. Everquest Next won’t be canceled, but without much new information and with fierce competition, it will fail to stir much interest. LOTRO will rush to get to Mordor before its playerbase evaporates, then go into maintenance mode until a Ringwraith puts a Morgul Blade through its server racks.

The Good: 2016 will be a building year. Star Citizen will move steadily, if slowly, towards being what they promised. Some features will be scaled back due to technical and expense issues, which certain quarters will cry about, but SC will generate enough goodwill just by not being vaporware that no one will really care. Crowfall will take shape, alienating some, attracting others, but proving that you can make an innovative MMO on a budget. Camelot Unchained will continue to develop promisingly. The community will start holding its collective breath because it’s up to three or four crowdfunded games and a couple imports to prove the viability of new MMO development.

Your turn!

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

LEAVE A COMMENT

141 Comments on "Massively Overthinking: MMO predictions for 2016"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
klepp0906
Guest
klepp0906

Amazing no mention of pantheon anywhere.
Y'all predict all these changes which further segregate and dillute mmorpgs. Know why the genre is failing and so convoluted? The aforementioned. That and trying to please all the wow kids.
Return to form. In words the young ones can understand - we need an old school mmo. A real mmorpg. Just what pantheon is.
PS EQN already cancelled - wanna see my surprised face? No raids? No levels? No classes? A little wowification? Yea that's a game going somewhere lol. Never forget smedley saying it will be a lot like traditional EQ then listing the former. Smh. He must have never played it.

kenbob127
Guest
kenbob127

I wonder, and it seems obvious here, how many people make comments about GW2 and the content in 2015 like that...who don't actually play the game at all. Um, loyal fan here, yeah the Free to Play shift was a bit weird, but the almost overwhelming amount of, pretty much exclusive now, content pre-Free to Play GW2 gamers have access to more than makes up for it. 

Not the mention the expansion was awesome, and exactly what diehard, top tier players were asking for. Like...care to back that statement up at all, not that it really matters or anything but still, feelings bro xD

ichi plays
Guest
ichi plays

@Brendan Drain 
 If we go by the current development schedule, I would expect passive organic growth will push it to 105 million by launch
Its 12/31/15 and they're at $104.4 million, you've got all day to adjust that prediction

 If we go by the current development schedule, I would expect passive organic growth will push it to 105 million by the first week in January 2016

and the 2016 predictions piece from MOP does not mention Archeage; devs and publishers should consider that the management of an otherwise great game drove it from one of the most anticipated games to obscurity in a very short time.  I think someone couldn't screw up that bad on purpose.

MarkHanson1
Guest
MarkHanson1

Project Gorgon will finally move into a release state on Steam. It will make enough money for it's two devs ( take that Goblinworks! ) that they will be able to afford a new name for their fun game  Spirit of Asheron, perhaps?

A new Korean game will debut on our shores, but sadly Bewb Ninja Stripper Story  will fail miserably, as many critics deride the game for it's hard core level  grind.

amkosh
Guest
amkosh

I think either this year or next, you'll hear that EQN will get cancelled and the work rolled into EQ1/EQ2.  It might go into EQ2 and EQ1 getting merged, but I'm not really sure about that.

Akami
Guest
Akami

@Brianna Royce curious why you say Tera will continue to rake in crazy amounts of money.  Is there evidence somewhere that suggests they are making money hand over fist?  Not meant as an attack of any kind, I'm genuinely curious.

JimGriffiths
Guest
JimGriffiths

shadowblender oh my god he is right. https://youtu.be/KVfByOfk1lk

Gylnne
Guest
Gylnne

MJ Guthrie  I.V. caffeine hook ups, And maybe dinosaurs in tutus
ROFL!

schlag sweetleaf
Guest
schlag sweetleaf

paragonlostinspace Damonvile schlag sweetleaf

;)

TheZebes
Guest
TheZebes

So much negativity for Guild Wars 2. What does ANet do to turn things more positive?

