2013 Prediction Update
Posted by Player Versus Developer [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 January 2013, 6:09 pm
It's been all of 24 hours since I posted my belated predictions for the year, and there is already breaking news. 
  • Turbine dis-confirmed one of my LOTRO predictions by announcing the addition of a new region in the upcoming Update 11.  I had predicted they would skip this roughly annual tradition in favor of saving more content for the fall expansion. 
  • Trion announced plans to publish the Eastern sandbox MMO ArcheAge in the West

    A decision like this one either does or does not make sense on its own merits based on whether Trion will make significant profit out of the deal.  There are probably also economies of scale in publishing additional titles now that Trion is already publishing two titles and counting (whenever End of Nations re-emerges) - SOE also announced plans to pick up an Asian MMO last year.  Overall, it doesn't disprove my theory about Rift going free to play this year, but the studio's backers clearly aren't throwing in the towel on the effort as a whole. 

    Bhagpuss also questions whether Archeage's release affects my call that we will get most of the way into 2013 without a "major event launch".  My gut still says no - the whole point of making a sandbox game is not to try and replicate the mass hype followed by exodus that has plagued the AAA MMO's of recent years.  Selling large numbers of boxes is great, but having 75% of your players leave within a few months will kill the community that you need to sustain your sandbox longterm.  Time will tell, but I am not expecting this to be an over-hyped event.
Anyway, if any of you have any wishlist items of stuff you that you don't think will happen, let me know so I can add them to my list and therefore ensure that they do come to pass just to disprove more of my predictions.  To start, a bonus tack-on prediction - despite Smedley's comments, EQNext does not launch in 2013.  (Given what we know of the game's business model, I will define "launch" as all three of 1) open to the public, 2) done with any character wipes, and 3) accepting cash.)


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