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Ask Mo: The hits and misses of Massively OP’s 2018 predictions

Ask Mo: The hits and misses of Massively OP’s 2018 predictions

As we do each yr, at present we’re going to peek again on the horrifying outcomes of final yr’s MOP employees predictions for the style and the video games inside it to find out how properly we did. In any case, what can be the enjoyable of making predictions if we couldn’t giggle over our guesses a yr later?

So did we nail it or fail it? And did you fare higher? Let’s discover out.

World of Warcraft and Blizzard

Andrew: “World of Warcraft’s next expansion will exist, but not do as well as the previous ones as the mighty Titan has fallen, but people will still come back and enjoy it for a month or so before waiting for another major update while they play other games.” The truth is it did slightly nicely in phrases of gross sales, even setting a gross sales report for the sport, although that’s partly right down to its now-global rollouts.

Bree: “World of Warcraft’s expansion will do much better than Legion. We won’t see Classic in 2018, however (fall 2019 is my bet). Overwatch’s e-sports push seems like a longshot to me, but I’m sure that if and when it capsizes, someone will be walking away with a ton of cash and call it a win.” Sure on WoW, however Overwatch continues to be hanging in there.

Eliot: “World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth releases in early November after people repeatedly predict incorrect earlier dates for it. Island expeditions and warfronts are almost immediately popular (although there are balance issues), while dungeons and raids notice a bit of a downturn. It’s too early to tell how the game is doing by the end of the year, but there’s a fair amount of, ‘Wow, I thought it was a weak premise, but the actual gameplay is surprisingly good.’” Missed the date, and most every little thing else too. Look how hopeful Eliot was final yr about BFA.

Eliot: “World of Warcraft: Classic servers arrive midway through the year. They see a brief population surge, followed by a whole lot of people swiftly leaving while claiming that the servers ere somehow mismanaged because they wanted something other than the actual true-to-vanilla servers. It’s because of bugs/balance/something other than the actual inconvenience, definitely. In a darkened room, a man chuckles, lights a cigar, and whispers, ‘You think you want it, but you don’t.’ Somewhere in the distance, a wolf howls.” Nonetheless not right here, however this could all carry over.

Justin: “World of Warcraft is going to have a strong year based on the new expansion and classic server buzz, but it won’t see the typical expansion high based on the apathy levels of Battle for Azeroth’s announcements.” Truthful. Apathy set in fairly early.

Dawn, EverQuest, and H1Z1

Andrew: “Daybreak will retire Planetside 2 because it exists but isn’t making bank. H1Z1 (both versions) won’t make any major comebacks as the survival genre’s time is passing. Yes, the arena play style for [PUBG] is up, but Daybreak’s baby’s probably too old already and losing its following.” Nope on PS2, however H1Z1 undoubtedly struggled this yr in spite of robust PS4 efficiency; Dawn suffered layoffs, dropped Simply Survive, and is within the center of a nasty esports scandal involving H1Z1’s professional league.

Bree: “Standing Stone will hang in there. Daybreak too, but H1Z1 will still not officially launch, and Parabolic will be an Overwatch clone.” H1Z1 did launch, lastly, although JS sunsetted earlier than it did. We heard nothing on Parabolic. I’d forgotten the key submitting of that identify.

Eliot: “Daybreak continues to flail around looking for a hit vaguely like H1Z1 before PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds existed, ultimately being unsuccessful. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds falters a bit as well once the novelty wears off, but Daybreak makes it clear that things don’t really fully materialize. By the end of the year, H1Z1 appears to be in real trouble.” All hits.

Justin: “Daybreak’s going to announce a new EverQuest title, but it won’t be what we expect. Smaller studios, like SSG and Broadsword, are going to continue to tread water with interesting expansions and updates for their games that won’t quite recapture former glory.” Technically true, because the NantWorks partnership will embrace an EverQuest cellular recreation.

MJ: “The EverQuest franchise will have a major closing scare (loss of major dev, legal troubles by by parent company?), but it will make it through to 2019.” I feel the layoffs, Columbus Nova mess, and NantWorks panic-moves all rely right here.

Star Citizen

Andrew: “This year, for sure, Star Citizen will finally come out, but again, it can’t live up to the hype. It may be serviceable at best.” Nope.

Bree: “Star Citizen will eventually get alpha 3.0 out the door in March. It’ll settle that lawsuit by summer. It won’t launch, and the next phase it does promise also won’t launch next year.” Proper on all counts besides the lawsuit goes on.

