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Posted: Dec 30th 2011 12:38AM (Unverified) said

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@Addfwyn
Except for having the most subscribers, how have they defined it?

Let's look over some facts with WoW. They have driven off their main fan base. Comics-cancelled, low sales. Magazine-cancelled, low sales. The Shattering-low sales. Players in the game laugh at the few people who talk about lore.

Is not providing even half of the content the past 2 expansions (Wrath and Cataclysm) that was talked about being seen in the expansion something you consider "defining"? Is the constant nerf/buff cycle every class goes through because Blizzard refuses either to drop high end PvP (which they themselves admit was the biggest mistake they ever made to the game because the game wasn't designed for it) or create seperate talents and skills that would become active in BG's and arenas thus allowing them to actually balance for the high end PvP without affecting every single player something you also consider defining?

Perhaps it's the constant butchering of the story? "Oh, did we set up that the Eredar enticed Sargeras to be evil and that the Eredar have nothing to do with the Draeni in WC2? Gee, I forgot what I wrote then". That was how Metzen essentially explained the entire retcon for the Draeni in BC. Or perhaps the fact that there has been constant retcons of the story, with this past patch of the Dragon Soul being one of, if not the worse.

Maybe it was the fact that Blizzard was going to try to make WoW be the first ever pay-to-pay-to-play game? I admit, a subscription game charging extra for in game content would be defining, but I don't think in a good way as all the people who opposed it till Blizzard changed their mind rather shows. (For those who don't know, Blizzard originally intended to make Real ID grouping inside the game be available only for an additional premium, up and above the subscription fee, thus making WoW the first sub game where having a subscription did not get you access to everything the game could do).

Blizzard rapidly got to the 8.5 million subscriber mark in 2 years. It was the result of a popular franchise. But they have since turned away that fan base that made it so popular and the game has been stagnant for over 3 years now, and in massive decline for a year, a year of new content. A lot of things that have market dominance stay at the top in spite of not being all that good. Of course when the competition does not do things all that well either, such as buggy releases and boring gameplay, it's no wonder they have stayed on top.

But I am someone who always had any Blizzard product on my "must buy" list until the forced merger and Blizzard started changing. I know a lot of people as well who will remember the things done with WoW and will not immediately buy Titan. Because if they do with Titan what they did with WoW, it just won't be worth it to a lot of people.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 8:37PM (Unverified) said

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*puts on tin-foil sombrero*

Pandas will herald the decline of World of Warcraft.
TERA will be a surprise success in the West (500k subs total after several months).
Guild Wars 2 will cure cancer. It'll be that good and bring about the accelerated end of P2P MMOs.
The Secret World will show Funcom has no talent for making a stable, fun MMO with longevity.
SWTOR will not be the complete flop many thought it would be. Subscriber base will never exceed the 1 million mark after the free month is over.
ArcheAge will gain a Western publisher but release date will be somewhere in 2013!
Blade & Soul idem ditto as TERA. I predict a bit less subs total.
I don't care about the rest of the titles out there.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 8:51PM comps said

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@(Unverified)

Guild wars 2 will be very popular, while it may not sell numbers that make blizzard worried what it will do is start a cultural shift in expectations of MMO game play, and that is the greatest thing it offers.

I'd love secret world to be as good as I imagine it could be, but funcom have such a track record of doing it wrong. my biggest concern about the game is that it will just be boring to play, they seem to struggle with really engaging game play.

Tera could be good but there are reasons it's not popular in korea, if they can overcome those then I guess it could work. I hear government system is kind of bad.

SWTOR will flop :p
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 8:53PM (Unverified) said

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@comps It will definitely be fun to dust off these posts next year :p

I forgot to take off my sombrero! ¬°Ay caramba!
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 10:29PM Irem said

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@comps
"Guild wars 2 will be very popular, while it may not sell numbers that make blizzard worried what it will do is start a cultural shift in expectations of MMO game play, and that is the greatest thing it offers."

That's basically what I'm expecting. The list of things ArenaNet is attempting already works its way into discussion of other games, both upcoming and released, and if everything works out as promised, I imagine that's only going to increase.

I tend to agree with Eliot's assessment--that it may not pull mind-boggling numbers, but will definitely be a success and highly acclaimed (if early impressions are anything to go by).
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 8:55PM Pyzlnar said

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On 2012 SOPA will pass and all MMO companies will be forced to shut down.

I keed I keed.
Here's crossing fingers that we get GW2 sooner than later, and that it's way better than we imagined. :P

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 8:55PM sirroc said

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Final Fantasy XI will announce that it is abandoning the PS2 platform, alongside the announcement of a new expansion (Far East) complete with redone game engine borrowed from FFXIV 2.0 development.

