Massively Overthinking: Our 2017 MMORPG predictions

With 2016 drawing to a close and 2017 rushing up to meet us, the Massively OP team has regrouped for another round of bold and goofy predictions for the year ahead. What's in store for the MMO genre next year? Here's what we think.

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Well, I'm pretty certain this site will only be mentioning a Turbine-that-was except for referencing how it changed. Daybreak will continue to piss off fans of what was SOE as the EverQuest IP slowly follows Next's fate. H1Z1, will either of you survive the year? I'll be optimistic and say "Yes," though I won't be surprised if I end up eating my shoe for non-survival purposes.

Crowfall will start allowing more people hands on with it, but something tells me the soft launch will be very, very soft. It will probably remain a rather niche product but will have design choices other game media applaud out seeming uniqueness while MMO critics will love the return or re-imagining of features we miss. Worlds Adrift may capture everyone's imagination, and its art will probably give it an edge on attracting more casual gamers, but Killers eager to exploit the game's physics may drive off a lot of early players, as the MMO genre has become more about catering to single player action and casual gameplay, not creating societies in a virtual world.

Chronicles of Elyria's nobility titles may have given some players motivation to create and manage virtual societies, but the early focus on old school communities and projects like their MUD will probably delay the actual game. What is released this year will probably cater to a much older crowd, but I'm not sure if it'll be innovative enough to hold their attention. Speaking as one of those old MMO vets, I love a lot of the game's ideas, but am struggling with making enough play time, and I'm probably on the younger end of that scale, unmarried, and without kids. Like Wildstar before it, the CoE team may realize that what people say they want isn't always what people will actually enjoy.

Pokemon GO will get Generation 2 and possibly legendaries/events like the Mewtwo one in the original preview. Niantic will find it causes more problems than they anticipated, but they're also working on a larger scale than they did with their original IP, Ingress. I don't know if battles or trading will make it in since most people have shown interest in collecting and keeping gyms, so events that involve a little battling and rare Pokemon seem the safest bet, even if it threatens to create mass foot traffic situations.

VR will be popping up more, but true innovation will be few and far between, not just in general, but for this genre. Most of it will be separated from the actual MMO space, like character viewers, single player experiences, or lobby games. If we're lucky, first person POV for action based games may occur, or at least be planned for (VR ESO options?).

The genre as a whole will continue to slow down in its core them of virtual worlds and socialization while expanding in terms of casual, multiplayer action. There's a reason we cover games like Overwatch, League of Legends, and No Man's Sky. We'll get more MMO-like games like Sea of Thieves, with smaller, tighter action and guided activities that involve socializing. This will continue to frustrate guild leaders everywhere, but especially in newer guilds that didn't play a single game together for 5+ years. The "boring" parts of MMOs that drove us to seek fellow humans to make them more interesting are being replaced with less grindy, more interesting mechanics. However, we're losing the human touch, and beyond a few tactics like PoGO being in meat space, Ever, Jane's focus on RP/drama, or CoE attaching money to life and liberty, we'll continue to march towards smaller worlds with less options, seeking to scratch certain gaming itches with different games rather than different aspects of a single game. Except for Star Citizen that will release with a satisfying space sim but bare bones social space and an FPS aspect.

eve

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): I always love this one, every year we seem to get a few things spot on and it's always interesting to speculate on where the market is headed. I won't predict that Star Citizen's pre-launch crowdfunding and pre-sales will dry up this year as I've been consistently proven wrong on that front, but knowing my luck this will be the year that it actually happens. I could definitely see free-to-play as a business model dropping off substantially in popularity and usage in 2017. People seem to be more accepting of subscription and buy-to-play games with cosmetic/convenience microtransactions lately, and true free-to-play games have had to resort to some really shady business practices to compete. Both EVE Online and World of Warcraft will maintain steady playerbases throughout the year, with EVE floating between 45,000 and 50,000 peak concurrent users.

The law in at least a few more countries will finally start catching up with gambling systems in video games. It'll probably start with age ratings for games with loot boxes and other gambling mechanics to help prevent minors being exposed to gambling, and possibly a clamp down on third party casino-style sites that use game items and currency. Valve will be caught up in the legal tug of war due to the official marketplace for Dota 2 and CS:GO items, and will announce changes to make its games gambling-friendly. In e-sports, The International's prize pool will drop for the first time in several years while Overwatch's competitive scene will explode and it'll get its first million dollar tournament.

