Now that Melmoth’s got his comedy prediction out of the way (MMOs are a stagnant genre, atrophying away as the rest of the world moves on, ha ha ha, oh, god, wait, he might be right) I’ll do the serious stuff. Needless to say, 2009 panned out precisely as I predicted, so as a bit of an added challenge for 2010 I’ll be slightly more specific in timing:
- February 19th, 3.47 – 3.54pm: Aventurine’s exciting “flamebait for cash” programme proves so successful that they further focus on their core audience and replace Darkfall’s combat system with Monkey Island style insult fights. For starter mobs, shouting “lol failgoblin is fail” a couple of times is enough to win the engagement, but large scale PvP battles require more thorough personal attacks and references to the weight of your opponent’s mother.
- March 6th, 10.11am – 10.18am: using the massive profits from earning gold in WoW, Gevlon constructs an underwater city where he and his fellows can live without being dragged down by morons and slackers. Things don’t turn out too well after the plasmid market takes off…
- June 14th, 7.22 – 7.29am: Bioware and Cryptic suddenly realise there’s been a terrible mix-up in the IPs they’ve actually got licensed. After everything goes very quiet for a couple of weeks, there are grand announcements of revised games: Star Wars Online features players commanding a Rebel starship, and beaming down to planets where they frequently encounter Imperial agents with funny shaped foreheads, and Star Trek: The Old Republic is set 50,000 years before the TV series, allowing bold Federation officers waving glowing swords to take on evil Klingons who can shoot lightning and choke people from a distance.
- August 28th, 10.30 – 10.37pm: in a bid to stand out from the crowd of free-to-play games, Sony relaunch Free Realms under a new “be-paid-to-play” model. All players receive $3.95 every month they play, for a mere $4.95 subscription.
- October 2nd, 4.09 – 4.18am: Turbine decide to emulate Blizzard’s advertising strategy by using an 80s icon. The addition of David Hasselhoff’s “Hasselbazooka” as an in-game item in Lord of the Rings Online is criticised by some players for not fitting in with lore, as it transforms the clothing of whoever it hits into a pair of red swimming trunks, and causes minstrels to start playing a random melody from the Night Rocker album.