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Reader Comments (77)

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 8:44AM smartstep said

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@Space Cobra

I think you meant ACTIVISION ?

EA have nothing to do with WoW...

Anyway, WoW might go f2p, but ONLY when Titan is ready / almost ready and ONLY if Titan is totally diffrent sort of mmo (like mmofps? or something) so playerbase does not overlap alot.

Still while playerbase would increase obviously, profits don't rise as much as playerbase increase.

I predict something para-freemium for WoW, like unlimited trial extended till 40-60 lvl + alot more things in WoW's cash shop - especially cr*p load of stuff for pokemon battles + maybe some items for ffa pvp that's is supposed to hit WoW with MoP.

Anyway nothing will save WoW in long run. Even full out f2p / freemium (which I don't believe will happen and especially soon) will just extend it's life by like 1 year. Nothing more.

Besides f2p is not magical saving. You will see some freemium / f2p games closing in 2013...
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:53PM Space Cobra said

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@smartstep @Lenn

Yeah, yeah. It was a late night. Zebras were running with cows and people were jogging instead of taking their cars...or strapping a cat to each foot and letting the cats run!

I got my M.U.L.E. vendor confused with my third-party Atari 2600 cart maker. But that was ancient history. Now both are a bit evil, maybe not "evil-personified with garlic sauce", but there is that hint!
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 9:26PM Beau Hindman said

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There are some killer predictions in the comments! I'll just steal some, if you don't mind. :)

Beau

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 10:11PM n3verendR said

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IMO...

Guild Wars 2 will be a game that releases to mediocre sales but is the one game on this entire list that will continue to go UP in reoccurring players.

I agree with the "security blanket" statement that one of the reviewers said about SW:TOR - it is too easy to just take 2 weeks to a month and finish a class story. Beyond that, non-storyline lasting appeal for a wider audience than the die-hard fans needs to be patched in.

TSW will be a niche game, but will have reviews equivalent to somewhere in the ball-park of SW:TOR. It will become successful on the same tier as RIFT.

WoW will rise with the release of the Pandaria x-pac, and then fall when everyone hits 90. Clockwork for every expansion ever released from here on out.

A left fielder will enter the fray, likely in the form of a "Amalur" MMO announcement after the console title they release is met with killer reception.

Blizzcon next year will announce "Titan". It will impress everyone, unless you hate Blizzard inexplicably.

Wildstar, hoooooooo boy I sure hope that game is fun, because it has the best trailer ever. Game needs to match trailer - that will become the mantra that everyone sings in pre-release videos.

Lineage Eternal will be popular but be compared to the already at the time successful Diablo 3.

TERA = Aion in states popularity.

Americans hope for a Blade and Soul US release.

Archeage might become the next "Darkfall", but with a larger crowd. Need more information for this prediction to sound intelligent.

Anddddddddd... Planetside 2 will meet with great success but battle player complaints about latency issues.

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 11:01AM Oskari said

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@n3verendR

Wildstar has me more intrigued than most other games coming in the next year. Here's hoping it lives up to the trailer.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 9:11PM n3verendR said

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@Oskari
Dude... it's climbing up there for me, but I think it's more curiosity than intrigue.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 10:15PM (Unverified) said

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i predict we will finally hear something on the wheel of time mmo that red eagle entertainment was making.......ok maybe not but i can hope,

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 11:33PM Space Cobra said

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Unless there are any more surprise announcements, 2012 seems pretty "set" to me in games.

I don't see any surprises, barring true surprises we haven't heard about.

I am a tad bit more optimistic about SWTOR than most of the rest of the commentors commenting than I was before: There are still people who haven't joined in at launch at will mosey on in. There are also players (like myself) who will not burn through content for awhile ("We are the Casual-Collective! Resistance is Futile! We demand you prop your feet up and sit in a comfy chair as you game!"). We may or may not see a slight dip in sub numbers, either at the end of first month or third (with game time cards adding 2 months). I think it will do well most of the year and stick to around the million number, more or less, to be pessimistic. Optimistic, we may see 2-3 million players. I don't see anything over that, especially for 2012. (of course, unless EA screws with the title...we shall see).

I think Secret World will sorta turn into a defacto "security blanket" for those into PvP with it's three faction combat. That is, if such combat is fun in action and "juggling the math of numbers/skills". There are contenders that could easily rob that crown, from Planetside 2 to Dominus, if those products launch and have better PvP mechanics. i think you will probably see a good portion of players attracted to Secret World for the PvE and the world-theme setting, too. Currently, there is no AAA game like it in the theme department. Of course, this all is reliant on good gameplay.

I think we are seeing a small surge of PvP games (I say this as a PvE guy) and that should affect some things. I am kinda seeing in some games a possibility of a console/lobby aesthetic meant to attract those players into "insta-matches", like with Dust 514 and even Planetside 2. Sure, I know it's an MMO, but I am seeing some of the same trappings. This is not a bad thing, but it may not be necessarily a full-blown "MMORPG" that most expect out of an MMO-world.

