View RSS Feed


2012 Prediction Recap: I didn't do so hot edition PART 2

Rate this Entry
*** This is the second part of my predictions recap blog post for 2012 ***

Next up, EQ Next:

Everquest Next is announced. It is (at least on paper – all we’ll see this year) a theme park MMO with a fresh approach of mixing in strong sandbox/virtual world elements. EQ:N won’t release until 2013 or even beyond.
I'll take a half point here. EQ Next wasn't announced so much as it was temporarily unannounced. Where I will take the points however is I think I've clearly nailed what EQ Next is going to be based on Smed's comments at SOE Live. It is clear that Smed and Co want to take the game in a new direction. I plan on elaborating on all of this with my 2013 predictions.


Planetside 2 ships. Underwhelms the mass market but is a money maker for SOE anyway. The biggest barrier to financial success for Planetside in my mind was the business model – the F2P/Sub hybrid that SOE is really iterating and nailing right now will be a perfect fit for Planetside Next and the game will carve out a solid niche.
I'll take full points here. I think PS2 has done really well and really has captured the attention of PC Gamers, but I don't think its appeal has spread beyond that base. It's a great game and everyone should be playing it.


Guild Wars 2 does not ship in 2013.
I should probably get minus points for only dedicating this paltry amount of space to GW2. The game itself is lots of fun, although short on long term depth/appeal/replayability but what I really missed out on was the business model. I think when GW2 did well and made money it was the single moment in 2012 that will forever ring out through the industry. Because of GW2 I suspect 2012 is the year pay to play died. WoW and I'm sure some future AAA pretenders will try and go pay to play but i think free to play is the way forward. And for me, as an old school guy who loves paying subs (because I feel that's how I get the most value out of a game and a studio) I have to admit that's a huge shift in thinking. 2012 was the year free to play won the business model wars, and I didn't catch it. No points.

Firefall / other players:

Some interesting new players enter the scene. Firefall will be the biggest commercial success following a Riot Games/League of Legends rapid build to mainstream success.
This actually didn't happen at all. Firefall didn't release (and those who got their hands on beta have shared with why it hasn't released and there's good reasons). The success story throughout the year continued to be Riot, it continued to be Mojang and Minecraft. 2012 was more of a further entrenching year for the guys who started to make noise in 2011.

Ultima IP:

Electronic Arts does something with the Ultima IP, involves massively multiplayer. I don’t want to guess too much on this one. If I did have to guess I imagine Richard Garriott will NOT be involved at least not in the initial running. After the first announcement goes out EA will realize getting Richard involved in someway will help revitalize and bring attention to the new project. He might end up involved in some token manner (likely involving the Lord British character who he owns the rights to). There was an interview a few weeks ago saying Bioware will be turning their attention to a well loved IP, I believe this is Ultima and this is my predication for what that means.
No points. I really don't fucking want to talk about it.


Lord of the Rings Online has a bad year. I have no idea how this plays out but I get the sense that the game has turned the corner and the benefit of the F2P switch is starting to run dry for the game. I don’t think the last expansion did overly well.
I think Turbine re-releasing Asheron's Call 2 gives me the points here. To me the AC2 rerelease felt like a bit of a desperate grab for revenue (don't get me wrong I'm very happy AC2 is back!) and I think LOTRO's prime as a beacon of F2P light are over and done with.


CCP / DUST – I suspect DUST will not ship this year, particularly after early betas receive overly negative feedback. I have no basis for this, but call it a hunch.
Points plox. (Why the fuck is this game launching on PS3 again?)


Rift suffers the most from SWTOR. Many MMO vets who burned out on WoW after Cataclysm found a haven in Rift. Even those who have resisted SWTOR in the short term will find the sheer amount of their friends in TOR a strong enough pull to walk away from Rift. Trion needs to announce an expansion for Rift by June or the game’s long term outlook could be called in to question. Don’t rule out a business model change.
I was pretty right here, minus the fact that the real suffering came at the hands of GW2 and not so much SWTOR. They did announce an expansion in the summer. I'll take the points. The business model change might still come, despite the fact I think Trion knows its not very smart to change a game that was designed for P2P to F2P.

TOR as a proving ground for pay to play:

Speaking of business model changes – SWTOR becomes a proving ground for the AAA subscription approach. The problem is TOR has also raised the expectation for what a AAA subscription MMO is. Companies will be more tempted by the Sub model again (counter to the fleeing to F2P we’ve seen in 2011) but the up front cost is a more daunting barrier to entry than ever. Expect this to mean a slow 2012 for product reveals as publishers and the money men figure out what the fuck this all means.
TOR's failure + GW2's success as buy to play = the death of pay to play. And this prediction is why I really didn't get 2012 going in to it. The writing was on the wall (League of Legends, SOE's conversion to pay your way F2P, etc) and I just didn't pick up on it. I was wrong. And quite frankly I'll take a minus point for this one. I really screwed the pooch on predicting 2012 right here.


Final Fantasy XIV this is a toughy. FFXIV 2.0 is set to release in the fall of 2012. I suspect this date might get missed completely and 2.0 might not happen until 2013. I suspect the decision to start charging for the game this week will kill the game outright in North America. The key question is whether enough JP players stick around to pay the upkeep while we wait for 2.0. If 2.0 does release I don’t expect it to win hearts and minds in North America. It’ll take the PS3 version, which won’t hit until early 2013, to give the game another shot in North America. This will be a dark year for S-E in the MMO market.
This is in a nutshell what happened. Well done Ryan (maybe if I put this success here people will ignore the whole missing free to play thing...). Full points. I have high hopes for FFXIV a realm reborn in 2013!

And my conclusion:

Overall 2012 will be a brighter year for MMOs as TOR brings some fresh air in to the room. There will be less closures, less F2P conversions and just less activity on the business end and a lot more gaming. SWTOR and WoW: MoP will exist together and the MMO sub business will be bigger than it has ever been.
It was a good year for MMOs I think overall. The reason however was because people found new ways to monetize that were up front a better experience for the consumer. And that I completely missed. I couldn't have been more wrong on why 2012 was a good year.

So there we go! What was my score?

Out of a total of 22 possible points I got:
10.5, 11.5 if I don't minus out my epic fail.

This is by far my weakest prediction performance ever. Let's hope I do better for 2013! That post will be coming Soon(TM)

Submit "2012 Prediction Recap: I didn't do so hot edition PART 2" to Twitter Submit "2012 Prediction Recap: I didn't do so hot edition PART 2" to Google

Tags: None Add / Edit Tags


  1. Slammer's Avatar
    well least you did better than the Mayans