We are back once again for another review of some really bad predictions I made at the start of the year. I have engaged in an almost annual experiment in proving how wrong I can be about the future for a good fourteen years now.
2022 is what we get
While we are still a good two weeks shy of the new year in my book, if it hasn’t come to pass by December 15th, it probably isn’t going to happen. So it is time to see how off base I was.
As usual, I will score by giving myself 10 points for each correct prediction, with partial credit available… because I often write rambling predictions with multiple points of contact.
Looking back at the questions from the start of the year… well, I seemed to be in something of a mood, especially about EVE Online. Though not without reason on that front. After declaring an “age of prosperity” they went and announced a plan to keep the economy strangled going forward. “Prosperity” was nowhere in the cards they were dealing out. But I was also moody about a few other companies.
Anyway, let’s get to the scoring.
1 – Activision-Blizzard will drop “Blizzard” from the Corporate Name
I backed myself into this one, having made a declaration about this in August of 2021, when it seemed as though the company could sink no lower in its scandal ridden tales. It seemed like they had run the name through enough mud that it might be time to go back to Silicone & Synapse.
But it did not come to pass.
Now, I could make excuses about how the Microsoft acquisition, which showed up less than three weeks after my predictions, locked everything in place, so no major name change was likely to occur… but, in hindsight, no name change was likely to happen either way. When you have Bobby Kotick at the helm, Blizzard would have to work a lot harder to eclipse the stink on him.
2 – No WoW Expansion in 2022
Man, I was not on a hot streak for 2022 was I?
Okay, this one did not look that outrageous a year ago. Blizzard seemed to be in disorder, Shadowlands was flailing about without content updates, and there was some word about retooling their approach. It seemed likely that they wouldn’t get out an expansion this year.
But they managed it. The jury is still out on Dragonflight… I mean, I loved Shadowlands for about a month, before I found the quick trip to level cap meant and endless endgame treadmill… but it launched at the end of November and is still running along. I haven’t seen the traditional glowing “current expansion exceeds all past expansions” press release about any sales metric yet.
In the end though, even if it dies in a month, they still shipped an expansion. Zero points.
3 – The Arthas Hail Mary
I’m going to have to quote this one, just to avoid having to recount it point by point.
Wrath of the Lich King Classic will be announced to great fanfare. This will be the big 2022 announcement for the WoW franchise, and it will be as stale as you expect. While I love the whole retro server scene, and WotLK as well, there is a reason that Daybreak doesn’t put out a press release every time an EverQuest progression server unlocks a new expansion. And it will be tainted by the same things that hurt Burning Crusade Classic, like a special deluxe package with a horrendous mount to single you out for ridicule. It will be more popular than whatever is going on with Shadowlands, an admittedly low hurdle, but it won’t launch until Q4 so we won’t see any financial impact during the 2022 calendar year.
I mean, sure, Wrath Classic, big fanfare… but Dragonflight was probably the bigger announcement, if only because it was new and unexpected. We all had no doubt Wrath Classic was going to show. It also made it into Q3, just barely. But it counts.
It did, however, get the ugly mount that singles you out and it was sure as hell more popular than Shadowlands this year.
I am going to give myself 4 points for this one.
4 – Immortality is Overrated
Okay, I am getting a little better as we go along here.
Diablo: Immortal will finally ship in time for summer… after all, NetEase is the one doing the work here. It will get a lot of hype from the company because WoW Classic and Hearthstone updates can only carry so much water for them. It will be briefly popular, because we do in fact all have phones, combining as it will everything Blizzard promised (something like Diablo) and everything fans feared (cash shop from hell), but the Q3 2022 financials will only mention it in passing.
I mean, isn’t that pretty much what happened, right down to shipping in time for summer?
You can split hairs on that one, but I am giving myself the full 10 points. I rarely get this close to the mark.
5 – Activision Will Settle with the State of California
Okay, after that riding high on that last one I am brought low again. I, not for the last time I am sure, invoke the Microsoft acquisition to explain this away. Zero points.
6 – Bobby Kotick Will Remain in Charge at Activision
And, just to switch things around, the Microsoft acquisition pretty much made this a lock. Not that I thought Bobby was going anywhere otherwise. He has set himself up to suckle at the company’s teat, sucking down a huge amount of cash while he runs an entertainment sweat shop. Why would he step away from that? 10 points.
7 – Enad Global 7 will Announce Marvel Universe Online
Oh EG7, you had such a potential winner here. Even the hint of this project got the company more press than it had seen in a decade.