.... one can dream.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 10:31PM Irem said

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@sirroc
That would make my year for sure.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 11:46PM myr said

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@sirroc

I'm dreaming right along with you there.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 8:59PM smartstep said

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World of Warcraft will still bleed subscriptions. Will lose further ~ 2 mil by the end of 2012.

Swtor - will continue to rise in numbers in first months of 2012, then it will stablize at anywhere between 1 and 2 mil, and then start to lose subs slowly. Many players will go to GW2 when it launches. At the end of 2012 it will have around ~ 1 mil.

TSW - won't be huge hit, as some people will be disappointed with Funcom's shortage and few people will be put of by greedy business model. Still initial sales will be high but many will leave and game will secure 200-400 k relatively stable playerbase though.

Rift - It will survive. WoW casualizing even more (yes really!) will make Rift one of prime places for PVE raider crowd. It will temporary lose players with GW2 and maybe other premieres but raiders will come back to it shortly after.

SOE - will either close or turn freemium all remaining p2p games it have

Turbine - DDO will stay as it is. Lotro on the other hand will see quite a bit of content but this content will be POOR quality + shop will expand even further. Hardcore Tolkien fans + random f2p players will still play it.

Best Turbine staff will work on a new project that will be announced in 2012.

CCP - EvE will have more or less stable numbers, Dust 514 will not impress with sales and playerbase though. It will be operational but nothing exciting business wise.
WoD will see more dev time again, but still years from release.

TERA - will fail to attract wider playerbase. Still it will be profitable as it has quite a bit of 'fans' waiting for it.

ArcheAge - it will get released in Korea, China, Taiwan, etc + some company will announce getting rights for it to release in NA & EU or maybe XL Games will decide to do it itself. Actual release in West won't happen before 2013 sadly :(
Still game will be quite succesful in East in 2012.

Some older titles will see it plug beign taken off.

Some developers will invest less money into MMORPG but more into casual games, mobile games, browser games, or eventually into mmofps, mmorts or moba games.

For mmorpg's it will actually be good thing. Market is way outsaturated and it will start to show in 2012. (expect quite a number of titles to come on 'sustain mode' or getting plug off in 2013+ also few of those which are freemium / f2p).

Overall MMO market and especially MMORPG market will see rising diffrences in gameplay between games, as "one size fits all" concept will disapper slowly with WoW demise.

Some mmropg's will try to bet on story like Swtor, some will try to adapt some sandboxy elements into their themepark model, some games like GW2 will try to get e-sport crowd, etc

Companies will have to innovate or change from developing mmorpg to developing mobile, casual, social, etc games...

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 8:59PM DevilSei said

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Well I'll offer my own predictions here just for fun!

World of Warcraft WILL continue a death spiral. Well, not so much a death spiral I guess, but Mists of Pandaria will not help with ailing subscription numbers. Blizzard will again announce a plan to release expansions faster, but won't. Mists of Pandaria's monk class will lose the unique "no auto-attack" feature, as well as at least half of Pandaria's promises being gutted (like Cataclysm) in favor of releasing before the holiday season to try and capitalize on holiday blitz sales to try and keep the game appealing to investors.
By the end of 2012, I'm expecting the game to probably number closer to 8mill, with a majority of subscribers being the Asian market. It will take a few more horrible delays there for the game to dip below the global halfway mark.
It also won't help that the next expansion, Planes of Torment, is met with lawsuits for copyright issues, but also is considered a "mini expansion", with the main game itself, a $40 purchase, only nabbing the leveling content. Raid Tiers will be sold at $15 a pop. 25 Man raiding will also die out, leaving only 10man as the accepted "hardcore" version, while the LfRaid feature and its 25-group is relegated as training.

Guild Wars 2 will likely release in the second half of 2012. It will be met with strong critic reviews as well as commercials sales thanks to its Buy-2-play nature. The ability to jump will probably make it in as a "pro" point in jest for a few reviews, and the combat itself will be toted as one of its strongest points.
I'm also foreseeing a possibility of controller support for the game. There is already ways to do this with games like WoW, and with the smaller skillbar set, it shouldn't be too hard to make it work.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will enjoy its so called "million+ subscribers" numbers until the first month is over. At which point the game will likely droop to the halfway point of around 5-600k. Numbers will fluctuate, but the very generic nature of the game (outside of its storytelling) will do little to help. The seemingly slow decay of Bioware titles and their quality will also not help, when Mass Effect 3 proves to screw up on its story telling, and the newest Dragon Age game, a multi-player arena title, disregards all of its RPG identity for a shallow action game clone with barebone customization skill-wise.
Also, EA attempts to sell an HK-47 skin for droid companions for $50 USD, it doesn't end well.

