Two Thousand Seven

Some predictions (note that I’m forbidden to indulge in insider trading by the SEC, so nothing NC-specific with one exception):

  • World of Warcraft will continue to be an unholy juggernaut of a cultural phenomenon. Burning Crusade will launch, people will burn through it in a couple of months and crusade for more content patches, which Blizzard will dribble out in a fashion quick for the rest of the industry, and not nearly fast enough for the players. At some point, they will announce breaking the 8 million user mark world wide, but won’t talk about their NA/Europe numbers. (Traditionally expansion packs help with retaining current customers but do little to attract new blood.)
  • Vanguard will attract the most dramatic forum drama for 2007 as the launch community turns out to be entirely different from the beta community, and the two sides implode into violent hellfire.
  • Second Life’s torrid affair with the media will end. As they attract more users they’ll run into scaling issues (this is a safe prediction because it’s happening already) and will adapt or die.
  • Raph Koster’s Areae will go public with what they’re doing. I haven’t the foggiest over what it actually is; based on their employment ads it’s something very web-centric and based on Raph’s oft-stated beliefs it’s something very virtual worldy. It will attract violently passionate fans immediately despite not having anything even vaguely playable on the horizon.
  • Bioware Austin will finally reveal what they’ve been working on, and everyone will go “oh, is THAT what you wouldn’t tell us?” (Note: I don’t actually know, I just know it’ll have to be anticlimactic)
  • Warhammer Online will ship near the end of 2007 and the geek forum wars between “Dude, this game totally ripped off World of Warcraft” and “Dude, World of Warcraft totally ripped off Warhammer” will begin in all-too-earnest. Sanya Weathers will roll her eyes a lot (which is a neat trick when you do it online).
  • The media will fall on an RMT story (either involving defrauding a lot of kids or some organized crime involvement — or both) and an American politician will get involved, to appear relevant and net-wise.
  • Very, very few gamers upgrade to Windows Vista.
  • Assuming all goes well, I’ll actually be able to go public a bit with what I’ve been working on. Some of you will like it. Some won’t.
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15 Responses to Two Thousand Seven

  1. Xyntar says:

    “The media will fall on an RMT story (either involving defrauding a lot of kids or some organized crime involvement — or both) and an American politician will get involved, to appear relevant and net-wise.”

    Watching some congressperson try to explain RMT to the general public should be amusing enough to make 2007 worth it.

  2. Abalieno says:

    Traditionally expansion packs help with retaining current customers but do little to attract new blood.

    Though returning players are a pool large enough to feed growth for another two years.

    The other predictions are gold, aside the fact that Warhammer will go beyond just copying the look of WoW.

  3. damijin says:

    It didn’t occur to me until you used crusade as a verb up there that it wouldn’t have been very acceptable for Blizzard to have called their expansion “The Frozen Jihad”.

    But that’s what I would call free publicity.

    Not too late to rename, Blizzard!

  4. sinij says:

    Not a single prediction about Jack Thompson?

  5. Jiffy says:

    I will be making a Blood Elf Paladin, because boobies, bubblin’, and hearthin’, are fun fun fun!

  6. J. says:

    Jack Thompson is already irrelevant. Nothing more need be said about him.

  7. Apache says:

    Age of Conan will do very well. I think it will attract people who like games like Guild Wars.

  8. Mist says:

    You forgot to add:

    “EVE Online will continue to be the best game that no one plays.”

  9. sinij says:

    >>>Jack Thompson is already irrelevant. Nothing more need be said about him.

    Jack is highly relevant, if not for his nuttiness someone with more(any) charisma and less nuttiness could do a lot of damage.

  10. Jarnis says:

    “”## Vanguard will attract the most dramatic forum drama for 2007 as the launch community turns out to be entirely different from the beta community, and the two sides implode into violent hellfire.””

    This is SO going to happen. No crystal ball needed. Only way this prediction fails if someone wakes up at the last second, throws lots of extra money/devpower at it, and the game is postponed to 2008. At which point this prediction belongs to the 2008 version of this same list, and the odds are we still get to see epic hellfire.

  11. Lasz says:

    “Very few gamers upgrade to Vista”

    I’m seriously considering it. DX10 is going to be the sweetness. And playing Crysis with it? I’ve been waiting years for this (well, since I finished FarCry).

    Cheers,

    Lasz

  12. Sweetmeat says:

    I was planning on getting a dual processor dual core machine when Warhammer comes out, which I am told will require Vista to run the two processors. Is there something I should know that would change my mind on this?

  13. “Very, very few gamers upgrade to Windows Vista. ”

    Yep. Also, because Vista can’t run hardware accelerated sound, I predict that OpenAL usage by gaming companies will take off.

  14. Joe says:

    You are underestimating the stupidity of gamers. You’ve played games online before right? Hordes of them upgraded to XP, tons of them were so stupid they ran 98 or even ME before that even though win2k was available. They will upgrade to vista in droves, especially since there are already companies with directx10 only games in development.

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