Sixteen Predictions for 2016

It’s a brand new day
And the sun is high
All the birds are singing
That you’re gonna die

-Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog

We actually sing that song at our house, because we’re like that.

But it is a brand new day opening up on a brand new year.  Cue new 2016 graphic my daughter made.

Blog2016

I asked for a spaceship and got a pink kitty.  Such is the way of things.

And so we have… long standing tradition… every year… yadda yadda yadda… predictions.  Obligatory history links:

Again we stand on the edge of the abyss… erm… a new year and, having arrived yet again at this arbitrary point in time where we need a new calendar, I will gaze into the middle distance and try to predict things that might come to pass as we make our way around the sun once more.

In reading this, I ask readers to remember that these are predictions as to things that I think might happen, not a wish list of things I hope happen… except for that part about Project: Gorgon, because I want that to do well, and Diablo IV.  But not the rest… for those, I would be happy enough being wrong.

So with that in mind, I present my last minute load of crap deeply considered peek into the year 2016.  Here are 16 predictions for 2016:

1WoW Legion will ship on August 16th, which will give Blizzard both one of the fastest expansion release cycles in its history along with one of the longest content droughts, leaving few happy.

2WoW Legion will be heavily criticized for the small amount of content it delivers at launch.  It will turn out that Blizzard can’t figure out how to make any more content than usual, so the plan will be to dole it out in more, but smaller, chunks over the life of the expansion.

3 – The Warcraft movie will be a modest success, though after it settles down somebody will calculate that more people have probably played World of Warcraft than saw the movie in the theater.  The movie’s impact on the game will be negligible.

4Diablo IV will be announced at BlizzCon.  Really.  This time I am serious dammit!

5 – Daybreak will get a new head honcho who will be selected from another company and will have little or no experience with the fantasy MMORPG genre that has kept the team in San Diego funded for most of its existence.  Expect this person’s past experience to be the hammer and any Daybreak problem to be a nail.  They’ll be just like that VP we once hired from Oracle, for whom every solution required a database.  So if, for example, they have a history with first person shooters on the XBox, you’ll know what to expect.

6 – It will be more tough times and harsh realities for Daybreak.  The EverQuest/EverQuest II teams, which pull their own weight, will be safe so long as they can sell expansions, but everything else will be up for grabs.  As a result I expect two of the following to happen:

  • EverQuest Next pushed out prematurely for early access dollars.
  • EverQuest Next and Landmark merged back into a single product/project, but you have to buy it again it you bought Landmark.
  • Legends of Norrath shut down.
  • Legends of Norrath turned into a stand-alone iOS and Andoid game, where it fails and gets shut down.
  • PlanetSide 2 shut down, relaunched with a new name as a buy-to-play title for consoles only, old version not compatible with the new one.
  • DC Universe Online shut down on Windows, left running on PlayStation.
  • H1Z1 basic package launched as a buy-to-play title, but seriously gimped unless you are a Daybreak All Access subscriber or plan to spend big in the cash shop.
  • New, console-only project announced.

7 – Turbine needs a splash in 2016 with LOTRODDO rolls along as is, sharing the Dungeons & Dragons license with Neverwinter.  But the contract with Tolkien Enterprises for LOTRO wraps up in 2017.  While a renewal seems pretty likely, barring a complete disaster, it would go over much better if some additional cash were flowing in.  So, after a couple years off… and perhaps learning from the market… a big expansion will be announced that will bring us to Mordor.  Cirith Ungol or maybe just to the main gates, but the end of the journey will be in sight.  Expect a special Blessing of the Valar level boost to be bundled in with it that will get you stuck straight into the new content.  Yes, I know this isn’t in the current 2016 plan for Turbine, but this will change before the end of the year.

8 – In EVE Online, citadels will be big. (Ha ha!)  Everybody will want one, which will cause a boom in construction and a spike in mineral prices and a rise in concurrent users.  It will be the new shiny.  This will wane as the close of summer comes to an end and we all figure out the flaw in the citadel plan and the game grinds to a halt while we argue about how CCP should fix it.

9 – CCP will either close down the CSM or change it so drastically that it is essentially a different beast.  We’ll get CSM XI, but it will carry on the now familiar tradition of institutional animosity from certain sectors within CCP, something that won’t be helped by the fact that most CSM veterans will decline to run for election, leading to a fresh CSM with Xenuria and DurrHurrDurr (or a reasonable facsimile of the latter) as the permanent Icelandic duo.  That will force CCP to act.

