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Posted: Jan 1st 2010 1:45AM (Unverified) said

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My predictions are:

AoC will make a decent comeback (not incredible) but very good.
WAR will survive - just.
Vanguard will close
SWG will go F2P
SW:TOR will not be released until 2011
WoW will just continue on and on...
CO will survive - just
ST will do quite well.
Fallen Earth wil slowly build up.
Allods will do the best of any F2P game, ever.
LOTRO: Turbine will slow development even more.
DDO will continue it's onward march.
Aion will contine to decrease in size throughout the year.

No big shocks really imo

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 1:54AM (Unverified) said

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My predictions for 2010:

1) Cryptic will realise that Bill Roper's heyday was while he was working on Diablo 2 (only in a sales/marketing position, let's not forget) and will announce that he's leaving to 'pursue his life-long ambition of walking in space'

2) Brad McQuaid will surprise us all by actually continuing to focus upon his motorbiking hobby, and have the nous to realise its still 'too soon'

3) Richard Garriot will revive his public profile mid-way through the year by announcing he's a 'champion of the people' and for the sheer principle alone he's not giving up the NC Soft fight. He'll put up his medieval manor as collateral for the huge legal fees required, however leagues of UO fans will donate to the cause in order for him to keep a wooden-cloistered roof, befitting a Lord, over his head.
He'll still lose the case and millions of TR fans will suddenly cry out in terror, and be suddenly silenced.

4) Another 45 F2P MMO's will be announced, with 44 of them actually making it to Closed Beta. Absolutely no changes to any part of them will be made between CB and Launch, but the Cash Shops will be open and running perfectly from CB1.

5) Silius from Vanguard will announce how excited he is to now have the opportunity to be part of the Free Realms development team, and says thanks to the 12 remaining subscribers in a heartfelt and emotional post on the VG forums as such:

"Thanks." Silius.

Millions... erm dozens.. um multiples of VG fans will suddenly cry out in terror, and be suddenly silenced as the VG boards are 'archived'.

6) Cryptic find themselves in a catch-22 situation with CO as they'd dearly love to add actual content, but flailing subs don't support any further development.
They decide instead to shift 99% of their budget to ST:O and put CO on maintenance-only mode, regretting the day they ever listened to a word of Bill Roper's advice.
They begin to realise that they're really in the poop as the fundamental design of ST:O is flawed from day one, based upon player criticism. It will cost too much to unpick, thus hampering the breadth of further development.
Initial ST:O sales are almost record-breaking, and Trekkie nerd rage reaches an unprecedented all-time high, however subs trail off after the first month as players elect to instead 'beam down'.
Bill Roper is photographed wearing a Red Shirt..

7) Mark Jacobson and Bill Roper lament together at a pub in SanFran, over a light beer.
Daily.
For the entire remainder of the year.

8)Activision announce that their pairing with Blizzard has provided them with many new insights, and it's revealed that Rob Pardo's 'secret MMO project' is in fact "Call Of Duty Modern Massively Multiplayer Onlilne Warfare 3".

9) WoW's revolutionary Dungeon Finder system is upgraded when BattleNet 2.0 is brought to life, showcasing the ability for WoW players to take a 'magic portal to the future', connecting their characters directly into a Bnet Matchmaking lobby for CoDMMOW3.
Swords and Staves are automatically swapped out for equivalent military hardware and Ghostcrawler spends the next 7 months being abused by forum posters because they can't understand why Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian only ends up as a Colt45 in CoDMMOW3.

10) And finally, Massively.com goes from strength to strength, and solidifies itself as one of the most respected and unbiased repositories for news and community interaction.

Happy New Year everyone,
Amana =)

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 2:24AM (Unverified) said

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Hello Kitty Online surpasses the 12 million subscriber mark.

EA announces the MMORPG that will be the end of WoW: "Warcrafts of the World."

DragonAge 2 is announced - to include multiplayer and player run servers.

A MMORPG on the iphone surpasses the 1 Million subscriber mark.

