Through the Looking Glass: 2010 Predictions Recap


Nothing says the end of the year to me like stale fruitcake and wild
predictions. While I can do without the sugary brick in the tin, I
couldn’t live without reading and making some educated guesses as to
what the next 12 months might bring. This year we decided that we
should take a more in-depth gander at what we pulled out of our
collective crystal balls in  href="">last year's
predictions for 2010 and see what we got right and, more
to the point, what we got hilariously wrong. What better way to do that
than to make it competitive! The scoring system will be, of course,
completely subjective and the winner will receive nothing except the
love and adoration of their dozens of fans.

2010 was certainly an eventful year, and now that we have the benefit
of 20/20 hindsight, maybe there were some predictions we should have

  • There will be a couple PvP shooter MMOGs to hit the scene,
    and both will end up launching PvE co-op expansions to end the year.
  • Duke Nuke-em Forever will once again make it through
    another year without bothering the public with a pesky release date.
    Long live vaporware!
  • Jay Mohr will host the contest portion of Blizzcon - and
    they will somehow find a co-host so awful that she will make Jay look
    amazing by comparison. The double interview at the same time bit was
    pure comedy gold though, good work Jay.
  • Though it
    will be heavily alluded to, Age of Conan will not make its way to the
    console market. 
  • Activision
    will finally force Blizzard to release something before its ready - but
    the masses will be so overwhelmed by the radical reduex of Azeroth that
    they will never even notice.

Without further ado,
let’s take a look at href="">last year’s
picks and pans and tabulate them into
the amazing Predict-o-Meter:

Savanja -

     Star Trek Online will see an initial amazing launch with
    solid sales but then will see a sharp fall once people realize that
    having green skin and pointy ears only really looks good if you're an
    orc or an elf.

A+ Prediction here -- we’re off to a great start! I give this one 12
out of a possible 10 points.

     Aion  will spend the first half of 2010 earning back
    players and will finish off the year with a spectacular expansion and
    respectable NA/EU numbers.

Well, it looks like we may have just undone our goodwill. I suppose
Aion still has “respectable” numbers of players gathering in its
cities, but those are all spamming gold ads, unfortunately. I give this
prediction a 2 out of 10. Hey, I’m being charitable! ‘Tis the season,
after all.

     Final Fantasy XIV and Star Wars: The
    Old Republic will be to 2010 what World of Warcraft and EverQuest 2
    were to 2004.

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If Savanja’s referring to one being a colossal disappointment then this
predication is half right. I think, however, that next year we may see
some sort of gaming double rainbow and SWTOR may be in that
mix;  it just didn’t come to pass this year. 1 out of 10.

Savanja gets a final tally of 15 points -- not bad, but definitely
bolstered by hitting it out of the park on that first one.

Xerin -

     I predict that World of Warcraft:
    Cataclysm will run into a player base that doesn't want to reroll to
    see all of the new content nor will it be satisfied with just five new
    levels and a few new zones, but that won't stop WoW from continuing to
    dominate through the next year only to be rivaled by Blizzard's new
    MMOG announcement.

Early numbers refute the first part of this prediction, and poor Xerin
got no love from Blizzard in the form of an announcement of their next
MMOG, but he is spot on about WoW’s dominance. 5 out of 10. style="font-weight: bold;">

     I predict that Star Trek Online will
    run into the same problem all of the similar games have and will
    designate itself into a niche market that's slightly larger than the
    other niche markets all of the other current MMOGs are in.

Our second home run! Xerin certainly nailed this one and kudos to him.
So, now that the pressure is on, what will he follow it up with in this
year’s version? Check back next week to find out. 10 out of 10

     I predict that there will be another 50
    nameless, newsworthy-less Asian MMOGs that have more players than most
    pay-to-play NA games but with way less content, smaller budgets fewer
    things to do. This trend will not stop and will continue throughout the
    next year.