Eliot: “Star Citizen’s 3.0 issues prove to be extremely deep-seated and keep hampering the game as more and more backlash materializes through more obscure funding methods (like, stuff that makes the land sales seem downright prosaic). Squadron 42 is, at best, in an early test state at the end of the year; whether or not it is marketed as a launch will depend on too many factors to examine here.” The absurd gross sales undoubtedly ramped up this yr, and nonetheless no S42.

Justin: “Star Citizen will get alpha 3.0 out… and it will be plagued with issues.” Now that was simply low-hanging fruit. 😛

Alas and alack.

NCsoft, Guild Wars 2, and WildStar

Bree: “NCsoft will leak news about Guild Wars 2’s next expansion, starting the whole cycle again. WildStar will somehow manage to get another year of life. I’ll try this one again: WildStar announces console plans, and the Blade & Soul console launch will be a windfall for the company.” Oddly, nothing on GW2’s subsequent massive factor is out but, so a ding there. Incorrect about WildStar too.

Eliot: “Guild Wars 2 starts the year out strong, but a few controversial business decisions hit in the middle of the year and update cadence slows down significantly through the later months. It’s still better than life was with Heart of Thorns.” That final line, you guess, however the firm was undoubtedly plagued with a number of huge messes, together with Pricegate, this yr. Spot on.

Eliot: “WildStar continues to limp along with no real updates, waiting for the actual shutdown. (That might happen next year, actually, but I’m tired of guessing about when.)” Gained’t should guess anymore.

Justin: “I’m going to call it: This is the year that WildStar will shut down. And that will be a shame.” Sigh. Lifeless on.

Elder Scrolls, Black Desert, and FFXIV

Eliot: “The Elder Scrolls Online has two major updates. One is well-received and in the same vein as the stuff that we’ve had over the past two years; the other is… less so. One step forward and one stumble, then.” Greater than two, however I feel it’s truthful to say the chapter was better-received than the DLC.

Bree: “Elder Scrolls Online will announce a new chapter. It and Black Desert will vie for dominance next year.” At this level, I’ll be extra apprehensive if ESO doesn’t announce one other chapter to maintain its annual sample going. Like within the subsequent week or two.

Andrew: “Current MMO darlings Elder Scrolls Online and Final Fantasy XIV will do well enough this year. ESO will probably stumble with some lockbox thing because, let’s face it, all games with lockboxes do this, so doing it at least once this year is bound to happen. On the other hand, FFXIV will put something overpriced in their own shop, but most likely just a vanity item and not something game breaking like a ghillie suit of ganking goodness.” Each of these titles managed few stumbles this yr, to their credit score.

Eliot: “Final Fantasy XIV continues to update on a reliable schedule and reveals its third expansion in November, bringing players either to the southern or western continent. It knows what it’s doing and continues to do it well.” Yep. Enlargement introduced just some weeks again.

Eliot: “Black Desert continues to grow and expand, with another big landscape update to help spur more player interaction.” Yup. And one other on the best way.

MJ: “At least one more developer/game will jump on the fan convention bandwagon (as more should!) and it will an awesome time to hang with devs and fans. At least one special announcement will be made there!” I’m giving MJ credit score for this one as Black Desert started operating a fan conference this yr.

It's fine.

Indie MMOs

Andrew: “Chronicles of Elyria may get its MUD online, but I can’t imagine much more than more demos of the MMO proper.” Yup. Pre-alpha principally. The layoffs early within the yr didn’t assist.

Bree: “Crowfall will finally launch and do pretty well, but not a blockbuster. Camelot Unchained will finally roll into beta one by late spring. Ashes of Creation trucks along in quiet testing but doesn’t make any bold moves in 2018. Ship of Heroes will also find moderate success, beating the other superhero MMOs to a truly playable early access.” Bree, Crowfall isn’t gonna launch. It received one other delay. However CU did hit beta a few years late, Ashes pissed everybody off with battle royale and the My.com partnership, and Ship of Heroes continues to be in dev.

Eliot: “We get at least one surprising new title announced that isn’t a Kickstarted probably-not-happening indie that promises tons of backward-looking systems. Speaking of that group, at least one of the well-known smaller titles (like Chronicles of Elyria, Saga of Lucimia, City of Titans, et al.) winds up shutting down altogether. (It’s happened before.)” We might give Eliot a pair of factors right here: Dogma Everlasting Night time went kaput, as did 3001SQ, and Torchlight Frontiers is our massive non-KS MMO en route.

Justin: “Ashes of Creation and Crowfall are going to pick up serious steam this year and begin to generate a ton of buzz.” I’d say they each picked up extra steam. Truthful.