On the media side, streamers and other internet personalities will grow in influence throughout 2017 and become a more potent driver of game sales while the traditional games media will lose influence. Gaming websites will either start to focus on individual personalities and rely on Patreon-type business models or double down on the clickbait and reactionary "news" designed to provoke an emotive response after half a headline. Gamers will continue to ignore undisclosed conflicts of interest and obvious paid content placement in streams, videos and written articles because they only actually care about ethics in journalism when it's a hammer they can use to bash someone's head in. One of the major gaming websites may even close its doors this year.

gw284

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): As always, I'm going to go bold!

I think World of Warcraft's numbers are already declining sharply and will further decline after Argus, when I fully expect WoW to go dormant once again. But! I'll be bold and say that I think Blizzard will announce both the next expansion and pristine servers at BlizzCon -- in fact, I wouldn't be shocked if pristine servers come out in 2017 as a way to stop the whining about the third major drought in a row. Oh people will still hate them, but they'll exist.

Marvel Heroes, Champions Online, and WildStar will announce console plans. WildStar will mysteriously continue to stay online.

Guild Wars 2 will announce the expansion it's working on: Tears of Elona, which'll take us back to the Crystal Desert and be stuffed full of nostalgia.

CCP Games will be sold to a megaconglomerate, but Daybreak will pick up EVE Online. Daybreak will not announce the game it's working on next year. We'll get zero news on New World either.

Camelot Unchained will finally enter betar one! Crowfall will stagger out the door mid-year too, badly in need of funds. Star Citizen will still not launch.

SWTOR will continue to make money because Star Wars, but MMORPG vets won't be fooled.

LOTRO will see a nice resurgence of interest thanks to the new studio support. Standing Stone will do just fine, at least in 2017.

It was a miss last year, so I'll try again: Trion will announce two new MMOs, one an import and one in-house.

The Elder Scrolls Online will announce a major expansion pack post-housing update, far above the scale of DLC. I love the Morrowind rumors, so I'll throw in with them.

deg

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): World of Warcraft's updates do well through the first half of the year, but by August we're finished up with the patches... and surprise, there's another big content gap looming all over again, even though we do know the name of the next expansion. It's back to focusing more on the Horde/Alliance conflict again, but there are also heavy internal conflicts for both factions, so it's not as simple as "the Warchief is the villain." Meanwhile, Final Fantasy XIV launches its second expansion in June to more positive reviews, with the new jobs in particular earning widespread praise; there are some people who wonder, however, how long the game can maintain launching expansions that keep all of the same core mechanics in place. Guild Wars 2's next expansion gets a full reveal and promises of almost nothing that was in Heart of Thorns.

The Elder Scrolls Online's housing launches with some nasty technical problems at first, but that gets polished off by mid-year and doesn't impact the game's next major updates, which focus much more on fleshing out the world and systems therein. Rather than introducing new systems like crime and the like, these installments are much more focused upon storytelling and new regions of the map. Star Trek Online also launches its next expansion in the summer, with this one bringing another widespread overhaul to game mechanics like the Delta Rising level buff. Unfortunately, it doesn't really capitalize heavily on the new television series, which prompts something of a widening gap between the franchise faithful and the game itself.

Under Standing Stone's management, Lord of the Rings Online gets plenty of development while Dungeons & Dragons Online languishes badly. Black Desert Online struggles to keep up with the pace it set in 2016 for updates, and starts rolling out some more conservative PvP options that infuriate die-hard PvP fans while making the game more accessible to a larger base; it ends out the year in a good place and with a stable playerbase. Final Fantasy XI's mobile version seems to enter a perpetual development hell. Blade & Soul continues to carve out its own niche, while WildStar flounders and eventually announces a shutdown by the end of the year.

Daybreak finally launches H1Z1 to poor reception, resulting in talk of shutdowns almost as soon as it's out of the stating gate among the community. EVE Online sees some falloff after the free-to-play shift, resulting in more options for free players around the middle of the year; the game doesn't struggle to keep the attention of its fans, but shifting alliances begin to wear down even the faithful. Overwatch gets a dedicated PvE Horde-style mode that proves enormously popular. RuneScape continues to do surprisingly well for itself despite the fact that literally everyone (including me) forgets that it exists on a regular basis.

Star Citizen launches Star Marine, but little more than iterative improvements on existing content through 2017; the fans remain fans, but behind-the-scenes issues start to come more into the foreground as the year wears on. Chronicles of Elyria fails to deliver much of anything. Crowfall's initial launch earns mixed reception, but patches do journeyman work on improving reception and fixing issues. Camelot Unchained launches a newsletter long enough to kill an entire redwood if printed, and the game moves into beta and does well for itself in its clearly defined niche.