GoJammit
Guest
GoJammit

Vikingr GoJammit I will look into that later. For now, verifying patch files. 2.0m is released and 2.0 is going live for everyone today! Wee Haa!!!

JimGriffiths
Guest
JimGriffiths

MJ Guthrie tylercles Make sure thats Redenbacher

Jemmyt
Guest
Jemmyt

Ironwu «Games that offer less grind and more gameplay will flourish as folks start to value their time and enjoyment more than elusive and ephemeral advancements.»

AMEN !

Jemmyt
Guest
Jemmyt

@http://twitter.com/nbrianna «http://massivelyop.com/tag/the-division will continue to not launch.». I laughed. Hope this prediction won't be true :)

SallyBowls1
Guest
SallyBowls1

ashfyn  +1 for

There will be flailing hopes for games that haven't got a chance.
More indie studios will fall prey to the ever over-vocal PvP crowd and think there is gold in that bluster.
Many crowdfunded and kickstarted games, whose core concept begins with the word "challenging," will limp across the finish line only to fall into that niche yawning directly thereafter. 
Triple A gaming will see no new entries and gamers will, after a fling with the new shiny, wander back to their favorite AAA staple.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

Damonvile schlag sweetleaf Right? He amuses the hell out of me.

PrestonNoahLien
Guest
PrestonNoahLien

My predictions for 2016:
World of Warcraft will do well with the release of the movie and Legion following soon after. Subscribers will go up around the time of the movie and a steady increase up until a month after the release.
Guild Wars 2 will still have a hard time prioritizing what it wants to be and change it's goals five times. It will also "fix" things that worked well.
FFXIV will do well and announce another expansion late 2016 or early 2017. It will continue to pump out heavy updates and probably suck me in with them.
EQN will hopefully get to closed beta by the end of the year.
Tera will have a few updates and events and will announce a second big expansion.
Rift will be the same. Add some updates, an expansion in Q3, and continue to do well in its corner of the genre.
Aion will be a niche community.
I don't know what will happen with Star Trek Online.
Lord of the Rings Online will hopefully get an expansion, probably about Mordor.
Wildstar will continue to grow, at what rate I do not know. It will release a few updates and announce its first expansion.
Elder Scrolls Online will continue to do very well, releasing a DLC every quarter and improve and polish the game. Hopefully a full on expansion will be coming at the end of next year or in 2017.
And finally, my first MMO, Star Wars the Old Republic. I feel that in 2016, SWTOR will find itself, and a much larger community. Though it already has a strong number of players, it will grow even bigger because of The Force Awakens, Rebels, and Rogue One coming out next December. A good number of updates will be released following EA seeing this as a good opportunity to milk a game with a lot of potential. We will also get a bigger expansion by this time next year, one that has a lot of story but also dungeons, raids, and new planets that are actually worth our attention, unlike most of the planets released after launch. I hope SWTOR gets better, and stops using the Cartel Market solely to release gear.

spacecampclan
Guest
spacecampclan

I predict that people will predict so many different things, that some of those predictions will be right.

Elikal Ialborcales
Guest
Elikal Ialborcales

Years ago, in the game "KOTOR" the ex-Jedi Jolee Bindo, when asked why he left the Jedi Order, said: I didn't leave the Order, it left me.
For me, it's the same with MMOs. They left me. MMos developed to a place I can no longer follow.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

GoJammit 
Here's Chris Roberts about exploration content (1.26-1:44): http://video.golem.de/games/11496/star-citizen-interview-und-gameplay-(gamescom-2013).html

Wild_Phil
Guest
Wild_Phil

PurpleCopper Still love CS. One of the original developers of CS lived in my dorm freshman year of college.  We spent way too much time playing it and testing upcoming versions.

CS combined with StarCraft all-nighters resulted in about half of the dorm's residents being on academic probation the following semester.  Some had such low GPAs from that semester they never even bothered coming back after winter break.

McSleaz
Guest
McSleaz

Daybreak cancels EQN in 2016 & I cry for many days.