I think any game that will "rock the boat" is going to come from the East and that looks to be ArcheAge. The Asian studios seem more free and less restricted by "Corporate overlords" and more free to experiment, but with the funding of a big title. Of course, this could rattle many Western players game-playing palettes and "taste disagreeably" with them, but that is the hope I am seeing.

The other hope comes from Indie studios in the West. If people in the gaming hobby want "different", best to support such projects. That may be GW2. That may be Story Bricks. It may be an independent studio tied to a bigger one (Wildstar). It may be something else.

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 2:52AM Lenn said

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TOR will do well, even beyond the first month, as more and more WoWers jump ship. An expansion will be announced, quite possibly without any pandas.

LotRO players will still not be anywhere close to seeing Mordor in 2012. I expect a The Hobbit tie-in by the end of the year, expanding Mirkwood and including Erebor. Possible session play as Bilbo and/or Gandalf.

ArcheAge will release but will fail to be the Second Coming.

Tera will release in the West but will go free to play by the end of the year or the start of 2013.

The Secret World will have its April release postponed as Funcom struggles to WoWify it more.

And finally, Guild Wars 2 will release to much fanfare. It will not be the Second Coming either, but will come awfully close to being the First And A Half Coming.

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:26AM Seffrid said

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Interesting to see so many GW2 fans reining in their expectations for the game. Prior to the launch of SW:TOR they were adamant that GW2 would be the giant killer, now they don't seem to be so confident.

Personally, I imagine it will do well initially, based on reputation and the established market from GW1, but as to its long-term success who can say? Both GW2 and SW:TOR will be up their among the second position runners at the end of 2012, I'm sure of that, but whether either of them will have more than slightly dented the only true market leader we've known for 7 years I rather doubt (although for the life of me I don't understand why that should be so).

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 5:55AM Snowblind said

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@Seffrid
Again, I don't think there has ever been a huge expectation for GW2 to sell amazing copies. Fans have been adamant it will be better than WoW and TOR in terms of gameplay.. but a lot of people want to stick to grinding and the holy trinity, or still don't realise that GW2 is actually an MMO.

But no, nobody has been saying it'll be a WoW killer. It just *should* be :)
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 6:48AM Protoavis said

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@Seffrid

I don't recall that ever occurring. From the info out there GW2 aims to improve significantly on the gameplay front and has more innovations than pretty much any other MMO released before it and will likely influence many other MMO's as a result but it's still a niche game rather than a lowest common denominator game (ie WoW clone) so sales figures are more likely to start slow and increase rather than the other way of starting big and then burning out 3 months later and then at 6 months needing the servers to merge because they're dead (aka what pretty much every MMO released in the last couple years has done)
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 8:03AM Irem said

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@Seffrid
Only people with unrealistic expectations have been talking about GW2 being "the giant killer" (is that the same thing as "WoW killer"?). Speculating on the success of a game in terms of quality, and speculating on the success of a game in terms of overall sales are two different things.

I do think the game will have many more players and much more widespread appeal than GW1, but I'm getting kind of exasperated with the notion that a really, REALLY good game would just lay waste to every other game in the world. Can we get out from under WoW's shadow, for heaven's sake? TOR probably isn't going to slay the damn giant either.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 3:47PM Space Cobra said

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@Irem

I'd just be glad to meet people that play or consider their main MMOs two or three different titles, like:

"Hello, my name is Bruce C. H. J. Willis and in my spare time, I play World of Warcraft. Or sometimes, when I feel the mood, I play Guild Wars. And I have been known to log into Hello Kitty online, but don't tell anyone! Oh and I play console games....and I make a "mean" lasagna!"
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 6:58AM (Unverified) said

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With Mists of Pandaria World of Warcraft will increase in subscribers, it will cap at around 11 million, then decline in 2013 once again to around 9-10 million.

Guild Wars 2 will be as successful as Guild Wars 1. Not many people will play it as their main MMO other than the hardcore Guild Wars fans.

The Secret World will be the sand-park game everyone has been waiting for, Funcom's first major hit in years.

Tera will go free to play before 2013, due to a shortage of players, but will boost once it's gone F2P.

Lord of the Rings Online will have another expansion, and continue to do very well for itself.

Rift will decrease in numbers drastically, mainly because of the massive contenders in 2012, which there weren't many of in 2011 (one maybe? Swtor.)

Social MMO gaming (Facebook games etc) will get even bigger, there will be a newly released social game every other month, by 2014 there will be more social gamer's than real MMO'ers.

There will be a massive sleeper hit in 2012, but I'm not sure which yet, and I don't want to jinx anything.

Well, they are my predictions anyway :P

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 12:40PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
What makes you think MoP will do what neither Wrath of the Lich King nor Cataclysm could do and that is increase the subscriber base?