We get at least two more pieces of unexpected and alarming news by the end of the year, but we also get our first looks at New World and Ashes of Creation, and both look pretty darn good. We also hear about a couple of new titles in the works that capture interest. 2017, as a whole, starts building momentum back in a positive direction, and while some old standbys have fallen by the wayside like Daybreak and Turbine, the landscape of MMOs feels pretty healthy by the time December rolls back around.

ashes-of-creation

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): With the change to Standing Stone, LOTRO and DDO's development will pick up pace and communication about both titles will increase. LOTRO's expansion will briefly but brightly return the game to the spotlight while DDO's expansion will be a blink-and-you'll-miss-it event.

WildStar will survive to see the end of 2017. It won't be doing great, but it will hang on there.

We'll start to see the collapse of interest in survival sandboxes with the over-saturation of the market. Conan Exiles will do all right, but past that there won't be many other success stories.

The failure of Hero's Song will unfortunately end up closing down John Smedley's studio and send the former MMO exec into another period of self-induced exile.

One formerly shut down and somewhat popular MMO will return under new management. There will also be an announcement of a new major IP-based MMORPG (Star Wars, perhaps?).

Star Wars The Old Republic will relent on the command XP restrictions and mildly open up the game once more to the F2P crowd. The next expansion will return to a more open world experience and center around the Mandalorians.

Guild Wars 2 will announce its newest expansion, Shards of the Crystal Desert, along with a full class revamp and a more aggressive cash shop model.

Despite fears to the contrary, World of Warcraft will keep its patch cadence going for most of the year without a significant drought.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood won't be the huge hit that Square-Enix is hoping for, but it'll do decently enough to keep the whole train rolling. Red Mages will cover the land.

Daybreak will actually announce a new EverQuest-related project. It won't be EverQuest Next, of course, but fans will be happy to get something rather than nothing.

We still won't have firm release dates for Star Citizen by December 31, 2017.

swtor 2015-08-19 21-23-22-89

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): I am pretty terrible at predictions because I like to remain positive. I like to think that the MMO genre is going places and its audience rewards innovation. But the opposite is actually true. The biggest game this year wasn’t even really an MMO, but we cover it because there is a lot of audience crossover with Overwatch. And if we are completely honest about the game, it’s just a reskin of Team Fortress 2 down to the strong character archetypes. Even the most successful MMORPG expansion this year, World of Warcraft’s Legion, hardly does anything new. And that makes me just a little sad.

Although I want to say that a game like Crowfall will launch to amazing numbers and players will flock to its unique gameplay and art style, but the truth is that I think it will develop a small following of players who really enjoy what it has to offer, but most of the community will quit after the first month of launch. It will be exactly the same for Star Citizen and the other indie-like games that have met their crowdfunding goals.

What I want to happen is for people to get out from under the nose of negativity and see the great little games like Trove, RIFT, and Atlas Reactor that Trion is making. I want Daybreak to get back to being a place of taking risks with its game design and making immersive worlds like it used to. I would like for BioWare to stop pretending that it’s not making an MMO with Star Wars: The Old Republic and hit on the other pillars of MMORPG design like exploration and socialization. The success of Rogue One should prove that not everyone wants to be a Jedi flashing his lightsaber.

However, I predict that next year my wishes will fall flat. Corporations need to do something that is guaranteed to make money because their real audience is the shareholders. And indie devs will always be so niche that it will not appeal to a mass audience. But I’ve been wrong in the past. Maybe -- hopefully -- I will be wrong about 2017, too.

Sniper heal grandma has no time for your nonsense.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): By now I think we all know I am not the biggest fan of making predictions. I prefer to be surprised as life and stuff happens. And I can assure you that stuff will happen! But making predictions is a time-honored tradition/punishment here at MOP, so I will give it my best go. I predict things will happen in 2017. And some things won't happen. More specifically, there will be a mega totally-out-of-nowhere announcement that makes everyone's jaw drop open. I can't tell you what it is or it wouldn't be such an astonishing surprise, now would it? It might be studio-related, as we know things come in threes, and we've already had two surprises. Oddly, both involve Daybreak.

I also predict that the trend of focusing on shards and player-run servers will continue. Personal settings will trump mega servers; players want to congregate in like-minded smaller communities. This is basically the new form of guilds.

starcitizen3

Patron Archebius: Well, I looked back through my predictions last year, and I was pretty wide of the mark. And this year I got married, switched jobs, got a couple new nieces, worked on a novel, and helped my brother with a board game, so that means this year's predictions will be even worse by comparison. But hey, I'll give it a shot. Let me find a curve that goes on forever, and I'll look at myself in the future.