Free-to-play games actually improved quite a bit over the past year and
we saw the flood of nameless games slow to a trickle as bigger budgets
stepped in. There are still way more of them than there should be, so I
will concede a partial hit here. 5 out of 10.

2 mostly correct predictions and one kick ass piece of prognostication
give our X man a total score of 20. Not bad work at all.

Martuk -

     Star Wars: The Old Republic will have
    the most successful sci-fi MMOG launch to date. There will be no
    articles this week as the Ten Ton Hammer staff will have force choked
    each other into a state of unconsciousness.

I hate to give zero points here-- it’s a solid prediction but just a
year too early it seems. 3 out of 10 on the strength of the force
choking line alone.

     We'll finally learn the secrets behind
    Project Copernicus.

Once again Martuk makes a little piece inside of me die with
predictions that I want to come true. For reminding me of this I am
forced to give 0 out of 10. The greater the risk, the greater the
reward, I suppose.

     Cataclysm will be a huge hit and break
    record sales as Blizzard will revamp old zones to keep them useful.
    Something I have been saying developers need to do for years.

Vindication! Martuk is redeemed! 10 out of 10.

13 points for our ever vigilant master of the newsreel. However, had
the calendar been extended another 6 months, he would easily be at 30.

Medawky -

     Aion will continue to contract and
    server mergers will be announced.

Wednesday July 14th – Aion servers merged. 10 of 10!

     Cataclysm will shatter previous sales
    records and WoW will remain at the forefront of MMOG subscriptions.

While it has been out less than a week at the time of this writing,
server load is at an all-time high and Blizzard execs were recently
spotted zooming away from Southern California Ferrari dealerships in
shiny new epics. 8 out of 10 due to lack of sales reports – but you
know I’m right.

     The Lord of the Rings Online will be
    the next Dungeons and Dragons Online, going free-to-play and seeing a
    nice resurgence.

I am on fire this year--another spot on pick! Maybe I should give up
this writing gig and make my way to Vegas, or at least open up a sports
betting tip line. 8 of 10 because “nice resurgence” is vague and

26 out of 30 is a pretty solid score, but I may end up removing myself
from the final results since it would look a little suspect if I won
the article I penned.

Mem -

style="font-style: italic;">  style="font-style: italic;">

     DC Universe Online will release with
    lackluster numbers, however it will make a full turn around as people
    fall in love with its combat, customization and being able to see their
    favorite superheroes in action.

Probably an accurate prediction…for next year. The more I think about
it, the more I think DCUO will probably have a pretty impressive
launch, dip and then rebound. 5 out of 10 for a solid thought process

     With the pay per month game arena
    getting more and more crowded we will see an influx of free-to-play
    titles or games that offer a free-to-play version across the market.

A very solid prediction, if we keep this percentage up you may be
logging in to Ten Ton Hammer – Sports Book. I suspect Mem may have had
a bit of help from his better half on this one, however, since she has
the brains and
beauty in that house. 10 points!

     Late in the year after the newness of
    Cataclysm has worn off, Blizzard will finally announce excatly what its
    new MMOG is. The title's daring new ideas will surprise most, and anger

I am going to score this one high as well, even though it isn’t likely
to happen before the New Year. If Cataclysm had launched earlier they
would have made the announcement at Blizzcon this year. 7 out of 10

22 total points for America’s favorite WoW couple ( or at least for my
favorite WoW couple).

Messiah -

     Blizzard will further simplify the
    already simplified game of WoW with the new character stat and gear
    system. This will cause hardcore (or even just intelligent) players to
    get pissed off that the game is becoming a joke, however there will be
    nowhere else to go.

A pretty accurate prediction in terms of the simplification of the
target="_blank">stats and gear, however most
players didn’t seem to notice or care –
they were too busy standing in the epic welfare line. Hardcore players
are pretty excited about the changes Cataclysm has brought, however, so
there is much rejoicing among the “Yay, difficulty!” crowd. 8 out of

     The huge number of average players and
    noobs out there will still scream that the game is too complicated and
    gear too hard for them to obtain

This was more a statement of fact as opposed to a prediction, but it’s
true none the less. 7 out of 10 for cynicism and bitterness.

