- Common Sense Gamer goes out on a limb and claims Tabula Rasa will be the big winner of 2008, but to do that they'll need to drop some big expansion content, either paid or free. He also says that both Warhammer and Conan will be delayed, but both of them will take a chunk out of WoW, whether Wrath releases in Q4 or not. And Jumpgate Evolution will be the "sleeper hit" of the year.
- Ryan Schwayder claims it's a year of announcements and cancellations-- more fantasy than sci-fi, more sci-fi than last year, and at least one major MMO will be delayed out of the year. Vague, yes, but vague makes it more probable.
- Wandering Goblin: Wrath in Q4, and WoW suffers. AoC and WAR hit big. Star Trek Online and Marvel Universe Online dead in the water.
- Stropp's World didn't do predictions so much as a deadpool: they claim that STO and Fury are not long for this world.
- Nexeus Fatale seems like they're joking, but they say virtual worlds will be more stable, will become more commonplace, MMOs will become mature (there's that AoC nudity controversy again), and that a social networking company will collide with a virtual world. Interesting.
- Heartless Gamer also agrees with Nerfbat that there'll be announcements aplenty this year. Bioware and 38 Studios will have news for us. Wrath will release but not be as big as Burning Crusade. Dark Age of Camelot will have trouble, as WAR will be a hit. HG also says no major RMT, and lots of fun court cases to deal with.
- Raph looks into the future and sees an "extinction level event:" high development costs will shake up the big publishers, and create lots of new species of games that come super cheap with digital distribution and other cost-cutting measures (casual games, web games, RMT). Serialized and episodic gaming, he says, will be the norm.
So. Having read all of these, what will happen? The MMO blogosphere sees bad things ahead for Star Trek Online
-- at best, Perpetual will be forced
to give it to someone else, and at worst, all that will be left is Star Trek fans yelling "Khaaaaannnn!" into the sky. They also want someone to come along and take a bite out of WoW
, and the prime candidate seems to be Warhammer
(despite what their devs say
). Odds on Wrath of the Lich King
coming out next year are slim to none. And finally, these bloggers think Age of Conan
will be good, but will suffer from the Grand Theft Auto
syndrome-- gameplay overshadowed by controversy.
So now that I've taken potshots at all of these prognosticators, what do I think? I think Blizzard knows winter is coming (in more ways than one), and they'll get Wrath
out earlier than everyone thinks (although they may have to patch one or two instances in later). I think Warhammer
will make a splash, but not as big a splash as Age of Conan
(and I think Age of Conan
's maturity will work for it rather than against it-- I think it might show up on TV, but it'll be more God of War
outrage rather than Manhunt
bans). I don't think Tabula Rasa
is going anywhere (either up or down), but I think someone will come along and announce a sci-fi MMO that's much, much better.
What? You want me to go out on a limb, not just summarize what everyone's said already? Fine. I think that there will be an MMO on everyone's Game of the Year lists
next year, but it won't be Warhammer
or Age of Conan
, or any of these gigantic titles. I think a game like Dungeon Runners
, or something we haven't heard of yet, will do what Puzzle Quest
did this year, and create an amazing, genre-crossing experience that happens to be in a massively-multiplayer format. Great graphics and tons of money in development is always nice, but if you want predictions, here's mine: I think the biggest thing to happen to MMOs in 2008 will be a simple but addictive game that comes up with a great, innovative idea, and then executes it flawlessly.