An EVE player manages to run a child porn ring in game and is proclaimed a hero on EVE forums for "doing what has never been done before in the sandbox".
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Posted: Jan 1st 2010 8:04AM archipelagos said

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Amana's Number 1 was absolutely comic; I chuckled heartily. I have no idea how this year will go but Amana's comments made me laugh a lot so I'll pitch my tent here.
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Posted: Jan 1st 2010 4:00AM Verus said

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I believe Vanguard, AoC and Warhammer will die or nealy so.

I believe WoW will continue to lose people and the problems in China will not end anytime soon.

Star Trek will get 500k+ and Star Wars The Old Republic will be the first non wow mmo to reach millions of players at the end of 2010.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 4:56AM Muddleglum said

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@mpdivo

"An EVE player manages to run a child porn ring in game and is proclaimed a hero on EVE forums for "doing what has never been done before in the sandbox"."

HAHA

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 6:11AM Its Utakata stupid said

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I think STO will be a flop. /shrug

(I also wonder if Amana was half serious about her predictions on Bill Roper.)

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 7:15AM BaronJuJu said

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My predictions:

- Companies will start moving away from the overused fantasy, elf/ogre/etc genre to the sci-fi and others. The Secret World, fallen Earth, JGW and others are just the beginning.

- RMT and F2P/microtransaction is here to stay and its going to grow. I think this will be the year we see it start to take over P2P as THE preferred sub model.

- Casual and kids games are going to grow and thrive.

I won't predict any game launches for 2010, delay and push backs are common. When it launches, it launches.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 9:05AM Atnor said

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ugh... there's like... almost nothing it seems to get excited about on the MMO scene in 2010.

I'm REALLY disappointed at what the industry is trying to sell us these days.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 11:02AM Marix said

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It'll be an interesting year to say the least, my predictions are:

Wow will sort out the problem's in china and have a larger sub base due to Aion not being the totally awesome wow killer it was meant to be in china. Cataclysm will buy it huge number's. I expect a 17 million+ subscriber base by the end of the year.

Aion will continue to lose member's until it has a solid niche market. won't close this year.

Fallout will also hold a niche and will remain a good alternative mmo.

SWTOR will not be released this year.

Star trek online (which i have been following for over a year and have already pre-ordered) Will have a 500k+ sub base by the end of the year. That is assuming that they add alot of content and fix issues like: Klingon PvE and lack of content. If they just add micro transactions and don't fix the real issues it will flop and be on life support by 2011.

DDO will live into 2011 with it's new model.

Blizzard's secret mmo will not be announced, mainly because announcing a new blizzard mmo could steal some of cataclysm's thunder which wouldn't be good. They will probably news-bomb us in 2011. It won't be a CoD mmo as they have already said that it will be a completely new IP.

Alganon will die quickly and alone and no one will even notice until we realize that balance has been brought back to the force.

100's of Ftp mmo's will appear and proceed to die before going live. A rich chinese man will make alot of money out of them.

Evony will probably die and be replaced with a new on-line game.

Warhammer will die late in the year, AoC will die about the same time and SWG will die in December when SWTOR goes into closed/open beta.

Eve will continue to grow and maybe reach 1 million.

If Dust comes out in 2010 it will either have a niche or a huge market. If it releases on only the PC and has a subscription model it will have a good niche, if it releases on consoles and has no subscription system it will do very very well.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 1:28PM (Unverified) said

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"An EVE player manages to run a child porn ring in game and is proclaimed a hero on EVE forums for "doing what has never been done before in the sandbox"

Yes! I do believe that LOL

Okay my Turn.

1: Aion will die a slow death in the west
2: DDO will continue to do very well while LOTRO takes a major hit and heads towards the F2P model.
3: STO will be a sleeper hit
4: AoC will become more popular as the continue to make the entire game more like Tortage..which is what folks wanted to begin with
5: Vanguard will either close or become F2P
5: EQ 3 (which won't be the name) will be announced and will use the Free Realms model as will all future SOE games.
6: Cataclysm will be ultimately Under whelming, and will signal the end of one game dominating the market.
7: DCUO will be a breakout Hit

