It is the new year, and with that comes predictions. You can find plenty of them out there. Lots of people have them, like Tipa, Spinks, Lum (those were predictions, right?), Green Armadillo and Keen. (More linked as I find them.)
Me? I’m done with predictions. Predictions come from a position of weakness! I think my 2008, 2009, and 2010 predictions pretty much prove that.
For 2011 I am making demands!
And if my demands are not met, there will be consequences! Consequences I tell you!
You have until December 15th to meet these demands!
Stop looking so damn smug. Tell us what Titan is, ship Diablo III, and add some more content to the top end of World of Warcraft. I swear half the game is already level 85. Oh, and another sparkle pony, but something a little less frou-frou this time. And an expansion for StarCraft II. Somebody has to sell some PC games this year.
Sony Online Entertainment:
Smedley? SMEDLEY! Pull yourself together. I know those PlayStation people are bossing you around, but you make money. Certainly more than they make on hardware. Refine what you have. More server merges. Reconcile EverQuest II Live and EverQuest II Extended. Work on the PC controls for DC Universe Online because I am NOT hooking up a console controller to my PC just to play it. And finish with the Agency already, you’re starting to embarrass us all.
Just go free to play across the board already. Champions and Star Trek Online. Everybody else is doing it. But don’t screw over the lifetime subscribers. And when you go free to play, make sure you have something shiny and new to bring people back. Oh, and Neverwinter, get it out this year and don’t screw it up!
Everybody is watching you. You’re not making some single player game. You’re making an engine, an engine that is supposed to take in money and deliver the joy of being in the Star Wars universe. Don’t let those wankers in San Mateo make you ship early. Meanwhile, since you guys seem to be in the MMO driver’s seat at EA, for now, don’t screw around with Ultima Online, but do something about Warhammer Online. You’re bright guys, you’ll figure something out.
Will you put that drink down already? EVE is still going, still making money, still popular, still unique, I get it. And you are improving it over time. But really, you’re starting to look like a one-trick pony. What are all those people in Atlanta doing? You don’t have to ship something new this year, but at least make us believe you’re really working on something new. We’re starting to think you’re spending all that money you make on akvavit and exotic dancers.
Aion, City of Whatever, and Guild Wars. Is that really all you have going in North America? Well, there is Lineage II I suppose. And what do you have on your to do list? Blade & Soul? Really? Don’t bother. And let Guild Wars 2 gestate to full term, which means don’t ship it in 2011.
Your big opportunity is coming. Ship Rift at just about the time when WoW Players have finally wrapped up the high-end content and you could get… a stable half a million subscribers. Okay, that isn’t WoW numbers, but history shows that most people just stick with their favorite MMO forever due to the social network they develop. Hrmm… that is sounding like a prediction, not a demand. Okay, go and get a half a million subscribers already! By June! With your shield or on it and all that!
Other MMO Studios:
Which of you is even poised to do anything in 2011? TERA is going to be another Asian oddity, soon forgotten by the mainstream. It was all that Aventurine could do to ship Darkfall, they won’t be doing anything else. Funcom won’t get The Secret World out in 2011, they’re more likely to cut more staff. All of you other studios, select a champion and send it out to do battle. Yes, it can be TERA if you cannot find anything else, but I’m telling you it is going to be completely forgettable.
Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw:
When Star Wars: The Old Republic ships this year, review it. I know, it is a muh-more-puh-gah, but this is Star Wars and BioWare. I demand it. We all demand it!
Dr. Richard Bartle:
You were awfully quiet in 2010. And you’ve got your three level 85s in WoW now. (A very common claim these days.) Go say something controversial. Declare WoW dead. Predict SWTOR will be a failure as a virtual world. Make some news. Do an interview with those people at Massively. They’ll print anything you say.
I suppose you expect me to assign points to these, and to score my success at the end of the year? Screw that. If my demands are not met, I will just sit back and announce the consequences. And I have 11 or so months to work on that. Remember, you have until December 15th!