Yes, lets do those. It’ll be fun to look back at them next year.
1. Darkfall Online will finally come out on the 22nd January. While there will be some server problems during the launch that stop people of logging in the first few days, it’ll turn out to be indeed quite a good game. People will finally have their fantasy sandbox game, epic player-created stories will emerge. While the graphics, UI and overall harshness will put a lot of people off, the game will fulfill a strong niche. Subscription numbers will grow throughout the year, but won’t go above 150k.
2. WoW: No expansions in 2009, WoW’s subscription numbers will finally go down.
3. Diablo III will come out at the end of the year and make people temporarily stop playing WoW and other games. The ‘MMO blogosphere’ will mostly blog exclusively about this game for several weeks.
4. Pirates of the Burning Sea will follow the way of Tabula Rasa and close it’s servers before the end of the year.
5. Age of Conan will survive 2009, but that’s pretty much it.
6. Major drama will emerge from Darkfall Online. Somewhere during the summer people will find out that the biggest clan, that is dominating biggest server and has over 50% of the land, has been exploiting. Conspiracy theories about involvement of Aventurine will be rumored around. Aventurine’s integrity will be questioned, but in the end they’ll be able to resolve the issue.
7. As being able to pay real money to transfer your character, change your name, buy pets and tabards from Ebay, change your characters’ appearance, change your characters’ sex etc obviously isn’t enough for the Activision-Blizzard shareholders, World of Warcraft will finally introduce real RMT. All capital cities will have a new goblin shop called Ol-Mart, where players are able to buy items, potions that increase xp-rate with 150% and other stuff for real money. Hey, where did we see that before? There’ll be a heated discussion in the ‘MMO blogosphere’ where people will cry murder and where the Blizz/RMT-supporters will receive several death-threats. It will however have no influence on WoW’s subscription numbers.
8. Jumpgate: Evolution will be reasonably successful and a lot of fun for a month or so, after that however people will see that there’s no real proper endgame besides repetitive mission-content and meaningless pvp without consequences.
9. World of Starcraft will be announced on Blizzcon ’09 and shock people as it is in a far more finished state than people expected. It’s innovation will be that it is a lot more more story-driven than WoW. Hey, where did we hear that before? The other innovation will be some sort of miniscale Planetside fps PvP, that is ultimately just as meaningless as WoW battlegrounds, except being a lot more fun.
10. EVE Online won’t be on the spotlights until the fall of 2009 when Ambulation is released, which will make a lot of people go ‘woah’. It’ll continue to grow steadily.
11. Oh, almost forgot World of Darkness. CCP will release lots of details in 2009 and show the game in a near-finished state. It’ll look amazing and appear to have the best MMO graphics so far, better than World of Starcraft even. EVE sandbox player-driveness meets vampires, game will allow Machiavellian player politics. Ooh, exciting.
There you go, lets see how right I was in December 2009. 😉