2010 – Hopes, Dreams, and Fears

2010 is nearly upon us, and while things are dark and quiet during the holidays in the MMO kingdom, I feel a dawn is coming.  Let’s look in to my prejudiced, postulating crystal ball.

Fears

I may be a little too optimistic, but I don’t have many fears for 2010 in the MMO world.  But, I do have some:

  • Star Trek Online will be a tourist MMO following in the footsteps of its brother-in-arms, Champions Online.  The few distinct features it has will not give it escape velocity from”WoW in Space.”
  • Warhammer Online will get its feet set in the concrete of maintenance mode as the trademark of Mythic slowly dissolves in to EA.

Hopes

See, I told you.  Not much yucky stuff.  Now on to “realistic” positive beliefs:

  • World of Warcraft Cataclysm will launch and provide a new, better on ramp for players to start or re-start in Azeroth.  It will be hailed as a new way to create an expansion because it won’t focus almost entirely on the “end game” expansion.
  • Lego Universe will launch and be a great success for people of all ages.  Although it will have combat, the ability to create will draw the masses back time and time again.  Plus, it will be linked to physical Legos, which are always fun to buy.
  • Guild Wars 2 will have some beta events for people to finally try the long awaited game.  It will launch in early 2011.

Dreams

Now the unrealistic desires, I have:

  • Guild Wars 2 will launch either on their 5th Anniversary of Guild Wars 1 or later near the holiday season.  The marketing engine will rev up to a frenetic pace after  ArenaNet comes back from the 2009 holidays.
  • Warhammer Online will follow Dungeons and Dragons Online’s footsteps and go completely “free-to-play” and/or subscription.  The amount of players that will play the game will re-create the beautiful critical mass I saw in beta.
  • Carbine Studios and 38 Studios will show their hand and it will blow our minds.

There are a lot of other games that I play and watch, but these few things are forefront in my mind.  The biggest missing piece is BioWare’s upcoming Star Wars MMO.  Honestly, I will buy it and it will probably be good for some amount of gameplay (as lonely as that may be), but I can wait for it.  Its “upcoming” release does not excite me even though I think it will be a net positive for the MMO genre.  Regardless, I think 2010 will polish up the MMO scene’s dirt and grime that it has collected from 2008-2009.  I hope for all in the industry that the economy and industry rebounds so that more secure jobs are available so the devs can make us better games to play.

–Ravious
come on. i’m talking to you. come on.

8 thoughts on “2010 – Hopes, Dreams, and Fears”

  1. I do hope WoW improves the new player experience. But they would not be trailblazers in this. Turbine has been excellent at turning Orion loose to redo first the new player intro areas, then the Bree-land lowbie zone, and most recently with the Mirkwood expansion the who epic book storyline a piece at a time.

    Great post!

  2. I think WAR is going to be shut down, just as EA does with everything else (studios, franchises, etc.). If they were going F2P, they would not have cut 80% of the staff. DDO, from my understanding, required a hefty development team to move it over to F2P and requires it going forward to keep the content rolling (which is the key to DDOs F2P success).

    Anyways, I don’t see how WAR could go F2P without a massive reworking of the game. I hope in my heart of hearts, WAR survives somehow.

  3. It does seem that EA has the opposite of the Midas touch, everything it touches turns from gold to lead…

    On a happier note I’m glad you mentioned Lego Universe because that sounds like its going to be a fun game, and nobody else in the blogosphere that I know of has predicted it.

  4. One part of the fears I will comment on when they drop the NDA. I guess it should not be too long now.

    City of Heroes/Villains has done some revamp of older game parts as well, perhaps not to the extent of Cataclysm though. They have left some part though that really would have needed a revamp.
    If Blizzard manages to set a trend here I think something good has come out of it instead of the forever race to add a few new levels every now and then. Not sure if I will pick up WoW again though.

    Even if games do not go to a pure F2P price/payment model I do hope that the current subscription-models will get a revamp as well so they can be more friendly to other play patterns than “one game, all/most of the time”.

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