I am a long time Warcraft fan (or was as Metzen's constant retconning has me pretty well turned off it now), as it several of my friends. With what happened with both Wrath and Cataclysm and seeing how Mists of Pandaria will not be bringing in any of the unresolved issues from the Warcraft story in (like not having an ultimate figure to fight), I know it won't be bringing us back to the game and I can't see any of the former WoW players who left who are lore fans coming back because of it either.

WoW lost 1.7 million immediately following Cataclysm's release and during the time it has been release new content. I can't see then losing less than this next year when they have no new content coming out and I think the Annual Pass was Blizzard's tacit acknowledgment of that and their effort to lessen the slide. But I still think they lose a net of 2 million over 2012 to see them around 8 million.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 1:29PM jeremys said

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@(Unverified) To me, the deciding factor is the very different social design philosophy of monster hunting. That's something that flies in the face of what has previously made WoW into WoW.

MoP's mechanics are different from just new content to feed the dungeon-running, loot-grabbing mechanics that have previously existed. Now, players can presumably never go into a dungeon, run around catching monsters and fighting them with other players for fun and enjoyment.

Then again, who knows. You and many others have posted some very interesting speculations. I love reading them.
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 7:52AM Dumac said

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Hoping for GW2 release and EQ Next reveal. Predictions? EA keeps quiet about TOR subscriptions until the end of the year, Secret World is shunned on the basis of Funcoms reputation but winds up a great if less popular game, TERA collects box sale money and goes f2p two months after release, Rift quietly goes away and everybody forgets it ever existed.

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 8:45AM DarkWalker said

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IMHO, the trends for 2012:

- Fast play features, allowing players to log and immediately start doing exciting content - like WoW's LFD, Rift's instant Adventures, etc - becoming even more common. Partly as a way to face casual online games. Some games should be experimenting this kind of feature even for non-instanced content - say, click a button and be ported close to where a big PvP fight is happening.

- More games looking into making characters more flexible, following TSW and GW2's lead (and D3, and WoW in MoP thanks to the revamped talents). Coupled with this, more streamlined character customization so as to preserve player choice while making spec changes easier/faster.

- Cash shops on most games. I expect TOR to have some kind of cash shop before 6 months. Also, more games integrating the cash shop inside the game itself (since this capture more impulse purchases), instead of directing the player to an external site.

- Downward pressure on subscription prices; WoW, for example, dropped it's Brazilian prices to a bit above $8 per month, and a bit below $42 for the 6-months bundle. Also, it's fairly easy to find $10 per month deals - and, sometimes, even cheaper - for some other MMOs. In 2012, I believe players will start to expect most subscription prices to be in the $10 range. Publishers of the biggest MMOs will most likely resist this at first, but in time relent and make up the difference by promoting their cash shops even harder.

- More games looking at content or player scaling in order to keep more challenging options open for max level players, following WoW's lead with it's Challenge modes.

- GW2 setting a few trends in making the game player-friendly. Among other things, GW2 is trying to rework a bunch of things players often dislike by removing most ways to grief; removing loot drama; offering "raids" without the need of benched players, where everyone that shows up can play; making group play better than solo play in all aspects (including grind efficiency, an area where group play often lacks); allowing all benefits of group play by just tagging along without the need to formally group; offering Arena PvP that is about as flexible, easy to start playing, and as balanced as a dedicated PvP-only game like TF2; allowing players to keep in touch no matter what, with players able to take part on multiple guilds, no faction barrier, and free and fast server transfers; keeping travel time low thanks to free ports to all cities and an extensive network of teleportation portals; etc. I believe players will take notice of some of those features, and ask for them in other games they play, thus forcing the developers of those games to also take notice.

Posted: Dec 28th 2011 8:59AM tenfootgoatman said

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ToR I'll go with market analysts here . 3 million + units sold by March 2012 within its first six months anything from 2-3 million regular subs untill it released in China and Russia when it may rise even higher . Dunno if that ll happen in 2012 though .

WoW again I will go with market analysts around 1.5 million loses to ToR by March 2012 and possibly more as the year progresses . Also a continuing hemorage of players because of the games age . Obvisouly some reprieve by MoP but it will be the worst selling WoW expansion to date and probably will lead to the sacking of Ghostcrawler . Maybe you'll see free to play increased from 1-20 to 1-60

Warhammer - very hard to see this surviving in the face of the mounting competition .

Lotro - I gather theres quite a lot of new content planned for 2012 so it ll probably pretty much continue and endure in the way it has done . same with most of the current free to play games .

Aion-StarTrek Online - will see increased player numbers with free to play . I'll be there trying them both .

The Secret World - will be a niche game but pretty well recieved by critics and probably will settle with several hundred thousand players .

Rift - I really don't know I hope it continues to do well but since ToR was released I've seen a drop in active players . Also lots of people are unhappy about the hacking of Trions accounts . I think these two things may see a drop in Rifts playerbase and possible server mergers in 2012 .

Tera - Not a clue how this will recieved . It looks interesting so if I'm not totally absorbed with ToR I'll try it .

Archage -again not a clue how well its will be recieved but again I like the look of it enough to try it .


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