Massively OP declared Blizzard’s problems with its NetEase contract the biggest MMO company blunder, but when we measure the potential upside lost relative to the size of the company, this one dwarfs the NetEase deal.
Yeah, in case you hadn’t heard, all they announced was that the project was cancelled.
8 – H1Z1 Will Remain in Limbo
Sometimes I need a gimme. H1Z1 is Schrodinger’s battle royale, neither dead nor alive.
9 – LOTRO Old and New
I was predicting a split in the product, with a new branch to support the console plans that EG7 kept talking about. But we didn’t get anything really about the whole console thing. I suspect the tepid response to Amazon’s Rings of Power, which was supposed to ignite more Tolkien interest, might be on the list of reasons.
10 – Nothing New in Norrath
EverQuest and EverQuest II rolled on as before, and no new Norrath titles were launched, announced, or even hinted at. Kind of a gimme. But I need all the help I can get.
11 – Ji Ham Confirmed as CEO of Enad Global 7
This is a complicated one. Technically I think Ji Ham is still “acting” CEO of EG7. His linked in profile still has “interim” on display.
On the other hand, the Daybreak team completed their reverse acquisition and now pretty much run EG7, so the idea that he is going to be asked to step down from the position seems pretty silly.
I am going to give myself 4 points because he is the CEO and they aren’t going to replace him.
12 – CCP will Circle the Wagons to Defend Against Player Feedback
Yes and no. CCP management certainly came into the new year saying they knew better and would do whatever they wanted. But push back from players got them to declare against crypto in EVE Online (for now), and they eventually began to relent on some of the things dragging down the New Eden economy, like capitals and battleships being too expensive to bother producing and the stranglehold on minerals… things that were pointed out as problems the day they were announced.
The economy is still not perfect, but things are at least better now… a year later than they could have been… should have been… but better. I’m giving myself 2 points for the beginning of the year.
13 – New Eden Economic Times
This is basically part 2 of the previous item, only more about the in-game economy. CCP eventually relented on many things that players had been complaining about since they were introduced, so I feel like I would be double dipping if I gave myself more that zero points.
14 – New World on Consoles Announcement
Sorry, no. They spent most of 2022 trying to fix the game so people would play it again. Their expansion saw a brief spike, but fresh start servers are really what brought people back because they could at least play on worlds that had not been screwed up economically by the company’s bumbling management of the game for the first few months. Zero points.
15 – New World Store Update
None of these things came to pass. Zero points.
16 – Crypto Mania will Continue and yet Yield Nothing of Value
I mean, unless you can assign value to schadenfreude I guess. 10 points.
17 – Metaversary Rhymes
Part two, the whole crypto metaverse idea of being able to bring your car from Mario Kart into Forza or whatever. It didn’t go anywhere either. 10 points.
18 – Non-Fungible Fiascos
My ongoing bets against crypto seemed solid, but my guesses as to which company’s we beshit their games with it… well, this was the list:
- EVE Online
- Star Citizen
- Black Desert Online
- Final Fantasy XIV
- Wild Card: Some Gamigo Title
None did however… which, given the talk a year ago, means crypto must have really taken a dump in 2022. I was never happier to get zero points.
19 – Chapter and Metaverse
I was predicting that Zuckerberg’s own personal metaverse, Horizon Worlds, would gain no traction. They were making managers force their employees to log in. Hell, it was all they could do to announce legs… and even then they didn’t show the actual in-game legs, but specially rendered ones on the virtual Zucks. 10 points.
20 – A Better Metaplace
Raph and Playable Worlds did not deliver anything in 2022. Zero points.
21 – Non Starters
My usual gimme list of games that won’t ship. Basically 10 points for free.
These are bonus, usually outrageous guesses for some additional points.
The first guess was that CCP would get fed up with players electing the CSM and just appoint their own council, the way Blizzard did. Like I said, I was in a bad mood. That did not come to pass, so zero points of extra credit there.
Meanwhile, I also guessed that Blizzard would get bored of their own WoW Player Council, thank everybody for their service after a year, and forget about the whole thing. While the WPC has been a giant nothing burger so far as I can tell, I just went to check its special forum and it still exists. So zero points of extra credit there as well.
The Final Score
I had a total of 210 possible points for my main predictions. From my scoring above, I managed to get a total of 90 points. That gives me a nearly 43% success rate, which is far better than I have done in some past years. I guess the lesson here is always bet against crypto.
That is all I have. Another year down. Now I have to decide what I will do for 2023. Predictions? Questions? Demands? Something else? I have two weeks to figure it out.