January 1, 2010

Looking Back on 2009, Heartless' Predictions Reviewed

Its that magical time of year where I get to review my predictions for the previous year. Read my original predictions post here.  My commentary is after the jump:
1. The economy will not "collapse", but it isn't going to get better until the governments of the world leave it to the free market to correct itself.
The economy didn't collapse and the government's inability to leave the free market to itself has made the situation shittier than it has to be.
2. The weak economy will encourage smaller, fiscally responsible game development projects. This will lead to a bunch of interesting stuff coming out in the MMO space, whether technically massively multiplayer or not is yet to be seen.
I was correct on this one.  We saw smaller projects like Free Realms become a success. 
3. Even with number 2, subscription based MMOs will still be king of the revenue stream at the end of 2009. Thank World of Warcraft for giving MMO developers false hope everywhere.
I'm going to call 50/50 on this one. World of Warcraft still promotes the wearing of Money Hats and had another solid year,but many other subscription MMOGs are struggling. Micro-transactions are becoming popular, but  they are tough to monetize properly even with a good game such as Free Realms or Battlefield Heroes.  Both titles have struggled to find the money-generating balance with micro-transactions and F2P.
4. World of Warcraft will not get a new expansion, but something will be announced. It will focus more on new hero classes, the Alliance vs Horde conflict, and high end raiding.
WoW did not get a new expansion in 2009, but WoW: Cataclysm was announced.  I was way off on the details of what Blizzard had planned.  However, I like the concepts of Cataclysm!
5. WAR will still be around by the end of 2009, but who remains around to develop it may be drastically different.
I was dead on for this one: Mark Jacobs gone and most of the development staff laid off.
6. More MMOs will close their doors. The true sign of doom will be when SOE starts closing down some of its B-team living painfully on Station Pass.
Matrix Online (a Station Pass B-team member) and Tabula Rasa are the two major shutdowns this year.
7. Speaking of SOE. The doom and gloom continues as SOE continues to push RMT practices on its non-RMT games.
8. An MMO project will come out of left field this year and surprise us all. Scott Jennings may or may not be involved, but he’ll blog about it regardless.
See this post: Scott Jennings in Left Field, Finds Dust
9. The world will end if Diablo III and Starcraft II are both launched in 2009.
Well, I'm still here and that must mean these games didn't launch together. Leaves a slot open for 2010 world-ending predictions.