With the New Year upon us, I’m given to understand that predictions of what the forthcoming year may hold are the done thing, so here we go:
- The combination of ever-increasing subscriber base and world economic collapse will lead to the World of Warcraft becoming the richest nation in the world, with the dollar and Euro being pegged against the Azerothian gold piece. Primal speculation will replace hedge funds, but the next expansion will trigger hyperinflation as new daily quests offer ever increasing rewards, sparking riots, ore hoarding and armed mobs besieging Blizzard headquarters. CSRs will describe it as “not as bad as that time Warlocks got nerfed”.
- In related news, CCCP will take over Iceland, which will do very well for a while until it comes out that the massive increase in herring exports were due to a dupe exploit.
- Richard Garriot’s Richard Garriot(tm) will announce a new MMOG, in which the entire player base will be launched into space, servers being stationed on the moon. This will turn out to be a Sontaran plot to recruit super-warriors based on a somewhat literal interpretation of the game forums, and the players will do rather less well in hand-to-hand combat with Rutans than hoped.
- Having exhausted the possibilities of fantasy, and with the superhero and sci-fi genres getting crowded, companies will look to new settings for MMOGs. Cyberpunk and steampunk are both tempting options, but I think the the breakthrough genre will be insurancepunk. Actuarial work with an edge.
- The industry will get bored of RMT and move on to a new revenue source, SMT: Surreal Money Trading. You’ll be able to equip your character with a vague sense of underwear in exchange for purple.
- Finally, I’m really going out on a limb with this one: a new game will be released. Some bloggers will like it. Some bloggers won’t. Some bloggers will be cross at the bloggers who like it. Other bloggers will be cross at the bloggers who don’t like it. Other bloggers still will be cross at all the cross bloggers. The game will both succeed and fail, depending on which measures of success are used.