Back on January 1st, 2008 I posted ten MMORPG predictions. These were meant to be outrageous, humorous and not very subtle jabs at some of the tepid, obvious, and vague predictions being made elsewhere about the state of the industry and its future.
But now the year has nearly passed and it has come time to do the accounting for my predictions. I am not going to copy and paste the whole set of predictions into this post, but I will maintain the same titles and order, so you can compare the results to the original 2008 MMORPG Progdictionations list.
For the predictions, I am going to score each one out of a possible 10 points, so a prediction that is right on the money gets 10 points, while something completely wrong gets 0. With a total of 10 predictions, that gives me a possible 100 points.
How close did I get? Time to score the list!
1. Age of Conan
Funcom managed to avoid becoming major campaign issue in the 2008 US presidential elections. Still, the boys from Oslo managed to screw up quite a bit without excess negative publicity, angry mobs, or government intervention. I am going to give myself 4 points out of 10 just for predicting bad things happening with the game, even if they only led to layoffs as opposed to the complete dissolution of the company.
2. The Agency
The Agency did disappoint, if not in exactly the way I predicted. It did so by simply not shipping. Didn’t this game have a December 2007 ship date at one point? Anyway, disappointment is disappointment, so I am going to be greedy and give myself 3 out of 10 points here.
BioWare, EA, and LucasArts actually admitted that BioWare is making an MMO, and they even gave us a name. Star Wars: The Old Replublic will be coming some time in the next decade or so it seems. I was sure they were going to mess with our minds on this for at least another year on this, so 0 out of 10 points for me.
4. Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising
Nobody appears have picked up Rome Rising. Not Mythic. Not SOE. Nobody. 0 out of 10 points.
5. Pirates of the Burning Sea
The first three words of my prediction, “While launching slowly…” were right on the money.
I think that gets me 3 points, one for each word.
The rest of prediction was garbage. There was no surge of subscriptions in the UK, Spain, or France, certainly none large enough to influence gaming PC sales, nationalism in the three countries was not set afire by the game, and the summer of 2008 saw not one of these countries at war with another.
3 out of 10 points total.
6. Star Trek Online
The ghost of Gene Roddenberry may very well have possessed Daron Stinnett and taught him the true meaning of Star Trek, but a fat lot of good it will do anybody unless Daron passed that information along to somebody at Cryptic Studios, the team now working on Star Trek Online. There was no return from the brink for Perpetual. And so it goes.
Still, Star Trek Online is still alive and may still be able to prove (or disprove) that life in the 25th century is as dull as dishwater. That fact alone has got to be worth 3 out of 10 points.
7. Tabula Rasa
My prediction that General British would be ganked in Tabula Rasa was completely turned on its head when Richard Garriott, in a surprise twist ganked NCSoft and fled the scene… hell, he fled the planet, at least for a while. If only he had ganked them in a theater and had then fled to a warehouse so I could tie in the whole Lincoln/Kennedy thing. Okay, maybe “ganked” is too strong a word, but nobody is coming away from Tabula Rasa smelling like a rose. So there was some drama remotely related to something tangentially connected with something I predicted. 1 out of 10.
Brad McQuaid remained completely silent in 2008. I have to give myself 0 out of 10 points on this one. Honestly though, not having to read any more forum posts from Brad makes it worth being wrong.
9. Warhammer Online
I said I was not going to quote the original post, but I think I have to for this one.
Scared straight by the Conan debacle, Warhammer Online will slip further into 2008, and will only ship after the US presidential elections and the short war in Western Europe. While getting decent but not extravagant reviews, it will get a significant subscriber boost from players leaving other MMOs. This timing will allow Marc Jacobs to declare success immediately.
I am giving myself 8 points for that part alone. My ship date prediction was a lot closer than Mythic’s first few guesses (not to mention being just six weeks off from the election), WAR certainly got a boost from people leaving other MMOs, and Mark Jacobs has not been shy about declaring success.
Mythic did not, however, adopt the “Mythic Ticket” subscription plan I predicted. But given the end of the WAR launch euphoria, I have to imagine it might start looking like an attractive idea. Plus, you cannot beat the name “Mythic Ticket.” It makes “Station Access” sound like a low end cable TV package.
8 out of 10 points.
10. World of Warcraft
Blizzard shipped Wrath of the Lich King before the end of 2008, it was a huge success, it dwarfed past game sales records (also set by Blizzard), piled up huge revenues, and perhaps even saved PC gaming for another year or two. I heard that a display of Wrath at a Best Buy in Ohio tipped over and the boxes fell into the shape of the Virgin Mary, which in turn healed everybody in the store. I fear Tobold is going to have to keep his current job, as Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce, and Rob Pardo are secure in their positions for the time being. 0 out of 10 points.
Total Score: 22 points out of 100
And a very generous 22 points at that.
But that is what you get when you go for outrageous and specific, which is why so many yearly predictions are tepid, obvious, or vague. Some people prefer to be mostly right than patently wrong. And since I set out to be patently wrong, I take those 22 points and as a condemnation that I was not outrageous enough in my predictions.
I will have to remedy that with my next round of MMORPG Progdictionations, coming January 1, 2009.