Everything else you won’t see to 2011 or 2012

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 2:23PM Tom in VA said

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1. Agree completely. Aion will fizzle in the western markets.
2. I hope you're right. I'd play LOTRO as an F2P, but not DDO.
3. I hope you're right here, too. I think STO has real potential.
4. Disagree. Like Warhammer, I believe AoC will fizzle and, ultimately, disappear. It's only hope for survival is converting to F2P or converting to an online SNRPG.
5. Agree. Vanguard is all but done for.
5. Disagree on your second #5 point ( ;-) ). I think EQ1/2/3 is fizzling, though, as you suggest, F2P might save it.
6. Agree. Cataclysm is *already* underwhelming.
7. DCUO a "breakout hit"? I rather doubt that, but whatever.

I really think games like Dragon AGe: Origins, provided they can provide a steady flow of expansions and DLC, are going to make a real dent in the MMO market.

Frankly, I have had more fun with DA:O than I have in ANY MMO, and I am never thought I would say such a thing. If I could "subscribe online" to DA:O and have access to the same amount of content as, say, WoW, I'd do so in a heartbeat.
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Posted: Jan 1st 2010 1:07PM Taawa said

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Here are my fanciful predictions.

Blizzard will release Cataclysm to positive response from the playerbase in Q3 or Q4. Players will quickly blast through the content and once again resume being tourists in other MMOs. WoW's subscription numbers in North America will very slowly fade.

Netdevil will finally release Jumpgate Evolution in Q3. It will find a niche among players looking for a realm vs realm pvp alternative to Mythic's games. The release will be polished and smooth. Balance will be decent. It will make a healthy profit. Sandboxtards will continue to whine about its accessibility in the official forums.

Warhammer will limp on with only 2 servers by Q3. As soon as SWTOR goes into closed beta in Q4, Warhammer's closure will be announced and its subscribers given free copies of Bioware's new MMO and access to closed beta. Warhammer players will announce the second coming of the bright wizard in the form of the Inquisitor. The Zealot z-axis bug will never be fixed.

Star Trek Online's players will be vexed by Cryptic/Atari's marketing/monetizing antics. Enough customers will remain to make the game a minor success. Cryptic will earn just enough profit to keep the servers running, pay for development of another MMO and to fund Bill Roper's severance package.

Carbine Studios will finally announce their project. It will be slated for release AFTER Guild Wars 2 goes to market.

Age of Conan will limp along but will not close in 2010.

Mortal Online will be cancelled.

Darkfall will continue to build popularity. It will become the destination for the 20k or so Warhammer players who insist on a fantasy setting for their pvp.

Guild Wars 2 will announce its closed beta for q2 2011 and will take sign-ups. Its marketing will be stylish and innovative. People will begin to contemplate their future characters as they read the new Guild Wars novels.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 1:52PM Cendres said

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Pretty much what Shawn said is bang on in my opinion, except for the last line I'm not so sure if all those games will make a big splash or if other games like FFXIV won't make a bigger one. (then Allods anyway...)

Eliot said something about Fallout MMO dieing at the hand of Interplay, pretty much agree there too. :(

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 3:30PM Lateris said

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I bet ya TOR comes out in the spring of 2011. And Eve online's Incarna release will add 30k more subscribers to Eve. And sadly SOE will close Vanguard.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 5:38PM (Unverified) said

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I don't have a prediction so much as a hope for MMO's in 2010.

I hope that game developers and players recognize the new realities of online gaming, namely that (with the exception of WoW) the market is made up of dozens of competing niche titles, and they can no longer define success as depending on the formation of long-term communities around a single game or IP. In other words, the MMO Tourism described by Seraphina this past year is here to stay.

So what I hope to see is MMO's coming out of the dark ages and abandoning the walled garden approach to community creation. Embrace social networking. Let players import a list of their online friends immediately on joining a new game. Let them communicate with each other regardless of what game they happen to be playing at the moment. Ease cross-server grouping of friends. Create interoperability with outside IM, Facebook, group scheduling sites, etc. And encourage people to return constantly by letting them know their characters and groups will be waiting for them even if they drop subscription for a while.