Justin: “I think we’ll see a winnowing of the City of Heroes successors, and that Ship of Heroes will be the game to come out on top of that effort.” No one’s dropped out simply but. In truth, the three bigguns maintain upping the ante.

Justin: “Camelot Unchained is going to start its long-awaited beta test in June. Shroud of the Avatar’s launch will be a non-event for most gamers.” July, the truth is, and sure, most individuals nonetheless don’t know SOTA launched. Once more.

Justin: “Kickstarter won’t be a thing of the past, either; 2018 will get not one, but two major MMO crowdfunding projects that stir up buzz.” Temtem and Fractured ought to rely for 2 to provide Justin the win right here.

MJ: “A handful of games will actually launch launch, surprising players who all thought Early Access actually means launch. One game will completely forgo Early Access and paid betas, shocking the industry and endearing itself to fans.” How about we name it for MJ on this one for Wild West On-line, which minimize its early entry so brief to launch that it stunned everybody and then promptly flopped because it actually wasn’t finished?

It looks like a rather familiar world.

Incoming MMOs

Bree: “We will get a trickle of info about New World, but it’ll become clearer that it won’t be a sandbox MMORPG and will look a lot more like PUBG than originally planned. Ironically, I don’t think we’ll still be talking much about PUBG in the west a year from now.” Fairly shut. On each counts.

Bree: “If The Lineage (Lineage Eternal) and Lost Ark do finally launch, they won’t have nearly the impact in the west that they did years ago when first announced. A:IR will not make 2018.” Nonetheless awaiting all three video games within the west.

Eliot: “Ascent: Infinite Realm launches to some mixed responses at first, gets some polish passes, and is looking very healthy as it starts testing in the west.” Nope.

Eliot: “Amazon’s game studio continues to put out a grand total of nothing. Whee.” Hey, does a ton of screenshots on Twitter and an alpha no one’s allowed to speak about rely as nothing? Sure? OK.

Justin: “Amazon’s New World will eventually be proven to be vaporware, but John Smedley’s team is going to come out with a neat little MMO thing that gets us excited in his visions again.” Not vaporware, however individuals are undoubtedly excited for Smed’s visions.

Future 2

Andrew: “Destiny 2 will not do well. Bungie will continue to struggle to make it cool again, but lighting seems to have escaped the bottle. Amazon may be working on games, but I don’t think we’ll see anything from them this year.” Truthful.

Bree: “Destiny 2 won’t recover, in spite of popular DLC, and Bungie will move on to the next thing.” Additionally truthful.

Eliot: “Destiny 2 has a minor revival mid-year as its underlying issues finally start to be patched out and fixed, but there’s still no talk about Destiny 3 or even rumors of same. The game finds its niche as it becomes more convincingly MMO-esque.” Man, no one round right here has any religion for Future 2. Neither does Bungie, apparently, because it was actually giving the sport away at BlizzCon.


Bree: “Hilmar Petursson will exit CCP and EVE will hover as it does now.” Petursson’s nonetheless there, however the buyers did principally promote the entire firm to Pearl Abyss and lose a ton of devs together with Andie Nordgren, so, um, there’s that.

Eliot: “EVE Online spends the year mostly in recovery mode; rather than CCP spinning out more big and expensive projects, it focuses on doubling down with its existing content. Things are looking up more toward the end of the year, although there’s a certain degree of player apprehension focused around the game’s financial health.” On this case, given the sale, it looks like CCP Video games can be tasked with recent new titles, however all anchored on EVE.


Bree: “Cryptic will cancel the Magic MMO it’s working on, but otherwise, PWE does fine with its whole stable.” Not canceled, however tremendous quiet. And none of us obtained Torchlight right here!

Eliot: “Cryptic reveals details on its Magic: the Gathering MMO, with release scheduled for late 2018 or early 2019. People who love Cryptic’s other games are going to enjoy it, and it’ll bring in some new blood. It will still feature some obtrusive lockbox stuff.” Nonetheless at the hours of darkness on this.

Different MMOs

Bree: “Funcom will continue tinkering on the games it maintenance-moded and fall back on Secret World Legends content.” Surprisingly, Funcom did simply this.

Bree: “Trion will put RIFT on console.” Fail right here. I had been predicting this as a wild card for years. Defiance, nevertheless, did make it to console this yr, simply earlier than, uh, the entire firm imploded and was bought to Gamigo. Yikes.

Bree: “BioWare won’t get any bounce off The Last Jedi for SWTOR and continue its anemic updates.” Appears truthful.