Vikingr
Guest
Vikingr

GoJammit 
"I don't think SC's exploration will be that deep"

I do. A poll in early 2013 showed more than 2/3 of the backers (at the time) wanted to go exploring: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/transmission/12877-Squadron-42-Wallpapers-And-Survey-Update

There's also this comprehensive compilation of information about exploration, if you're interested in reading more: https://forums.robertsspaceindustries.com/discussion/38624/exploring-exploration-in-star-citizen-what-we-know-so-far

McSleaz
Guest
McSleaz

Nyphur PurpleCopper Counterstike is the only fps I can stomach for extended periods of time. Gooseman struck gold when he invented that mod and no fps will ever match it.

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

PurpleCopper Counterstrike is now older than a great many of its players.

Caerulei
Guest
Caerulei

Personal (100% unfounded) predictions.
Bless will continue it's polish phase until it launches in November.  *waits patiently*
Black Desert will find it's niche market.  Being buy to play, many folks will just want to fiddle with the character creator for hours of fun.
Lost Ark and Lineage Eternal will race to beat one another to launch in July.
Skyforge will announce it's departure from beta in February with an expansion announcement in June and continue to roll out content at a breakneck pace throughout the year.

PurpleCopper
Guest
PurpleCopper

Counter-Strike's gonna be healthy and alive for many years to come.

Too obvious?

BigAngryPlays
Guest
BigAngryPlays

I have a feeling that Supers will get some love this year.

With new advances in developer understanding to Paragon Chat's client and servers, a City of Heroes relaunch moves ahead of City of Titans (and CERTAINLY Heroes & Villains) in release date.

Champions Online will FINALLY get some major additions to it that don't involve lockboxes.

DCUO will keep chugging right along with more semi-monthly updates, incorporating writing by Gail Simone, among others.

Marvel Heroes will continue being the juggernaut (heehee) that it is, releasing characters on a monthly basis, including Beast (finally), playable Sam Wilson Falcon, and have a tie-in with X-Men: Apocalypse, and generally still make money hand-over-fist.

melissaheather
Guest
melissaheather

BalsBigBrother "rigerous"?  (star trek kirk vs spock battle scene music)
na na na na na na na na na naaaaa
ooodle OOP  oodle OOP

melissaheather
Guest
melissaheather

2016's first quarter will be one of Waiting.   Then some VR visors will be released to the public, and the rest of the year will be all about the scramble to roll out VR content for Oculus, Vive, and Playstation VR.

Wild_Phil
Guest
Wild_Phil

lastoffirst
lol...talk about damned if you do, damned if you don't.  Hate to see
what you would of thought had they expanded funding by tens of millions
while sticking to early-June 2013 plans like they were set in stone.

Safe to say there isn't much SC can do to make you happy in 2016.  At least there are plenty of other games out there for you to try out.

Grimmtooth
Guest
Grimmtooth

Sure I'll play
WoW-will release Legion in November of 2016. Since they have stopped releasing sub numbers the MMO media will have to use the finanicals off the 10Q's & Usage metrics (RAPTR) to read the tea leaves on how well it is doing. Someone needs to look at the past 11 years of of WoW and make a graphic of WoW's income & P/L in comparison to sub-numbers so we have comparable metrics moving forward.
These metrics will show the equivalent of a sub loss of ~1 million through the summer. Profits will spike back up to 8-10 mil on Legion release but drop back down to almost half by the 2nd quarter of 2017.

GW2-Will spend the next few months fixing bugs & balance patching. this will push the Season 3/new raid release into the summer. 3rd Raid might be released by the end of the year as it will be the ending of season 3. Also in the spring or summer they will release a patch that has an overhaul to a system or mechanic that was not needed & no one asked for. (maybe another daily system redo)
Profits will be steady but nothing special.

Wildstar- WS needs to make at least double their pre-Free to Play income consinstantly throughout 2016 or it will get the Axe...because ...NCSoft.

LOTOR- by the end of 2016 we will officially know if it will get a license extension or it will be sunset when that runs out.