In other words, facilitate the formation of long-term gaming communities of friends that can move from game to game as they desire and still keep in touch. This is my hope for 2010.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 8:03PM (Unverified) said

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I guess I'll join the fun...and hover over my crystal ball. Even though I don't really know what I'm talking about. :p

STO will get large number of subscriptions at first, perhaps surprisingly large. It will dwindle off slowly, but will be sustained in moderate success simply due to the fact that star trek fans (like me) are rabid and borderline obsessive, and there are a lot of us.

SWTOR will have a large number of subscribers, but most of them will be casual players. The community will be a joke. Everyone will be involved with the story, and not with other players. It will survive to grand success, but it will be a soulless entity sucking the life out of players while pretending to be more social than a single player game.

Warhammer will remain, surprising most people.

LoTRO will stay as it is. Quiet, and beloved by a small community.

Eve will dwindle slightly with the release of STO, but not too much.

Aion will remain, but shrink.

Age of Conan will finally die.

Champions Online will muddle through. Barely being called successful. Cryptic will keep it up to save face, while all their success/money is gained through STO.

Final Fantasy XIV's developers will finally realize that it's not a new final fantasy, but just final fantasy online, and call it such. (just kidding, never happen.) It will delight many people, but it will mostly carry over the numbers from FFXI, and not really be more successful than that.

Posted: Jan 1st 2010 8:05PM (Unverified) said

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Oh and Cataclysm will disappoint gamers, and delight non-gamers. Wow will slowly become a fantasy-themed social networking program. The population will shrink. Nobody will pay attention to Blizzards new MMO, not even Wow fans.
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Posted: Jan 1st 2010 10:08PM cray said

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I am expecting more struggling MMOs to turn to Free-To-Play as the market is going have to inevitable compete with the most highly anticipated Free-To-Play MMOs like ALL POINTS BULLETIN, and GUILD WARS 2.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2010 5:09AM ChromeBallz said

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My predictions for 2010:

EVE will start dropping (significantly) for the first time ever close to the release of Black Prophecy, STO and Jumpgate Evolution aswell as a possible beta for TOR. It will recover in force when (if) Incarna is released at the end of the year. Cataclysm will have little to no effect, for obvious reasons.

Warhammer, CO and Vanguard will be on the brink of shutdown throughout the year after Q2, with at least 1 out of those 3 actually being shut down before the end of the year, with Warhammer having the most chance. If Cryptic manages to smooth out the content for CO before the end of the year it might stand a chance of surviving for a long time.

EQ2 will show signs of weakness after a relatively lackluster release of Sentinel's Fate in the form of several server mergers. The expansion itself will be well-received, but will have some initial trouble with the new graphics engine aswell as complaints about removing the game too far from the new player, which may cause SOE to at least consider another move like the NGE from SWG. The RMT shop will expand to such a degree that it will hurt the game a lot more than it will help, at least for a while. This game has probably the roughest year out of any MMO (yes, even the ones that will be closed down) and will be the subject of a lot of publications.

STO will get off to a great start, but will receive a lot of bad press early on, but will manage to catch up again before the end of the year. It may dip quite a bit when CCP releases Incarna for EVE. I will have to research the game a bit more before i can say more.

AoC will level out with the release of the expansion, saving it from being shut down for quite a while, especially if Funcom manages to back the expansion up with (small) content and feature updates throughout the year following it's release.

A lot of new F2P MMO's will be released, which will very probably close down very soon after their launch. The vast majority will never be released in the West. While the concept has been proven to work, many companies will overestimate the size of the target audience, with the market most likely getting vastly oversaturated. This may cause big problems for estabished f2p titles aswell.

A new MMO will be announced later in the year by a relatively unknown studio but by a known designer. The announcement of some of the concepts and features will be a catalyst for the development of next generation of MMO's, with many studio's finally realizing and accepting the oversaturation of the market.

Shit will be stirred up as 2010 will turn out to be a transition year from the second generation into the third of MMO's (the WoW era being the second, for clarification).

Oh, and the Secret World will either thoroughly surprise or utterly dissapoint, there will be no middle ground. I'm hoping for the first, but expecting the latter.

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