2017 will not be a year that sets any big new trends. Kickstarter is in a holding pattern, waiting to see how Crowfall, Camelot Unchained, Star Citizen, Dual Universe, and others manage. The good news is that none of the big ones will fail. Crowfall and Camelot Unchained, which have always been very focused in scope, will continue to develop - but their target audience will probably wander a little bit until they get closer to launch. Star Citizen will roll out pretty impressive features, but I continue to believe that some ideas will be scaled back, or at the very least will not be as fully realized as many are hoping. The usual factions will emerge - defenders, haters, and people who just want a decent space sim and don't care one way or the other. Some Kickstarters will undoubtedly show signs of trouble, as is typical of game development, but since people have already spent money there will be demands for action and increased regulation.

AAA development will be largely limited to New World. More information will start trickling out, especially in the second half of the year. It will be neat, but not groundbreaking enough to convince other big companies to throw their hats back in the MMO ring. It may help generate indie interest in Amazon's software development services, however. A few more imports will arrive, make a big splash, generate cash shop controversy, and continue to find a core group of players that like it. All in all, a quiet year for new MMOs.

Not counting kickstarted games, I expect there to be more closures than new game announcements.

The Division was a middling success; last year, I predicted it would kick off a new genre of Kinda Massively Multiplayer Online games, but that doesn't seem likely. However, there has been much success around small-team tactics games. My most hopeful prediction for 2017 is that someone will take the best parts of Destiny, the best parts of Overwatch, and the best parts of MMOs, and make a persistent game universe that is still heavily centered around short gameplay loops, cooperation, and competition. What would this look like? Heck if I know, but watch for it.

Guild Wars 2 will finally stop chasing the e-sports market, but with a lot of momentum lost, will struggle to piece things back together. If they make another expansion, it will have the future of the game riding on it. World of Warcraft, with people back in its corner, will invite controversy by continuing to frown on private servers. Elder Scrolls Online will make up for the lockbox controversy by announcing new classes. Black Desert will slow down a bit, but retain a good group of players.

All in all, it will be a rest year - but one that will, in its own undramatic way, help shape the future of MMOs for years to come.

Your turn!

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87 comments
binn05
binn05

I was away from the mmo scene for a couple of months, so what did I missed about EVE and all the selling predictions?

Zarkov
Zarkov

All games will have their servers closed as the real world becomes a nuclear wasteland. Somewhere from the destruction will emerge a feral ghoul wearing a MAGA hat ....

Nuff said. ;-)

arktourosx
arktourosx

Actually Black Desert is showing no signs of slowing down.  We still have Nouver World boss to be released, Magoria massive ocean expansion to be released, and now the new Kamasylva Expansion to be released and a whole new class with that one and the inclusion of T9 mounts.  There's also the Arena system coming as well for PvP.  In addition we got a whole new area already being discussed as well, Dragan, the Giant/Dwarf homeland that's snow area east of the new Kamasylva area just released (probably a Q3/4 release).  In between all the major expansions we usually also get updates and overhauls to existing areas meaning they don't just abandon older areas either as they design new content (Valencia recently saw major overhauls to most of it's mob types/packs).

It's this crazy pace, more than anything, why I keep playing and really have no plans to stop.

DrowNoble
DrowNoble

WoW will continue to decline but a bit slower as the patches seem to be coming quicker.  However, once the (final?) 7.3 Argus patch drops what then?  After defeating the Legion at the Legion's homeworld who's left?  Pretty much every other villain would be a step down after the Legion.  By the end of the year WoW will start it's downward slide that will continue til the next expansion in 2018-19.

Pashgan
Pashgan

I'll find couple more very nice MMO games to collect daily login rewards.

Nicco2D
Nicco2D

If I must do predictions I like to think the weirdest possible so I tell you that in 2017-2018 Blizzard will keep transforming WOW until will fit to a combat style viable on consoles and then will reboot from Vanilla with a B2P model releasing expansions as DLC and will have a PVE system more similar to Destiny.

Omedon
Omedon

If WoW lulls I will sing from the high heavens.  Honestly, this expansion most of all, WoW needs to let itself lull somewhat.  You can't go into the expansion after this one without giving as many partially invested player as possible a reasonable chance at "hope this RNG happens then run 100 dungeons" artifact appearances that can only be earned in legion.  That means a longish period of no new temptations for your time.  The thing with Legion is it's packed with systems that will systematically entertain people that actually like WoW for WoW.  People that demand something new every day and refuse to roll alts are a lost cause for long term entertainment, and they'll be back, but WoW shouldn't bend over backwards to keep them from unsubbing for awhile.

