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Daily Column

Happy New Year! Welcome to the biggest year in MMO gaming since 2004. There are a lot of predictions flying around the industry, some made by smarty-pants industry insider types and some by people who are actually in the know. Well, you're here, not reading their columns so that makes you at least 25% more loyal the MMOG genre than those that don't imbibe Loading... You're a patriot. Wave the flag or buy a shirt or buy a shirt and wave it like a flag.

When they aren't waving shirt-flags MMOG patriots are winning signed copies of EverQuest: Secrets of Faydwer and EverQuest: Rise of Kunark or six months of free gameplay in their favourite MMOG. Wave your shirts proudly and have your say on what the next piece of Ten Ton Hammer apparel should look like.

You've read this far, so chances are that you're going to stick around for Boomjack's 2008 Prognostications!

[Warning! If you take predictions seriously —you should NOT continue reading. If you are older than age 85, or have serious liver or kidney problems, your doctor may start you at the lowest dose (once per week) of Loading... This article may contain coarse language and content not suitable for younger audiences. Nostradamus was not consulted in the creation of these prophecies. Dogs are superior to cats. You're not paranoid if they are REALLY after you.]

Lord of the Rings Online
I expect that we will see numerous incentives for current LotRO players to stick around the Turbine camp. Lower pricing, fluff and other retention techniques will be out in full force as Turbine fights to keep players from migrating to the Big Two in 2008. An all inclusive trip to Mordor to visit the One Ring could be yours.
. Vanguard
SOE has done monumental things since taking over Vanguard from Sigil. Even their diligent work can't save this title with three AAA products hitting the market in 2008. Add the hurdle of competing with SOE's own EverQuest 2 title and I see nothing but declining subscription numbers for Vanguard. Ironically, this game was the Vanguard for the next generation of MMOGs. Unfortunately, it required resuscitation at birth and never recovered from the lack of oxygen or loss of its parents.
. EverQuest 2
To claim that this title has come a long way would be like calling a serial killer socially challenged. Many deserters from the Vanguard camp will end up here. Some players will leave to try the Big Two, but because neither game plays like EQ2 they will be back, expectations firmly locked away in a virtual house only viewed by their Burynai pet. . I expect subscriber numbers to remain stable, but one of the former devs to remain unstable.
7. Tabula Rasa
I'm confident that NCSoft would have liked larger numbers coming out of the launch, but the numbers seemed relatively positive nonetheless. The game plays like no other and in a saturated market that is a great way to define yourself. Expect to see Tabula Rasa numbers grow in 2008. Don't expect to see vehicles added to the game. Do expect to see Richard Garriott open a beer with a rocket.
6. Stargate Worlds will slip to 2009
There it is. You read it here first. I hope I'm wrong, but my oversized gut tells me that we won't be seeing Stargate Worlds in 2008. Would you put your flagship product up against Age of Conan, Warhammer Online and Wrath of the Lich King? The Asgard wouldn't be caught within 100 light years of Paul Barnett.
5. Wrath of the Lich King
The expansion that many of you have been waiting for will release during the Christmas season sucking players back from both Age of Conan and Warhammer Online.
4. Games For Kids
The red-headed stepchild of the MMOG industry will finally get a spotlight. Webkinz, Club Penguin, Fusion Fall and others will receive plenty of non-game industry press coverage. The kids market will eclipse the adult MMOG market in 2008. Your child will now be better at your hobby than you are. At least he can't play Age of Conan.
3. Age of Conan
The first of the Big Two to ship in 2008, Age of Conan will become the #2 largest selling MMOG at launch behind only World of Warcraft. As players realize that AoC is not WoW many will lazily drift back to their former home, especially when Wrath of the Lich King ships. AoC will end 2008 as the #3 MMOG in North America.
2. Warhammer Online
The first true pretender to the throne will ship in Q3 of 2008. It's not truly fair to call any of these titles pretenders. World of Warcraft with its nine million subscribers is already nine times larger than what would be considered an extraordinary success for any of the launch titles. Warhammer Online will become the new home for many old school WoW players. It should become the first North American MMOG title other than WoW to hit one million subscribers. As the only launch title with frontline developers who have bonfire rockstar appeal this title not only has the guts, but the glory. Warhammer Online will end 2008 as the #2 MMOG in North America.
1. World of Warcraft

Numbers will drop marginally as the game begins its travels through the long tail of its lifecycle. WoW will remain the undisputed heavyweight champion of the industry. Expect the WoW team to make changes to the game that give Warhammer Online players an excuse to migrate back.

Do you have predictions, prophecies or prognostications? Share them in the Loading... forum.

Do you feel the need to contact me? Your wish is my command. E-mail or Forums - The choice is yours!


18 new MMOG hand-crafted articles today! 18 so far in January! 18 so far in 2008!

New MMOG Articles At Ten Ton Hammer Today

New MMOG Articles at Ten Ton Hamster (For those of you with children or who act like one)

Hot Content - Or, what I took a fancy to

  1. Tabula Rasa: An Interview With April Burba
  2. 2008 Ten Ton Hammer Preview
  3. World of Warcraft: Caverns of Time - 2008 and Beyond
  4. EverQuest 2: Leaps Into 2008

Real World News

Thanks as always for visiting TenTonHammer.com

- John "Boomjack" Hoskin and the Ten Ton Hammer Team

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Hoskin 0
Dissecting and distilling the game industry since 1994. Lover of family time, youth hockey, eSports, and the game industry in general.