Through the Looking Glass: 2010 Predictions Recap

Swami
Swami
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 couldnÂ’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  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 made.....

  • 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, letÂ’s take a look at last yearÂ’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 -- weÂ’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 their 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.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
If SavanjaÂ’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 didnÂ’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 WoWÂ’s dominance. 5 out of 10.

  •     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 yearÂ’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-- itÂ’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 flimsy.

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 -

 
  •     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 predictionÂ…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 nonetheless.

  •     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 some.

I am going to score this one high as well, even though it isnÂ’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 points.

22 total points for AmericaÂ’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 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 10.

  •     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 itÂ’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 pointer.

  •     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. IÂ’ll take your word for it, though, because like the rest of the world Â…I didnÂ’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 thatÂ’s like picking the Yankees to win the World Series. 10 out of 10 for mind numbing accuracy.

Close only counts
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 -
  •     Star Wars: The Old Republic will be pushed back to the 2nd quarter of 2011.

Predict-O-Meter Results!


graph!

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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