Eliot: “TERA does all right on consoles, but it shows its age. A few more import MMOs open, a few more close, as it always has been.” Yeah.

MJ: “Season 2 of Secret World Legends will launch and it will be glorious! Veterans and new players alike will be frothing at the mouth wanting more because cliffhangers will be involved. Something shocking happens with a well-known/beloved NPC.” Welp, it undoubtedly acquired some stuff this yr. Frothing, perhaps not.

Bree: “The F2P pushes for Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot will make mainstream news for a day but not really pull in new players in the long haul.” Broadsword didn’t launch numbers, however this feels truthful to me. DAOC’s F2P was pushed into 2019.

Andrew: “Warner Bros (which sadly owns Turbine) will continue to make bad mobile titles of popular IPs and I’ll continue crying myself to sleep knowing they own the rights to Asheron’s Call but won’t do anything with it (please, please Santa, let this be the one thing I’m wrong about!).” No. -Santa

Different on-line video games

Bree: “Sea of Thieves, on the other hand, will rope in a ton of MMORPG players.” It appears to have achieved properly, however MMORPG gamers appear to have sussed out the griefing issues forward of time and stayed away…

Justin: “I’ll lose myself in Sea of Thieves for about two months straight.” …Justin included.

MJ: “Following the very, very delayed release of ARK’s third DLC (which will again break the base game), Wildcard announces a new game that will be going to early access.” Nonetheless nothing non-ARK from Wildcard, although the sport did hit the Change.

MJ: “Warframe will take another long stride into MMOness and be ‘discovered’ by more MMO players (but it will still not officially launch =P).” Yep on all counts.

The broader business

Andrew: “VR may continue to see a push on console and mobile, but I think its PC time (especially for MMO) won’t see any major renewal outside of maybe whatever work’s done on the Sword Art Online game. Speaking of mobile, yeah, expect more mobile MMOs, especially from Asia, but at this point, don’t expect them to ‘get’ the western market yet. I’m actually still struggling with it myself!” Virtually no one is speaking about VR anymore. Yep.

Andrew: “Nintendo will continue to skirt the edge between multiplayer games with social media community events tying into larger narratives and actual MMO but still refuse to commit to making the latter. Pokemon Go, in particular, will continue testing the waters.” Truthful. POGO will get extra and extra MMOish on a regular basis, in spite of Nintendo.

Bree: “Definitely think we’ll see more companies grudgingly showing transparency on lockboxes and trying to head off legislation (which will come anyway) by playing nicely while the teacher’s watching.” We didn’t get rather more transparency this yr, apart from video games like Dota 2, that are kowtowing extra to China’s legal guidelines than to the western push, however the lawsuits and laws maintain coming.

Eliot: “Next year sees some shakeups across the genre, with some well-known titles shutting down and some others stepping into places of renewed prominence. We also see more titles embracing the pseudo-MMO aspect that has become far more common in ostensibly single-player titles, including at least one title that actually provides an interesting question of whether or not it really is an MMO or just close to one.” I’ve but to write down our sunsets-of-2018 article but, however my skim of the record exhibits surprisingly few main MMORPGs, aside from WildStar, kicked the bucket this yr. The pseudo-MMOs simply hold piling up, although.

Justin: “We’re definitely going to see far fewer new MOBAs and far more ‘battle royale’ shooters, because copycatting is a constant.” Completely so.

MJ: “Survival sandboxes will continue to be a popular design choice, but companies will have to start getting more creative with unique hooks to distinguish their game from the massive sea of similar titles.” Yep. Survival video games that aren’t Fortnite clones nonetheless do fairly nicely.

MJ: “Instead of lessening, lockboxes will find their way into even more single-player and co-op games — even TV shows and streamin services! New ‘no lootboxes’ lootbox mechanics will be introduced.” The endcaps of Goal aisles have freaking lockboxes.

MJ: “Nothing will even come remotely close to having as feature-rich a virtual world as SWG, and Bree and I will lament that fact no less than 142 times.” And right here we’re. Although I solved my drawback with simply enjoying a SWG Emu. Fastened.

However wait, there’s extra

Eliot: “I will eat a burrito bowl.” It occurred.

MJ: “Mo’s secret relationship finally comes to light!” It was with the burrito bowl. RIP.

Your flip!

Are video video games doomed? What do MMORPGs seem like from area? Did free-to-play damage every little thing? Will individuals ever cease speaking about Star Wars Galaxies? Be a part of Massively Overpowered Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce and mascot Mo each month as they reply your letters to the editor proper right here in Ask Mo.