Pretty much every MMORPG blogger in the known universe is going through the predictions made last year, and are scoring themselves on the success of those predictions. While I did make some predictions last December, I was going to give this a miss but, alas, have succumbed to this particular blogger malady. I made 10 prognostications for 2010, so here they are in all their glory.
Prediction #1 — The Star Trek Online release date would be pushed back once or twice from the release date, with a probability of 90%. Result: Wrong. Completely. While STO did need to be held back and given some more developer love, it was released on time.
Prediction #2 — Cataclysm will be released in November or December. I gave this a probability of 80%. Result: Nailed It. Cataclysm was released on December 7.
Prediction #3 — Star Wars: The Old Republic will be announced for a October release, but likely won’t make it and be pushed back to November. Result: Wrong. SW:TOR was announced to release in Spring ’11.
Prediction #4 — Taking #2 and #3 into account, Blizzard will try and cut Bioware’s lunch by announcing Cataclysm to launch around the same time as SW:TOR. Result: Wrong. This was heavily dependant on EA-Bioware announcing the release for late 2010. (As noted.) As the date was for Spring 2011, this fell well outside Blizzards window. If SW:TOR had been announced for Jan/Feb 2011, I suspect we might have seen a Feb release for Cataclsym.
Prediction #5 — The micro-transaction model will be applied to more existing games. A probability of 100%. Result: Well, Duh. 100% correct. What surprised me though was the games that it was applied too, and how it was done. LotRO going free to play surprised me considering how well the game was going, and had been received. (It seemed a little crazy to mess with something going that well.) And EQ2, while having a long established cash shop, surprised me by adding the free to play servers that were much more dependent on microtransactions to progress.
Prediction #6 — The MMORPG community will be rocked by some big IP lawsuits between larger companies. Result: Didn’t really hit that mark. There is the BethesdaInterplay Fallout IP lawsuit happening of course, but it’s not really a community rocking event, more a spat between two companies, one who is intent on seeing the other fail so they can get all the rights to the Fallout IP. Other than that, nothing much. Still… it’s just a matter of time really.
Prediction #7 — The first of the long-shots. Turbine announces that AC will go free to play. Probability, 10%. Result: Ba Bahm. LotRO beat AC to the punch on that one. This may still happen, but further reading indicates that the architecture of the AC servers may actually thwart any major systems such as a microtransaction model being implemented, and unfortunately, that seems to be the only reason for a game to go to the FTP model these days.
Prediction #8 — Blizzard will announce the name and details of their new MMORPG. 10% chance of this happening. Result: Wrong. This was not likely as Blizz always hold info back until the last moment. Some details have been released, but only the codename of the project.
Prediction #9 — SOE will announce Everquest 3 with a probability of 20%. Result: Kinda right. I was a bit skeptical, but it does seem like this is happening. However, the official announcement of EQ3 has not been made as far as I’m aware. It’s more hinting than anything else.
Prediction #10 — EA will announce the next Ultima Online MMORPG. I gave this a 1 in 100 chance, somewhat jokingly. Result: Correct. Sort of. EA announced and released Lord of Ultima which has been critically received as crap, and nothing to actually do with Ultima Online and more to be a competitor to Evony. Still, since EA own the IP they can use it anyway they like, and if they choose to make this an Ultima MMO…
So there you have it. Last years predictions with a score of 4-ish out of 10. Not really that great a score, the future is inherintly unpredictable, but then the only reason that Nostradamus did so well was because he wrote his predictions in riddles and prose ambiguous enoughto fit any future event. Hmmm. Maybe that’s the way to write out 2011′s predictions.