Predictions for 2015

It’s all the rage so I may as well engage in some egotistical pattering about what I think will happen this year. Here goes:

This is going to be an EVE-centric blog, so I may as well give CCP their own section, right? Here’s what I think will happen to Crowd Control Productions in 2015.

  1. Of 2015’s 10 releases, at least one will miss its original date (thus upsetting the entire rest of the schedule); two will be widely panned by the EVE community as being boring, lackluster, or featureless; one will change the game forever in a profound, distinct “that was then, this is now” sort of way; one will piss just about everyone off; two will be really good as rated by the community all the way around (think Rhea).
  2. Developers will continue to leave CCP in a disconcerting way – at least two of which will be high profile, community-facing members of the company. However, the bleeding will mostly stop by summer, and by fall we’ll be greeting two new player-turned-devs.
  3. Player made and controlled stargates are coming, the details of which will be announced at Fanfest during the solar eclipse. These stargates will have permissions settings available only to the alliances that build them, and will point into what used to be Jove space before it was all blown to hell in the same event that produced shattered wormholes.
  4. Speaking of shattered wormholes, they will be the only ones that connect to Jove space, providing a limited back door into territory that is wholly controlled by players (to be termed ‘negspace’ because they will feature negative security statuses ranging from -1 to -10).
  5. Three more prominent EVE blogs will go dark this year – sad, but true. However, the community as a whole will see a resurgence and we’ll see a net gain in blog population by the end of the year.
  6. Evenews24 will finally break down this year for good. The domain will lapse and be picked up by an enterprising goon who will turn it into a goatse portal (I’m mainly kidding).
  7. The polarization of EVE media will continue apace as Brave will throw their lot in with…Crossing Zebras. This will ensure that no single website will ever have all the news you need or opinions you want, but will overall be a good thing as more people in nullsec (historically a big black hole when it comes to bloggers) will be writing about what they do.
  8. T3 battlecruisers by the end of the year.
  9. Dust’s sunset will be announced, as will the beta for Project Legion, probably around the same time. Dust will still be turned on at the end of the year, though.
  10. EVE Valkyrie will flop (as much as none of us want it to). It will continue to be a novel companion to VR gear, but will not have the depth of play to warrant strapping into a monstrous VR set over and over again. A commercial break-even in terms of development costs, though, as it will move enough units/sell enough whatever to pay for itself. The VR development will then be incorporated into EVE.

Whew! Blew through that in a hurry. Some audacious claims in there but I think I’ll probably come up at least 3 for 10. We’ll see next year, won’t we? Now, on to the industry as a whole.

  1. H1Z1 will come out and, over the course of the year, slowly become SOE’s hottest property since Everquest.
  2. Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar will both transition completely away from any kind of sub2play model. Instead, subscriptions will be ‘premium memberships’ that confer some sort of benefit that ultimately isn’t worth it. Wildstar will probably border on the more exploitative when this happens.
  3. Some random Asian market MMO will once again blitz its way into the collective consciousness of MMO players in America, then fade away to nothing – all within 6 months.
  4. Fallout Online will be announced for a 2016 launch. Then get delayed by the end of the year to 2017.
  5. Fallout 4 is coming.
  6. An expansion will come out for Civilization: Beyond Earth that makes it 100% likeable – think Brave New World for Civ V, but even Braver, Newer, and Worldier.
  7. BlizzCon 2015 isn’t going to happen. Come back in 2016, when they have a new WoW expansion and movie to talk about.
  8. Overwatch is going to be a lot better than anyone expects and will expose TF2 to a bunch of people that never would’ve imagined they liked TF2.
  9. Heroes of the Storm will flop on the eSports front, while SMITE surges ahead of Dota 2.
  10. Riot will announce a new game – for reals this time. It will feature large scale PVP battles in a persistent universe with user generated content being the backbone of its long term survivability. It will be the anti-League.

Now then, that wasn’t so bad was it? I’d make a bunch more predictions for 2015 regarding the industry as a whole, but I still feel a bit held back when talking about the wider industry, so you just get those 10 this year. I think that those are actually all really safe bets, so I’m gonna go out on a limb and predict that my predictions will go 7 out of 10.

Think you can do better? Leave a comment and let’s compare notes in 365 days!