EQnext- total radio silence. It will become clear by the end of 2016 that this is getting the TITAN treatment. as Daybreak will continue to do reset servers for their other games. They may release something they shuttered instead of something new.

Square- FFXIV will continue trucking along making steady $$$ increases. Good & smooth sailing.

Trion- will have great success with its new products. Archeage will be pushed into the background, Defiance will be canceled.

Funcom- sink or swim year. They will have success with their smaller games and continue on as they are or they will put themselves on the block again and find a buyer. This assumes they can reduce their out of whack debt to income ratio. The buyout scenario may force the shutter 1-2 of their smaller titles (AoC, AO, Lego minifgs)

the 2016 MOP developer of the year will be either Square or Trion.

Assuming that Apple hasn't messed everything up again, a studio will announce by the end or 2016 they are releasing a MAC client for their flagship game they have been working on in the background for a while. Most likely FF XiV but there are other candidates.
If Apple's graphics tools redo followed the path of Apple Maps it may make all native MMO's including WoW unplayable on any Mac's made after the OS release that follows El Captain next october.

MorpayneRADIO
Guest
MorpayneRADIO

Landmark will continue to charge for founders packs and doing practically nothing with the game all year, with no word on EQnext.
Archeage will see another major server merge that will cause another shitstorm and many forum/blogsite lulz will be had again.
Warcraft will dive into a pool made of gold coins like Mcduck during legion release as everyone plays an Illidan knockoff finally.
Star Citizen will release the FPS and social module, making the game more tangible and giving a better idea of what they're going for thus pushing sales of accounts through the roof as MMO sites all over the world weigh in on the changes.
Rumors of Disneys desire to buyout SWTOR from EA will begin. The buyout will likely be followed up by a shutdown and replaced with a kid friendly clone wars mmo at worst, or major changes being made to dialogue in keeping with Disneys SJW crusade at best.
Albion Online becomes sleeper hit of 2016.

alexjwillis
Guest
alexjwillis

"ARK will reveal that the entire game world is actually built on
the back of a huge dinosaur; if you manage to tame it, you can use it
to attack other servers."
This really made me laugh. Thanks for that.

ashfyn
Guest
ashfyn

I predict that MOP will become ever more the destination of gamers as they try to navigate the fracturing world of online gaming.

There will be more discussions about how StarCitizen isn't because some animosities just need to be stoked. 
There will be flailing hopes for games that haven't got a chance.  

More indie studios will fall prey to the ever over-vocal PvP crowd and think there is gold in that bluster.
Many crowdfunded and kickstarted games, whose core concept begins with the word "challenging," will limp across the finish line only to fall into that niche yawning directly thereafter. 
Steam will continue to grow and capture more MMOs and other online gaming forms on release (see, for example, Devilian) because  of it's enormous reach.  
Triple A gaming will see no new entries and gamers will, after a fling with the new shiny, wander back to their favorite AAA staple.
My Pet Prediction:  Blizzard will finally announce an expansion for Diablo 3, The Skovos Isles, bring Deckard Cain back to life, return to its core mission of killing Diablo, and tip toe away from it's community-pissing-off decision to gate more stash space behind a year of Season journeys.

Superbrak
Guest
Superbrak

WoW's Legion launches in May(!)... does better than expected, and retains a lot more subs than other recent expansions. So much so that Blizzard breaks their stance and reveals the numbers. Or "leaks" them.
FF14 trucks right along, announces an expansion in Summer '16.
GW2 spends the first half of 2016 backing off the more difficult, group focused, and grindy aspects of HoT... with special attention to small guild issues. Attempts to incentivize/fix Fractals and revamp WvW fall flat however. Spends the second half stringing along a pretty minimal Living Story... but all is forgiven when SAB re-releases.
Funcom hangs on by a thread thanks to the TSW player base buying anything released by Funcom in 2016 and aggressively marketing those releases on social media.
Daybreak mentions nothing at all about EQ Next all year, won't have enough to talk about yet.
NC Soft pulls the plug on Wildstar late 2016.
Trove quietly becomes Trion's most successful/profitable MMO in it's portfolio. Trion then imports a collectible card/pet battler MMO from Korea to diversify some more.
Star Citizen has a quiet 2016, secretly wishes Derek Smart would put the game back on the front pages. Crowfall, Camelot Unchained and Shroud keep trucking right along... but we'll see big announcements from Pantheon, one or both CoH successors, and Smedley in 2016.

