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2017 Predictions for 2017: 2017 Edition, Part 2: Let’s Throw Everything at the Wall

Since I’ve managed to once again push the new year predictions until it’s actually the new year, it’s time to throw everything I have in the old portfolio onto the table and get it all out of the way at once.

  1. The World of Warcraft Nostalrius successor will become a huge item among its community, bringing in thousands upon thousands of concurrent players. Blizzard will send a cease and desist order which the operators will ignore until they receive notice that they are being sued. Around that time, Blizzard will announce the Pristine Servers for WoW.
  2. Laura K Dale will continue leaking Nintendo information leading up to and beyond the release of the Switch. Behind the scenes, Nintendo will conduct major internal investigations to figure out who is giving her this information. It will turn out to be a friend of the fired employee Allison Rapp.
  3. Steam will officially hit the level of a premium television package: Hundreds of channels but only a fraction of it worth watching.
  4. Firefall will first announce that the console version is cancelled before revealing that the PC version is shutting down either simultaneously or a week or two later. Nobody will be surprised, however the last few hours will draw in a lot of people to watch the world burn.
  5. Pathfinder Online will shut down, the press won’t notice for a month and by that point most won’t bother covering it.
  6. The SAG gaming strike will come to an end with both sides making concessions. Gamers who previously took a side will go back to not pretending that they are concerned about people in the industry.
  7. Trion Worlds will launch a new game, expansion, or major update to one of their games, resulting in the servers being unusable for close to a month. People will continue to be surprised that Trion Worlds can’t handle launching anything. This will happen multiple times.
  8. Phantasy Star Online 2 still won’t come to the west.
  9. For that matter, other MMOs that the west wants will launch in Korea/China, flop because the local audience isn’t interested, then never come anywhere.
  10. More games will be re-released as HD remakes, but a lot will include extras like concept art, arcade modes, and bonus content. People will be annoyed at the idea of buying the game again, but will admit that the $20 isn’t a high price and the concept art is pretty cool.
  11. Developers will take a cue from Call of Duty and release an HD remake only to add microtransactions weeks after launch. Unlike Call of Duty, they don’t have as many bridges to burn.
  12. Resident Evil 7 will release and become the first major VR title to really “pull it off.” A streamer will admit live on camera that he just literally crapped his pants, he might even show the camera only to be banned by Twitch. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pZNC7wQekk)
  13. South Park will release and be pretty good, but some gaming journalists and TV media will use it as a club and beat gamers over the head over a prolonged poop joke scene.
  14. Activision will announce that they are considering pulling an Ubisoft and holding off on future Call of Duty releases until they can figure out what is going on. They will deny that it has to do with the series plummeting in sales.
  15. No Man’s Sky will continue to update and add in features that should have been available on launch. The game won’t see much of a bump in users.
  16. Bulletstorm will release and sell a negligible amount of copies thanks to its high price. It will go on clearance at Gamestop within a couple of months and Randy Pitchford will call gamers entitled and cite the Duke Nukem cameo as a reason that the game is worth $50. Gearbox may or may not reveal one of the few games anyone actually wants from them: Borderlands 3.
  17. More video game movies will come out, they will under-perform and most people probably won’t be aware that they ever hit theaters.
  18. Daybreak Game Company will become the new foster home for wayward developers, picking up publisher rights for independent companies. New tiers will hopefully be added to the all access pass allowing you to play their games for a higher, but still cheaper, price.
  19. Valve will continue to get sued, and lose, over its refund policy in countries that are not America. Expect the policy to get incrementally better worldwide.
  20. More governments will start to pay attention to gambling in games, forcing rules like revealing lockbox odds and restricting who can participate. Gamers will fully realize that lockboxes are worthless investments.
  21. Troll games will become even more prevalent. Steam Greenlight will be marred in yet another controversy as a Ukranian developer uses the platform as a method of laundering money.
  22. Yooka-Laylee will launch and while it won’t recreate the nostalgia of Banjo Kazooie perfectly, it’ll still be a great game. The most ardent of purists will find some reason to complain.
  23. Another game will launch following a blatantly misleading advertising campaign. The press will call gamers entitled after nobody buys it and the advertising standards will find the developer not guilty because old men working in a bureaucratic office don’t believe that dozens of interviews and demo reels constitute advertising.
  24. Another few survival games from ex-developers who claim to have worked on STALKER: Shadows of Chernobyl will head into early access.
  25. Star Citizen will miss its release dates. All of them.
  26. Camelot Unchained will launch and rather quickly drop its mandatory subscription because that system only works for a small number of titles. They will initially deny that the new system is free to play.
  27. Conan Exiles will launch and be pretty cool. The general consensus at Funcom will be that wasting money on another giant MMO isn’t worth it.
  28. Darkfall: New Dawn and Darkfall: Rise of Agon will launch. One will cannibalize the other and possibly die itself because the original Darkfall was a commercial failure.
  29. Paladins will change its name to WatchOver, Hi-Rez will continue to deny any inspiration from Overwatch.
  30. H1Z1 will bring on new lead developers, multiple times, with Daybreak announcing each time how committed they are to developing both versions.
  31. I will write a negative article about an indie developer who will email me with a not very subtle threat of lawsuit. He will immediately back down when I CC my attorney.
  32. John Smedley will announce that he has joined a new startup. Their first game will be a sandbox MMO. (Source: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-02-15-amazon-hires-john-smedley-to-lead-new-san-diego-studio)
  33. An indie developer will release a game that he genuinely thought was good. It won’t be, he will have a mental breakdown and pretend to have been a troll all along.

As always, I will revisit this list at the end of the year to see what I managed to get right. Until then, may the force be with you…or something.

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