Final Fantasy 14 WILL NOT recover. Despite the free-will garnered through the free year or so, people are burned by the initial release still. Final Fantasy 11 will continue on its steady sub base, but 14 will waver. It's PS3 release will more than likely be canceled as a result, leaving the online game in a murky state for its future.

Also, Richard Garriott attempts to fight Global Warming by launching himself towards the sun. We have zero clue why he thought strapping himself to a rocket loaded with TNT and NO2 would work, but we are thankful that he crashed into the meteor that was on a collision course with Earth.

Good news? He saved the Planet.
Bad News? Not really. The meteor was actually a being of condensed energy who shrouded himself in magnetic rocks. He was originally going to surround the Earth to protect us from the 2012 Apocalypse on the 21st of December, then share the secrets of the universe with us. Now, he's switching our orbit with Mercury, resulting in a most horrific demise.
Way worse than the 2012 Apocalypse, which would of been us all driving down the Highway to Hell in a climatic battle of Heaven Vs Hell. Thanks again Richard, you ruined our fun.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 11:00PM ArcherAvatar said

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@DevilSei

Oooo... you're good!
You're very good....
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 6:38AM Protoavis said

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@DevilSei

I agree with the controller support...even if it doesn't I'll make it work somehow (simply because as it stands unless the skill falls between 1 and 6 on the keyboard it becomes a blind faith of random button press and hope for the best lol. On a controller with the 6 shoulder buttons and a button + shoulder button combo to get me up 12 skills it's a lot easier to navigate) as I've gotten use to the things when playing.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 9:05PM (Unverified) said

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The only one that raised my eyebrows was the prospect of City of Heroes 2 being announced? CoH seems pretty healthy at the moment. Would they really want to risk splitting the playerbase like that?

Other than that... WoW's going to have a shaky year perhaps. That said if Mists launches as big as the previous expansions then it's official - WoW is invulnerable. Whatever happens though TOR isn't going to hurt it. I'm inclined to say it's already had the best chance it will ever have to do so.

One 'game' that I do think could have a bad year is Second Life. Now that the Lab have announced they're going to be branching out to develop other projects as well I can see SL becoming even more neglected by them than it already is - especially if whatever new thing they come up with manages to be a hit.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 11:12PM Space Cobra said

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@(Unverified)

City of Heroes 2 has been a rumor for....well, at least a year or two....three since this year is almost at an end.

There has always been speculation about it and how things could move forward if a new game engine were done. CoH was is, IMO, already sorta seeing a bloat of things, like end-game raiding, added to the old engine. It is flexible still, but it isn't the same simple game it once was.

In some ways, it would be better to start off with a clean slate, even if they wanted end-game content; the game has changed so much.

There are a few things for/against a CoH2; dealing with Cryptic (who now works for PWE), deciding on building their own game engine or not, resources to be managed, who will "make" this new sequel, "Anet"? There seems to be a few clouds that need to be cleared. Currently, since the F2P changeover, CoH is doing fine and I think NCSoft will hold back on any sequel for the current time. Not sure if by the end of 2012 we will hear some stirrings, but we just have to wait and see.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 8:29AM Ehra said

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@Space Cobra

"There are a few things for/against a CoH2; dealing with Cryptic (who now works for PWE)"

Didn't Cryptic sell off the CoH rights to NCSoft? Why would CoH2 need to have anything to do with them?
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:40PM Space Cobra said

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@Ehra

Their "stamp" is still on the title screen (Cryptic's) of CoH's intro/splash page as you log on. It's even at the bottom of the CoH's website.

Basically, that game engine is Cryptic's baby. It is what caused Microsoft/Marvel to initially consider them. It is pretty much the same engine that powers STO and CO.

I am pretty sure NCSoft/Paragon studios can tinker with it and mod it, much like someone souping up an engine in a (classic) car and have no real problems. But if something "big" happens and that may be a complete graphic overhaul with new in-game models, they may need to at least consult Cryptic for advice.

But yes, the IP is totally NCSoft's.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 9:07PM syberghost said

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What will unseat WoW? The answer is obvious:

WoWF2P.

Which will promptly see a rise of between 700% and 1000% in accounts, concurrency, and income.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 11:05PM Space Cobra said

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@syberghost

Population would definitely increase!

But I don't see any F2P changeover, especially next year. First, the numbers would have to go VERY low and by "low", I mean a million or less. Secondly, Electronic Arts doesn't like the f2p model and they have a say in it.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:17AM Lenn said

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@Space Cobra EA has a say in WoW now?
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