Rhime
Rhime

Hopefully Free to Play gets thrown under the bus. It's done nothing for MMO's except create half baked games, shady money practices, gold farming/selling and the constant cries of "pay to win!" It can fuck right off in 2017...

Line with more hugs
Line with more hugs

Current games will receive expansions and DLC. Early access games will stay in early access. Unreleased games won't be released.

When I play bingo, I put 50% on red, 50% on black!

What do you mean I'm not playing the right game?


Anyway, I'm pretty sure that since 2014 and onward we can expect similar things: the offer gets larger but the demand isn't here and the market shrinks in favour of other genres, with less players. Big budget MMOs still won't make a come back from the West, and probably won't do very well at home in Korea/China either.


What I'm a bit afraid of, is more addictive elements in gameplay. Sure, there are lockboxes and all that, but I'm talking about the pretty large changes that are happening in WoW or worse, SWTOR and others. Extreme RNG on items, from the loot, to the rarity, to the stats bonuses; without even talking about the Korean upgrade model.

To me that's a big nope, but how many other people will fall for that, both in time invested and potential cash shop "solutions" to fabricated RNG?

When I look at the mobile market, I fear that we're increasingly going to roll dices instead of playing games...

Boardwalker
Boardwalker

My prediction for game conversations/forums, including Massively : Gamers will continue to viciously complain about games that they don't play while fervently defending the games that they do play.

Personally, it will be another year where time is the biggest limiting factor to me playing all the games that I want to play.

Xephyr
Xephyr

 ''WildStar will mysteriously continue to stay online.'' Well that sure is a bold prediction.

I don't really play many MMOs, so I'll just make a single prediction: GW2 will announce the next expansion pack once living world season 3 ends, it will launch in 2017 and it will be cheaper than HoT.

Polyanna
Polyanna

My MMO prediction for 2017: Most of the MMO predictions for 2017 will turn out to be wrong.

deekay_zero
deekay_zero

we will continue to wait for overdue kickstarter games in to 2018.


crowfall will have wider access and it will be HILARIOUS.


repop will be canceled and some of us will qq.


star citizen will have more delays with more radio silence followed by the rare useful comms again which fans will use as proof of their so called open development.


wildstar will close down. i will qq alone.


CN will sell off SOE/DBG assets/IPs piecemeal and bring the company's library and HR to minimal levels with it's hand ful of profitable games.


ff14 will release another expansion that will be raid or die focused and people who traditionally don't raid will yet again bang their heads on raiding in the game.


tsw will add further dlc bloat to the pile of dlc. conan survival game will bomb at the box office as no one really wants yet another survival game.


teh dfo revivials will happen and no one will care, least of all fans of the sorts of game that dfo. as is tradition.



worlds adrift will come out and i will not play it because it triggers my fear of heights badly. QQ :(


guns of icarus pve dlc will come out and my guildies won't play it with me. QQ

deekay_zero
deekay_zero

@nynjasquirrel @deekay_zero we ha da tonne of fun for a couple weeks with teh base game 4 years ago. main thing that stopped us was matchmaking issues at the time and lack of being able to do just one ship/crew vs one other (ie min was 4 ships/crews).


pve mode is a lot more flexible (i think they've fixed soem of that with pvp mode too) and basicalyl you can solo it if you want.


the devs are actually really great guys and verycommunicative and really promote the community aspects of the game. so it's nice to read about.


just anytime i mention it guild it's all crickets QQ

Flimflamberge
Flimflamberge

I predict that next year will follow the trends of this year. The only major difference will be fewer shocking pieces of news because we'll be too cynical to shock.

schmidtcapela
schmidtcapela

My guesses would be:


- WoW stops being the leading game from blizzard, both due to its natural decline and due to the growing uptake from Heartstone, HotS, and Overwatch. That change increases the speed at which it loses players, but not yet to cataclysmic levels. Some rumblings by the end of the year about it going either F2P or B2P, now backed by "people in the know", plus talk about closer integration between HotS, Heartstone, and WoW (such as playing Heartstone against the computer from inside WoW, for example while waiting a queue or going somewhere on a Taxi).


- The extra freedom afforded LotRO brings some less "safe", but highly desired changes. Players are happier, though the game doesn't grow much.


- At least one big budget game hits VR to great acclaim, but fails to recover costs due to the small installed base. This kills much of the hype for VR, though development quietly continues and some truly great, if low budget, games do achieve success.


- Amazon's New World is revealed to be a much more traditional MMO than originally thought. People that bought into the hype are irked, but otherwise development continues unabated.