GoJammit
Guest
GoJammit

I don't think it will be all. I think there will still be the people into the exploration. I don't think SC's exploration will be that deep

CloakingDonkey
Guest
CloakingDonkey

I think I'll make some predictions this year too. Join in on the fun :D

Legion will launch between June and September, it'll bring about 3million subs back who will leave 2-4 months later and the subs will continue to decline as Blizzard has no real plans as to how they can rejuvinate their game. It's pretty much the most decadent maintenance mode at this point.

Tree of Savior will have another quasi closed beta in early spring and will go into open beta during the summer. It'll gain a niche following as it really doesn't matter how good korean MMORPGs are they just don't do well in the west sadly. But I'm reasonably certain it will do well enough to keep the doors open.

Camelot Unchained will go into Closed Beta and we'll get to test a lot of MJ's BSC ideas and some of them will work amazingly well and will henceforth be criminally ignored by other titles in the genre, just like with his previous two games *sigh* Some other ideas and systems won't work out and Camelot will have to be changed a bit from the initial BSC vision, causing some tears but it will soldier on and work toward an open beta state but will not reach it before the end of the year.

Black Desert Online will see its launch and depending on how much they were willing to change from the korean design, can be decently successful. Sadly it falls in the Locust category and will see a massive initial rush and then lose a bunch of players settling in with a loyal niche community but who knows if that community will be large enough to sustain the game?

Some time toward the mid year mark we'll hear something new about EverQuest Next and it will not what anyone hopes. It will be either an announcement about the projects cancellation or it will be announced that the project has shifted drastically in direction, aiming more toward capturing WoW and Minecraft audiences. As a result, it will be awful and flop dramatically but that won't happen in 2016.

Star Citizen will continue to rake in the money and end 2016 at 120-130 mil and it will still not have released anything even close to an actual game. Its haters will continue to blast it and its fanboys will continue to desperately defend their awful 2000$ spending decisions. We might see another module but it won't become a game before the end of the year... again. (I remember saying this about 2014 and people saying "nono it'll definitely come out next year" .... ;) )

Funcom will wow us with their unanounced games, they'll be ambitious and awesome looking but will eventually fail to hit it big for some stupidly minor reason that MMO noob youtubers  will blow up like a paddling pool. Poor funcom =(

9thLEGION
Guest
9thLEGION

lastoffirst well thats one opinion. At least there are tons of other games you will be playing instead of SC. Nothing ruins a game like trolls and greifers.

SoMuchMass
Guest
SoMuchMass

I do think Star Citizen will hit another 30 million in funding this year like the last two years.  So they get to 130 million by the end of this year, although I see Brendan's points.  Something has to happen with WildStar, I just don't see it continuing like it is doing.  I thought it would be a buyout last year, but I still see something like that happening this year.

lastoffirst
Guest
lastoffirst

Easy to predict the outcome for Star Citizen for 2016, when you just look to the past years and the outstanding mark of 0% of plans accomplished as planned/presented by Chris Roberts and team. One of many examples:comment image

The excitement of "oh, now they are going to advance faster because this or that" always was there and always was part of their speech and backers expectation after all near-pos releases of their bugged tech demos. We always would listen things like: 
"Now that the Hangar came out means they have the proper technology and will come faster"... 
"now that AC came out, things will come out faster... look... they even took 6 months more to release that... it's because they prefer to launch something more finished and better"... 
"Now that FPS was announced to come out in a couple of weeks, that means that things will come a lot faster"...
"Ah, ok... FPS is not coming out, but now that the AC 2.0 is on PTU, broken as hell, that means that everything is going to come faster"...