10 – The return of The Fountain War Kickstarter will succeed when it kicks off in March, being better thought out.  Drama will be way, way down compared to the initial run.

11 Black Desert, the new anticipated hotness, combining an Asian MMO import with the word “sandbox” yet again, is going to be a replay of ArcheAge, with a big rush, overcrowding, disappointment and recriminations, before settling down for the core audience that will remain after everybody who pinned sky high hopes on it storms off in a fit of pique.

12 Project: Gorgon, after being in the shadows for so long, will have a banner year in 2016, with early access success on Steam leading to the game going live for real before the year runs out.

13 – NCsoft will announce that WildStar is closing down, it’s free to play conversion having been a brief flash in the pan.

14 – Despite all the back and forth and talk of lawyers and lawsuits and who is going to sue who for what and where, the Derek Smart vs. Star Citizen brouhaha will fade away without a metaphorical legal punch being thrown.

15 – Somebody will buy Funcom… for cheap… to rescue a couple of their titles, but Anarchy Online won’t be on the list of the saved.  LEGO Minifigures Online is the prize there.

16Crowfall, will still be in development, allowing only limited access for backers by the end of 2016.  It won’t really be a thing until 2017.

Special Bonus Prediction – A big Pokemon announcement to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the series on February 27, 2016.

Big 2016 Question – Will VR be interesting enough to spur people to spend money upgrading their systems in order to spend more money to buy an Occulus Rift rig?

So there are my predictions.  feel free to agree, disagree, correct, discuss, rage, or storm off in a huff.  We shall see how the year develops.  Next December, when I score this, each item will be worth 10 points, with partial credit available.  In the mean time, we wait.

Others with Predictions for 2016:

9 thoughts on “Sixteen Predictions for 2016

  1. bhagpuss

    Legends of Norrath is now one of the listed games for All Access that appear along the bottom of the log in screen. Which is a bit rich given a) it was always bundled in with EQ/EQ2 anyway and b) it hasn’t had any new content added for years and has no-one working on any now.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the whole “All Access” content quietly dropped altogether, possibly in favor of a simple “Everquest” subscription that covers EQ1 and 2. That would really be no more than acknowledging the status quo.

    Assuming Columbus Nova bought SOE to tart it up and sell it on, how long would you expect them to sit on the acquisition before turning it around and re-selling? Two years would seem likely but more than three not so much. They’ll have to do something other than consolidate the core audience soon, surely?

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – Looking at Columbus Nova and their portfolio, they seem to be more in the model of buying something that can be stripped down to basics and milked for profit in order to get their investment back, along the lines of what CA has been doing for years. You take a product line that is making money and extend it as long as possible.

    Under that model, EQ and EQII are the cows that can continue to be milked, DCUO is okay, H1Z1, after a burst of success, needs something new to keep it viable, PlanetSide 2 seems pretty iffy, and Landmark and EQN are of questionable value unless they can start bringing in some cash.

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  3. Bloblaglyf

    The team which made ingress, that gps driven phone game to control the world, is making a gps driven Pokemon game. Which will probably be ready for 2016

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  4. anon

    “I asked for a spaceship and got a pink kitty.” More like lilac, really. BTW, didn’t you write a couple months back that she was trying Eve? How did that turn out? Did you point her to the Imperium direction?

    “7 – Turbine needs a splash in 2016 with LOTRO (…)” That point 7 needs a lot more head-in-butts to have any chance of happening.

    “Drama will be way, way down compared to the initial run.” Ahahahahaha, a least laughing is good for health.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Anon – I was planning to write about my daughter’s run at EVE Online, until it became yet another tale of how useless the intro/tutorial is to somebody who has never played the game. Seriously, the new opportunities thing looks to be harder than the old school tutorial I had to play. She wanted to play with Signal Cartel, but never got very far. And now, with The Force Awakens out, she wants to play SWTOR.

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  6. pkudude99

    Sadly, I think you nailed it on #13. And I don’t know why I’m sad about that, since I played maybe 3 hours of beta, and maybe another 19 hours since it went F2P. It just doesn’t “do it” for me… yet I’m still sad that I think it’s going to be shutting down. Makes no sense.

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  7. Anonymous

    Everquest still exists? I was a BIG TIME EQ player. I made 10’s of thousands of US $$$ as a premium power leveler in the mid to late 90’s. wonder if my accounts still exist?

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