- Optional online features keep being added to nearly every game under the sun, and in more than a few cases those online optional modes have feature parity with traditional MMOs. Fans start discussing if an "offline game with MMO as a side-dish" deserves to be called an MMO at all.


- Nintendo announces a first party MMO-ish sandbox game focused on building and social interaction, with PvP being by consent only (if it even exists) and sporting robust blocking and automated tools to prevent players from griefing each other. Devs around the world start wondering why they didn't try it before.


- EA/Bioware go back to using story as the main drive behind TOR. Some musings about KotOR3, offline with optional multiplayer, are heard.

zoward
zoward

Patron Archebius' RL 2016 sounds more exciting than I expect most MMO's to be in 2017!  My predictions:

- WoW will release the Argus patch, then go into hibernation to make the next expansion.  Content and numbers will drop off accordingly.

- Both LotRO and DDO's development will pick up somewhat in 2017, particularly the former, but I don't discount DDO's upcoming  expansion in the perennially popular Ravenloft setting (although there's some personal bias involved here, so take that with a grain of salt).

- Having made no real impact in the mobile space and having no income fallback, Turbine will fold in second half of 2017.

- Trove's numbers will decrease, but stay relevant enough to remain one of Trion's moneymakers.

- Wildstar will hang up its spurs in 2017.

- Marvel Heroes 2016 will change its name to Marvel Heroes 2017  :-P

Ironweakness
Ironweakness

No predictions for The Secret World? I'm kind of surprised by that. I predict an expansion with two new zones (like Egypt), one new weapon per role (and thus a change to he skill wheel), and the abandonment of the AEGIS system only to be replaced by something equally as frustrating and grindy. I won't make any specific story predictions because I don't know my lore well enough, but whatever it is will be awesome.

But let's be real, all their investment dollars are in Conan Exiles right now so none of this will likely happen.

Woetoo
Woetoo

If Daybreak are reading this:

We really liked everything you announced you were planning to do with Everquest Next:.... EXCEPT the voxels.

Terrain and world destruction was a nice idea that the game didn't need to be a success.
But as someone who played Landmark, I can honestly say that approaching something that looks like a child's carved potato from a distance only for it to resolve into a Disney castle would have done absolutely nothing for my immersion.

Emergent AI for NPCs. Community tasks like building a city from scratch. All that stuff... yeah, please.
Also, please ban anyone with budgetary responsibility from talking to anyone with "creative" in their job title or job description.

Porculasalvania
Porculasalvania

We'll see a shift where more mmos will come out for mobile using unreal engine than pc. There will be exceptions but the fewer PC titles will skew to AAA high end graphical fare.

Champions might go offline.

Tera will release another female only class.

Cloud imperium will release a new ship for more than $400.

squidgod2000
squidgod2000

Daybreak will announce another wave of progression servers for EQ1—and possibly progression server mergers. EQNext will find the fun and go back into development (if it's not already), with DBG having successfully lowered expectations to the 'It didn't induce projectile vomiting' level.

Trion will continue making a mess of things. Trove will keep rolling on, but Rift will enter maintenance mode. Defiance will be put out of its misery and Trion will channel their efforts into fully developing real-time gameplay microtransactions—5¢ to loot a mob; 50¢ to run a dungeon, 75¢ to summon your horse, etc. Trion will try to do an e-sports thing, possibly with the mangled carcass of Defiance.

BDO will trudge on, simultaneously losing players frustrated with the RNG gameplay/progression while attracting MMO nomads with its endless login rewards. Updates will slow to a crawl as it reached parity with KR, and players will bitch about having nothing to do (much like I do).

Amazon will pull back the curtain on New World sooner than expected, but it will be a totally safe, not exciting in any way snoozefest.

bobuliss30
bobuliss30

Here's my only prediction: I am going to have a blast playing MMOs in 2017

Jack Pipsam
Jack Pipsam

Wildstar will be grim.

If not closed then it might be put into maintenance mode under the guidance of NCSoft in general.

CloakingDonkey
CloakingDonkey

- Camelot Unchained will move into beta sometime in late Spring and with gameplay finally availabe will  continue to slowly build steam.


- Crowfall will move closer to launch, jump into Early Access and get a lot more immediate attention. Sadly it will also attract a lot of locusts.


- Star Citizen will not get anywhere significant but they will release another hypothetical ship for way too much money.


- World of Warcraft will go into another content drought after the Illidan raid which in itself will be rather disappointing.


- Final Fantasy XIV will continue to build steam with people outside of the normal MMO sphere, especially with Red Mages and the graphical upgrades.


- Life is Feudal will move past its NDA and will cause some surprises but will remain niche but strong.