Messiah is a victim of only doing the bare minimum. We would like to
see more pieces of flair next time..mmmkay? 15 out of 20 is great
percentage-wise, but I am grading for total effort here.

Stow -

     EverQuest will be free-to-play with a
    subscription to any other SOE game by the end of 2010, helping restore
    what is becoming a niche community of nostalgia and little else.

Ohhh, so close! If only he had said EQ2. I will give this high marks
though because I equate this to hand shoes and horse grenades – close
counts. 7 out of 10 for almost nailing what could have been a 12

     Final Fantasy XI did several key things
    right. For one, it had very good storyline. Secondly, it had very good
    music. Maintaining those two things while streamlining the remainder of
    the game to the casual Final Fantasy audience will give Final Fantasy
    XIV a huge impact on the market.

Maybe in Japan. 4 out of 10 for the first babble about what it did
right. I’ll take your word for it, though, because like the rest of the
world …I didn’t play it.

     Cataclysm, given Blizzard is smart
    enough to make a compliation pack at launch to encourage new growth,
    will cause a resurgence in new players and a possible 10% boost to
    subscribers due to the redone old world that everyone is tired of.
    Extremely smart move.

Blizzard essentially did this by dropping the box prices on the
previous three expansions. Server queues on formerly dead realms
validate the second part of this prediction. Seems most of us knew
Cataclysm would be popular, but that’s like picking the Yankees to win
the World Series. 10 out of 10 for mind numbing accuracy style="font-weight: bold;">.

href=""> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 90px; height: 79px;"
alt="Close only counts"
src=""> style="font-weight: bold;">

Stow clocks in with 21 points, a solid performance for his first year
here at the Hammer.

I would like to spotlight some of the more memorable predictions from
former staffers and our beloved readers before we move on to our staff
results :

Dalmarus –

     Before the end of 2010, all of the
    MMOGs we cover at Ten Ton Hammer will have micro-transactions, rather
    than just some.

Mattlow -

     Micro-transactions will invade more
    games in 2010, with 90% of MMOGs having some form of them by the end of
    the year.

Medeor -

     A Twilight MMOG will be announced for
    the soccer moms of the world to unite.
     In related news, Edward, Jacob and
    Bella will be eliminated as possible player names in all MMOGs.
     Subsequently, Cataclysm will showcase
    Jacob Edward Bella as an Undead NPC.

ZeroMerc -

     An unknown European man who was born in
    Africa but raised in Japan will take over Nintendo and then
    subsequently purchase Blizzard from whomever owns them that day and
    move the entire company to the bottom of the ocean. This in turn will
    cause them to get enough first-hand experience to create an MMOG that
    has over 100 million subs and oddly resembles Ecco the Dolphin.

Ralsu -

     Star Trek Online launches to reviews
    split between unmitigated praise and heavy criticism. The game will be
    big at launch but then slide to pedestrian sub numbers supported by
    only the most hardcore fans of the Star Trek IP.
     Stargate Worlds finally breathes its
    death rattle. Six people on the official forums are shocked.

Darke - style="font-style: italic;">

     Star Wars: The Old Republic will be
    pushed back to the 2nd quarter of 2011.

Predict-O-Meter Results!

href=""> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 600px; height: 463px;"

style="font-style: italic;">Team Mem 4TW!

The predictions of our current staff who participated last year had
some fairly close results. Mem and Stow were neck and neck with Mem
coming out ahead by a nose. Check in next week for our look ahead at
what 2011 will bring us ( I predict lots of free-to-play and SW:TOR
predictions – see what I did there?) And, of course, from all of us at
Ten Ton Hammer, have a safe and happy holiday season.

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