We know that is all just to keep the hype and keep the whales tied and hoping for a "soon" anything, so they sell better expensive JPEG's and we also know that the game is vaporware.

People can even claim that is not vaporware because "they have something to play". Following this logic, specially because the concept of vaporware was not created in the world with crowdfunding, there is no vaporware in the history of the game industry, because all them were "playable" in some point by their "backers" (publishers/investors). A lot of them were even almost finished, but became know by the public as vaporware because never came out, and many of them never were confirmed as cancelled for good. 
So, it's incorrect to claim that SC is not vaporware because of that, because the game as promised did not come out and all that people have are in-development tech demos, which they dare to call "alpha", and because they already missed their target in one year. 

It can change one day and becoming a released game, just like well-know vaporware like Duke Nuken Forever, Half Life 3 (or 2, episode 3), Star Wars 1313 and so many others that did not even get so much media... who knows... but the trend, as the history have shown, is that while they keep been fed by whales, they will keep building excuses and finding reasons to make the thing taking longer, or at least, lying to people about the reality of how far they are of delivering, because they have to keep them tied and are afraid to tell them the true and watch they living and not buying anything more (which in my opinion, this second option is the one right).

I will be surprised if they survive to 2016, because basically nothing will happen, of "market value" to call attention to Star Citizen, since the money (100 million excitement/press) is not going to endure and is happening this year. The trend is that be an year of even more controversy, dropping in the funds, possible lawsuits and more refunds. And hardly, any major release. Squadron 42 definitely is not coming out in 2016. Maybe, if they survive the year, people will see a first chapter of possible five, that will be the whole Squadron 42 - 1, of a supposed trilogy expected. The PU will continue this smoke and mirrors of prototypes and trying to make people busy with whatever, while they try to make it work things that they have no idea that they will able to.... and will have to rework, redesign, downgrade, etc. etc.

There is an award here right? Most likely to flop? I don't see anything that wouldn't make Star Citizen deserve the reward again. Things became even more clear that they are gonna flop.

FVerret
Guest
FVerret

"http://massivelyop.com/tag/lord-of-the-rings-online will rush to get to Mordor before its playerbase evaporates, then go into maintenance mode until a Ringwraith puts a Morgul Blade through its server racks." Well written. Sad and hopefully wrong, but well written.

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

Lethality sray155 Nyphur 
You seem to be arguing with yourself. :(

ManastuUtakata
Guest
ManastuUtakata

DigitalQ ManastuUtakata 
That's the plan! <3

treemonster
Guest
treemonster

The perma-death aspect of Chronicles of Elyria actually seemed pretty cool as I read into it more. It's not as scary as it seems.

Polyanna
Guest
Polyanna

Star Citizen launches in 2016 after all. And promptly captures the entire player base of Elite Dangerous.

Polyanna
Guest
Polyanna

Overwatch becomes the second Blizzard game to consistently headline in the Top 4 on Twitch, narrowly edging out CS-GO.

ZenDadaist
Guest
ZenDadaist

I find myself somewhat hesitant to predict things this year. I'll stick to the easy low-hanging fruit :p

WoW Legion will see a spike in subs but it won't last. Enthusiasm will initially run high, then the new shiny sheen wears off and people go 'oh, was that it?'

FFXIV will continue to be strongly supported by Squenix and it will continue along as a sub-based popular MMO doing its own thing.

Wildstar's F2P conversion will continue to fail at following in the footsteps of the SWTOR resurgence. Future looks decidedly ropey beyond 2016.

Rift will have an expansion announcement. It may well even release by the end of 2016. This lone signal blip will nearly be missed amidst the noise of continual lockbox promos, increasingly grindy events and the raiding & PvP communities descending further into insular cannibalism.

Star Citizen will continue to generate controversy, internet arguments and page clicks. It will continue to be a series of tenuously-linked modules that won't properly start to come together until the end of the year. The haters will continue to hate it, the fanboys will continue to love it. A couple of them might swap sides.