- Dark Age of Camelot will see another Campaign.


- As the entire genre stagnates and wallows in its WoWiness and certain emulator teams continue to make news, emulators for all sorts of games both sunsetted and otherwise will continue to grow their audiences, in some cases rivaling various smaller MMORPG communities.


- Lost Ark will see more delays =(


- Wildstar is not going to see the end of the year... come on guys... NCSoft... it would be a miracle.

Modrain
Modrain

There we go, time to throw a few arrows :

- It's unlikely we'll see a new AAA MMO announcement, the market will keep focusing  on indie and III titles.

- Wildstar will shut down, or be planned to shut down.

- Informations about New World will be very scarce.

- Overwatch will grow stronger all over the year.

- ArcheAge will keep being ruined.

- Lineage Eternal will be delayed once again, then finally release, but it won't really break out of closed circles in the west.

- Pokémon Go will gradually makes gen 2 and 3 available, release a few disappointing updates, and keep ignoring its player base requests.

JudgeDavid101
JudgeDavid101

2017:

- WoW goes F2P to re-gain more players. How that affects WoW will take a few years to accurately analyze.

- Legacy official servers for WoW... are considered again. But that's all.

- The emulation private server scene explodes. Not as in shutdown explodes, but as in expanding explosions. 

- EVE Online is sold. But to whom?

- RIFT gets more popular.

- Star Citizen moves to beta status.

- The Repopulation re-emerges.

- SWTOR.still is with us, like the force.

- DDO & LOTRO completely revamp and are unrecognizable from their previous versions. Which is innovative and therefore good.

- Too many other games shut down or go into maintenance mode, which is how it is these days.


DanielMiller3
DanielMiller3

Bless come to na by summer and hope it somewhat catches up to current kr version. Ffxiv expansion story content. I backed camalot unchained and coe but not hoping much. Hoping for ffxi mobil. Eso expansion not housing like orsidian dlc.

Lodoss war online. Those are the things that intrest me for 2017.

playerxx
playerxx

2017 predictions


Star Citizen still in alpha


1 DBG game will bite the dust.


1 more year of early access for games that used to be that way in 2016 too.


EVE will be sold.



Damonvile
Damonvile

People who didn't have an mmo to call home in 2016 wont find one in 2017 either.

BalsBigBrother
BalsBigBrother

No matter what is released people will complain, bitch and moan about stuff. Not even the important stuff like the fact the female dwarves still don't get beard options, come on this will be 2017 and this is still not a thing sigh.

Nope people will complain about silly stuff such as monetisation, game balance, graphics and what constitutes an mmo among other things.

MassivelyOP will continue to be a beacon of light shining down on us all and bathing us in its warm glow of mild sarcasm and informative articles. 

Oh and Bree will finally get to play an actual mmo for two weekends in a row without being interrupted or being sick (oh come on BBB now you are just being silly :P ) 

PurpleCopper
PurpleCopper

I predict Overwatch is gonna fail hard in it's attempt to be a serious competitive e-sports game. 


Also think that Overwatch is gonna copy TF2 and add a whole bunch of crazy features and modes.

Nordavind
Nordavind

@PurpleCopper What the people who are way better than me at FPS says, is that OW is too newbie friendly. There is less skill involved to gt a kill than in say Paladins. From that POV, I understand that OW might not be as compelling to the serious players.

Nyphur
Nyphur moderator

@PurpleCopper The Overwatch tournaments so far have showed that it has a pretty interesting competitive scene and a high upper skill cap, so it's certainly suited to competitive gaming. Success of a game in e-sports today also has more to do with the large sums of money invested in prizes and venues than actual gameplay, so it really is something that can be forcibly purchased if the studio has a few million to throw at it. Since we're talking about Blizzard here, I'd say that's a very safe bet.

schmidtcapela
schmidtcapela

@Nyphur @PurpleCopper 

The amount of money spent promoting e-Sports is limited by how much the company believes it can earn back, though. No publicly traded company will be spending more to promote e-Sports than they believe they will get back in exposure and revenues tied to the e-Sports events.

Nyphur
Nyphur moderator

@schmidtcapela @Nyphur @PurpleCopper This is true, but if the past few years have proven anything it's that we should never under-estimate how much money a large studio can make from e-sports. People will now pay hundreds of dollars for tickets to world championship finals, and they tune into the streams in their millions -- The 2016 League of Legends world championship had 43 million unique viewers and a peak concurrent viewership of 14.7 million people.

