Ten Ton Hammer’s 2011 MMOG Predictions - Page 2

Updated Tue, Jan 04, 2011 by jeffprime

Sardu is our hard-working editor of all things WoW and whatever else we can slip on his plate when he’s not looking. He is also our soft-spoken visionary and color commentator, which doesn’t translate as well as you think when he’s battling Stow online.
  • Apart from a brief teaser for their next MMOG at BlizzCon 2011, Blizzard Entertainment will mostly focus on promoting the final raid bosses in Cataclysm and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. A release window for Diablo III will also be announced, though it won’t be given a specific date.
  • The first details for Blizzard’s next MMOG will, however, be conveniently “leaked” the same week that ArenaNet announces the release date for Guild Wars 2.
  • Fallen Earth will continue to build up a critical mass of dedicated fans, closing out the year with numerous comparisons being made to EVE Online’s steady growth over time versus the sparkle and fade launches seen throughout the industry over the last few years.
  • The first details and gameplay footage for the Trion Worlds - SyFy joint MMOG project will be revealed this summer. The game will involve giant eels/snakes/alligators/doom bees that cause a shift in the earth’s crust, and players will take on the role of a retired Army/Navy/Air Force/Marine officer with an estranged husband/wife who just happens to be the only scientist in the country that can calculate the exact locations for nuclear warheads to be placed to stop the devastation caused by earthquakes and the rampaging eels/snakes/alligators/doom bees at the same time. Doing it any other way will naturally lead to the end of all life on the plant.
  • There will be more announcements that triple-A MMOG releases have slipped into 2012 than there are actual releases before the close of 2011.

Saia is the newest member of our WoW team, which means that he’s responsible for getting the donuts for staff meetings. He’s also our unofficial European bureau chief. We don’t know what happened to our last European bureau chief. According to Saia, “He just went away.”
  • Microtransactions in World of Warcraft for pets and other items will become more prevalent in 2011.
  • Blizzard will announce the next WoW expansion at BlizzCon 11 in August.
  • Diablo III will also get a release date at BlizzCon.
  • Blizzard will finally announce their new IP (aka - Titan) as a futuristic FPS.

world of warcraft
Everyone predicts the supremacy of WoW in 2011.

A man whose playing experience dates back to the dawn of MMOGs, Medawky has been covering a variety of free-to-play games for Ten Ton Hammer, but is currently filling in on the WoW team. He loves grinding so much that he doesn’t drive his car to work, he pushes it!
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic will do better than most expect, largely due to the single-player feel of the game. Most new school MMOG players don't give a damn about grouping and they will flourish here.
  • Turbine will announce a new MMOG, which will launch as a microtransaction game out of the gate.
  • Blizzard will unveil their new "subscription-free" MMOG at Blizzcon 11. BlizzCon tickets will be $175.00 each.
  • With the exception of DC Universe Online, all SOE titles will employ some sort of microtransaction model, either the entire game or one existing on separate server model such as EverQuest II Extended.

Xerin is another of Ten Ton Hammer’s old guard, being a five year plus veteran. David covers WoW in-between spinning off viciously insightful IMs. He has the ability to type text messages with his mind!
  • I predict, with a lot of certainty, that no MMOG will overtake World of Warcraft in 2011, much less get anywhere near close.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic will either be delayed another year or, if it launches, do extremely well at launch and fade quickly into obscurity unless it has a free-to-play component built in, which is now a requirement for any MMOG to launch successfully.
  • Any MMOG without a free-to-play subscription will now fail at a much faster rate than before.
  • Deathwing will arrive to Cataclysm sometime later in 2011 and be a difficult enough boss, but cause a series of Onyxia like jokes throughout the community culminating with some kind of viral video involving more dots and someone freaking out when Deathwing's tailsmack sends them back in time spawning Chuck Norris like jokes.

star wars the old republic
Can SW:TOR actually challenge WoW?

Ten Ton Hammer’s resident news jockey, Martuk has not officially been offline in more than two years. Currently, the staff has a betting pool going that he’s either hardwired into his computer or is a disembodied energy being existing in the Matrix. Frankly, we’re not sure and are kind of afraid to find out.
  • I predict that despite not being entirely original, Rift will have moderate success after its launch. It won't do superhuman WoW-type numbers, but it will solidify at a decent populace that should sustain the game for some time to come.
  • Trion Worlds will then reveal more details about their SyFy Channel MMOG, which is set to run alongside a television show. There will be a lot of hype and we'll begin to get the first clues of why it won't work.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic will launch sometime before Christmas (likely November). SWTOR will break one million boxes sold and thrive well until the 30 free days are up and barring a free-to-play hybrid option at launch, that reception will soon give way to the harsh reality that few games can sustain millions of subscribers and it will suffer the inevitable population dip.
  • The Secret World will be postponed until sometime in 2012 to take advantage of the "we're all going to die" (again) fade with the Mayan calendar.
  • TERA will launch and despite its fun group play and some creative ideas it will be shadowed by the fact that it's an Eastern-inspired MMOG. This will hinder it a bit in the Western market, but it will still do okay. It just won't be shattering any sales records.
  • Star Trek Online will announce a free-to-play option sometime after April.
  • The hybrid model will further solidify itself in MMOGs becoming the dominant form over basic subscriptions and the better alternative to the simple free-to-play options.

dc universe online
Will DCUO breathe new life into the superhero MMOG?

Shayalyn is our Premium Member program manager, forum peacemaker, and resident den mother. She is the beating heart behind Ten Ton Hammer’s stony countenance. She is also a 12th degree black belt in Grammar and Writing and has been known to make seasoned writers quake in terror.
  • Rift will launch early in Q2 2011 and gamers and reviewers alike will unanimously declare it polished and fun—all in all, a fantastic title. But its linear gameplay, relatively small world and lack of group content will lead to a fall-off in subscriptions bolstered only by the game’s first major update a few months after launch. By the end of 2011, Rift will have converted to some sort of subscription-free payment model that will finally bring the success the game deserves.
  • TERA will, unfortunately, be another Aion—stunningly beautiful, with fun gameplay initially, but too grindy in the long run to sustain a sizeable Western audience. Asian gold sellers will plague the title, as well.
  • Subscription-based MMOGs will continue to lose steam as free-to-plays overtake them. Those MMOGs daring to launch as pay-to-plays in 2011 will face a difficult struggle to retain subscribers.
  • This is a stretch, but EA will announce a new link in the massive Sims franchise that is online, free-to-play, and heavily microtransaction-based. The game will also allow players to create and sell custom content via an online store system. It will be nothing at all like the failed The Sims Online and similar to The Sims 3 with a quest and achievement system. The game won’t even approach the light of day until 2012, or possibly even 2013, but EA will rev up the hype machine nonetheless. You heard it here first!

There you have it, fellow gamers; some bold and not-so-bold predictions for the upcoming year. Has the staff at Ten Ton Hammer successfully pulled back the mysterious veil of the future or are we totally insane? The only thing that can be said with certainty, except for the continuing dominance of WoW, is that time will tell!

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