Funcom... ergh. Dun wanna. 
TSW will continue to turn towards the gamble bags and vertical progression. Issue 13 will release, then eventually 14. Nothing will cause a major change in the game's population either way, just the usual sort of fluctuations around events, promo weekends and issue releases. Anarchy Online will continue to potter along quietly with a moderately stable population that spikes with the new year deal, but with 2016 looking light on the big announces it's unlikely to get the series of spikes and troughs it had in 2015. The new games will have some moderate success, predominantly with those who are already familiar with Funcom stuff. FC won't see the miracle spike in earnings but with the additional games they won't sink completely. Game futures become more and more uncertain. Absolutely no idea how 2016 will end :/ (At this point I am not assuming I'll be able to play AO after 2016, so I'm taking stock of all the things I still want to do in the game and planning how I'm going to get them done over the coming year.)

I will cheer myself up from the above woes by predicting that Camelot Unchained will go from strength to strength, but remaining something of a low-key underdog due to the tech-first instead of shiny marketing first approach and no PvE themes. Realistic expectations means no overblown impossible hype trainwrecks and satisfaction runs high. MJ will surprise people by managing to sneak in at least one of the 'post launch' class trios in for launch which will be on course for the end of 2016: Merry Xmas!

Nyphur
Guest
Nyphur

Lethality Nyphur I think you're misunderstanding my argument. I admit that my original statement in the predictions article that funding had slowed considerably was false and now that I've seen the actual data, I can see that SC has definitely made the same net crowdfunding revenue in 2015 as 2014 and 2013. My point was that a greater proportion of that was non-organic and driven by heavy marketing and concept sales than in previous years. The free organic marketing and easy money is drying up, and that's a definite trend that cannot be ignored.
It's like how EVE Online managed to hit 500k subscribers a few years ago and touted 11-12 years of consecutive growth, but they ran larger marketing campaigns and welcome back events prior to taking that snapshot. The natural resting market capacity of EVE has always tracked with the sub market and so its natural tendency at that time was to start falling, but CCP managed to keep the numbers and revenue up through heavier marketing. When the market fell back to its natural resting capacity, the result then looked like a bit of a crash.
There are definitely things that can improve Star Citizen's organic growth over the coming goals. Opening the alpha to all backers was a clever move this year, and it means that if the game hits any big release milestones then those will generate more buzz online and in the media. SC could very well buck the downward trend in its organic sales due to an influx of people who are just waiting for the game to get to a further along development state before buying in. More playable gameplay also means more online presence in videos and streams, which could also help improve organic growth going forward. But it's fighting against what is definitely a downward trend in organic growth.
I wouldn't pin any
hopes on Squadron 42 until we have a release date, and I would
hope they don't roll the S42 direct sales into the crowdfunding number
just to inflate it. I also don't think we can just assume there are
enough whales with bottomless
pockets to keep funding levels up. I think everyone has their own limit
where they'll stop pumping money into SC, and more people will naturally
hit those limits over time. This year's funding will come down to how heavily they invest in marketing and how much buzz is generated by the released modules.

Polyanna
Guest
Polyanna

Co-op SWTOR is announced as the centerpiece of 5.0. The final release notes include a one-liner stating that Nightmare Mode and 16-man operations have been removed. Nobody notices.

ANet continues to squander any prospect they had of taking over the MMO crown from Blizzard by shitting on everything that people used to love about their game.

Square Enix continues to kick ass and chew bubblegum. By this time next year, nobody remembers when it seemed like crazy talk to call FFXIV the new WoW.

Legion is better than anyone expected. It doesn't matter. WoW continues to never die, and to never again be the game that it once was.

WoW subscriptions drop below 3 million, and Blizzard announces the replacement of "Starter Edition" with "Classic Edition," which is F2P to level 60, but only on dedicated "Classic" shards running a faux "Vanilla" game world (post-Cata EK + Kalimdor only).

wpDiscuz