The Dota 2 world championship makes Valve 50m+ in revenue just from the digital compendium alone, and that's before considering ticket sales, event sponsorship, stream sponsorship, merchandising, and game/microtransaction sales from the exposure. Blizzard rolling e-sports into Blizzcon is guaranteed to be increasing sales of event tickets (both real and virtual) and merchandise, I'm sure they're making more than enough to justify a seven-figure investment in e-sports.

pigluck
pigluck

ArcheAge will no longer be published by Trion (and possibly by XLGames itself as an international title).


Guild Wars 2, introducing Elona, will also introduce game-shaking changes to core systems (again).


Funcom will branch out into TV with The Secret World IP as their next big endeavor (I want to dream).


Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood will have a new action combat system friendly for controllers and KB/M thanks to finally shuttering PS3 support. Dragon Quest X will come to North America and Europe as a buy-to-play PS4/PC title with updated combat mechanics.


Final Fantasy XI Mobile will finally come out.


Blizzard announces Overwatch MMO due to the overwhelming popularity of the IP, making it come full circle.

luxundae
luxundae

I'm holding out hope that we'll get some sort of World of Darkness announcement from Paradox.


But realistically, even if they do, it's unlikely to be a full on MMO.  Ah well.

spoilofthelamb
spoilofthelamb

SWTOR will surprise everyone with 2-3 new ops and a new PvP mode based on MOBAS with two maps, but it won't get the attention it deserves due to the publisher's insistence on lock boxes for xp boosts that actually make leveling via group content viable.

DDO will have a period where devs go crazy with new content in an attempt to prove themselves. No one will pay attention until they update their player models, at which point it somehow manages to resurge.

Wow has a content drought, but releases both pristine servers and an HD progressive server system permitting players to play through vanilla to current 1 expansion at a time and progress to next expansion at will after reaching the level cap. Players have mixed reactions to blizzards insistence on keeping achievements, shop, and new player models in game.

BryanCo
BryanCo

Standing Stone will acquire the development rights for Wildstar.  Daybreak will, of course, serve as publisher.

Cloud Imperium will announce a new "Bleed to Play" model for Star Citizen.  They will ignore questions as to why they need the blood and why Chris Roberts no longer makes appearances during daylight hours.

The Icelandic government will exercise eminent domain and take control of CCP to keep EVE development from leaving the country.

Blizzard will continue to muddle its IPs with Overwatch and StarCraft themed packs for Hearthstone.

Brianna Royce will announce that she is leaving MOP to start a new game studio called Elf Butt Games.  The first title will be a PVE sandbox set in the world of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Two more spiritual successors to City of Heroes will be announced.  Island of Heroes will be set in a tropical paradise.  Gaslight Heroes will be set in Victorian London.  Concept art for the latter will be done with crayons.

Black Desert Online will be retitled AFK Fishing Online.

Square Enix will announce that future FF14 content will be have a dark, edgy tone after Naoki Yoshida binge watches Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage.

In a related note, Netflix will announce they are entering the MMO market with BoJack Horseman Online.

Elder Scrolls Online will offer character beautification packages in the cash shop.  Most players will be enraged that this ruins the game's aesthetic.

SWTOR will announce it's next expansion: Knights of the Knightly Knightness.


Apollymi
Apollymi

@BryanCo hahaha!!!  Elf Butt Games!  Sign me up for that PVE sandbox.  heheheheee

schmidtcapela
schmidtcapela

@BryanCo 

"""Standing Stone will acquire the development rights for Wildstar.  Daybreak will, of course, serve as publisher."""

Given how much better I consider the handling of LotRO and DDO over what was done to Wildstar, I would consider this an improvement. The LotRO team is, after all, the team that had the courage to step away from raiding as the end-all-be-all content, and bringing that understanding into Wildstar might improve things. If it served to bring to LotRO's housing the Wildstar features, even better.


"""Brianna Royce will announce that she is leaving MOP to start a new game studio called Elf Butt Games.  The first title will be a PVE sandbox set in the world of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century."""

Assuming the systems are good, I would play that ;) 


"""Gaslight Heroes will be set in Victorian London."""

I'm not paying attention to the City of Heroes spiritual successors, but this would certainly catch my attention.

Rokhaiil
Rokhaiil

@BryanCo

"Cloud Imperium will announce a new "Bleed to Play" model for Star Citizen.  They will ignore questions as to why they need the blood and why Chris Roberts no longer makes appearances during daylight hours."

"SWTOR will announce it's next expansion: Knights of the Knightly Knightness."


Epic XD

Hirku
Hirku

@BryanCo "The first title will be a PVE sandbox set in the world of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century."

BIDI-BIDI-BIDI: Sign me up, Buck!