Bold Predictions 2009

As writers in the game industry, we spend most of our time looking at what has already happened and taking to it with hammer and tongs. But once a year on Gamers With Jobs, we like to put on our funny hats and predict what will happen in the upcoming year in gaming -- putting our reputations on the line and potentially angering publishers in the process. How did we do in 2008? See for yourself. Read on for our Bold Predictions and feel free to add your own!

What's that? You want a taste of my predictive genius? Brace yourself!

- Alan Wake? Yes. Finally.

Bam!

Shawn "Certis" Andrich

- Due to the struggling economy, game journalists everywhere will be so grateful that AAA games even exist that they will reach new heights in salad tossing. Game review scores will average higher than usual.

- Nintendo will take the next step in the development of their brand, selling software and peripherals targeted directly at schools, hospitals and community groups.

- Microsoft will succumb to the siren call that is Steam. Unfortunately, they won’t have many new PC games to add to the library. GFW will continue to lurch along.

- Sony will refresh and re-launch the PS3. A new, lower-priced unit with fewer added features and a fresh focus on Home will set the tone as Sony tries to keep the PS3 in line with cheaper Blu-ray players. It will take on a smaller form factor and a less ostentatious gloss.

- Three major AAA game projects will be canceled. Rockstar’s L.A Noire will be one of them.

- Much like last year being all about sequels, this year will be all about new franchises geared toward sustainable, ongoing development. Microtransactions, expansions, download packs and ad-supported free play will be strong on the PC and more prevalent than ever on consoles.

- Duke Nukem Forever will be released this year.

Michael "Zonk" Zenke

- Age of Conan is in for a rough ride.

- Warhammer's numbers will gain some serious pickup starting in Spring.

- SOE's Free Realms is going to be a really, really big deal.

- None of the following games will be released this year: Champions, The Old Republic, The Agency, DC Universe Online, Star Trek Online, Lego Universe, Stargate Worlds.

- Jumpgate Evolution will release this year, and faces big challenges in informing players about its hawtness. NetDevil has a great product on their hands, they just have to get the word out.

- Microtransactions 'won' in 08. Expect a lot of pro-MT announcements in 09' as other companies fall in line.

- Free-to-play MMOs are going to be big headlines this year, especially titles launched in 08' to little fan fair and developed overseas. They're making huge headway in the US.

- There will be no new WoW expansion released in 2009.

Julian "rabbit" Murdoch

- iPhone game numbers become available, and the top games are revealed to be selling as well as average PSP games.

- Browser-based and free-to-play games (MMOs especially) become legitimate and financially viable.

- Lego Rock Band is officially announced.

- A new, high-polish print magazine is announced (likely by Future). Despite wanting it to succeed, Rabbit will still submit articles for consideration.

- Several high-profile yet unaffiliated gaming websites will merge.

- Valve will drop a surprise game on unsuspecting gamers.

- Brutal Legend will ship, and sell OK. A separate soundtrack will be released, that will sell very well.

- PC game DRM will start eroding, with companies adopting a "frequent content" model, or just giving up and joining Steam.

- In a budget move, the D&D Online Tabletop will be canceled, as will Magic: the Gathering Online.

- LittleBigPlanet will have a surprisingly consistent year, as frequent, game-themed content packs draw new fanbases to the platform.

- PlayStation Home will be canceled.

Colleen "momgamer" Hannon

- Duke Nukem' Forever will slip yet again.

- Final Fantasy XIII will slip several times before shipping to much hype and fanfare right before Christmas.

- Nintendo will continue to prove they're the only company in gaming who can manage to pick manure up from the clean end by continuing to ship quirky niche games at irregular and infrequent intervals and still making money hand over fist.

- Peter Moore will open his yap and insert foot to the knee again.

Cory "Demiurge" Banks

- This will be the year Guitar Hero-style rhythm games will lose their audience. Too many GH titles and not enough changes in Rock Band, along with other companies jumping on the bandwagon, initial cost of bundles, and too many plastic instruments, will drive consumers away.

- Lego Rock Band will never happen.

- Diablo 3 will ship before Starcraft 2.

- Mac gaming will finally start to gain some ground as developers follow EA's lead and start porting with Cider. More companies will launch simultaneously on OS X and Windows. Valve will not, and will continue to mock Mac "gamers."

- There will be 50% fewer sequels released in 2009 than 2008. The industry will continue to make immense buckets of money.

- Certis will grow a beard. Surprisingly, it will be fuller and richer than any other GWJ staffer. We will, in turn, grow to hate him even more.

- GamersWithJobs.com will be bought by UGO. 3/4s of the staff will be laid off, leaving only Cory "Demiurge" Banks to fill front page content. Repeated stories about "How pretty Princess Peach is" and "That new game where you press the buttons" will strike a nerve with GWJ's new mainstream, dumbed-down audience. Stock prices will soar.

Alex "Spaz" Martinez

- UGO will keep the 1up brand on life-support, inject some funky-fresh new talent to oversee the new "TOP TEN SEXIEST GIRL GAMERZZ" division, then slowly transition it into UGO proper.

- In the wake of the EGM vacuum, G4 will experiment with an e-ink print run. The resulting magazine will be a mix of Maxim and Edge and update, for a fee, from G4's webportal. Additional "subscriptions" will be available to Kindle e-readers.

- iPhone gaming will see more fantastic "boom" cases involving dudes making an app, then retiring on profits. Commence the iPhone App Bubble.

- E3, reopened to the general public, will wrestle with an economic downturn, an uninterested audience, tightened advertising budgets and the loss of games-enthusiast media interest. E-For-All effectively dies.

- Screwattack Gaming Convention will see a very modest success, giving fans less incentive to care about E3/EforAll, and strengthening the perception that a proper gamer-convention is best run by fans, not companies.

- XBL Community Games spend the majority of the year sucking.

- Microsoft will announce that it will bring Steam functionality to its next next-Gen system.

Lara "KaterinLHC" Crigger

- EGM's demise will be the final nail in the coffin for American print gaming mags. While other full-color glossies might appear, none will stick around for more than an issue or two.

- There will be a proliferation of more mature gaming website starting up throughout the first six months of this year.

- Lego Lord of the Rings, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Twilight, Lego Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants ... .

- This will not be the year iPhone gaming becomes hot. If it ever does. It will be lucky to survive the year.

- Facebook will be the new hot medium for casual game hits. PopCap will naturally be the breakout star. We'll soon start seeing popular Facebook titles migrating to the DS and PSP.

- No Alan Wake this year, either.

- This will be the year I see a Wind Waker shirt in the "ironically nostalgic" section of Hot Topic. It will make me sad.

Sean "Elysium" Sands

- While the industry sees a new record revenue total in 2009, it does not see record growth. The words "video game bubble" or some variation thereof will begin to creep into the conversation.

- Electronic Arts will be seen to be for sale, though it will not be purchased or acquired. However, there will be numerous departures of key EA executives.

- Starcraft 2 will ship late 2009.

- Games that will not ship this year: Alan Wake, Final Fantasy XIII, Diablo 3, Duke Nukem Forever, KOTOR MMO.

- No hints or announcements regarding next gen consoles in 2009.

- Valve will announce and release a new IP.

- 2009 is considered uneventful and relatively boring compared to previous years, highlighted by a few exciting and major game announcements.

Adam "The Fly" LaMosca

- Blizzard will announce a new title that revolves around a story-driven, single-player campaign (and it won't be Starcraft: Ghost).

- Dragon Age will delight longtime RPG fans but will be met by very disappointing sales.

- More major mainstream media outlets will establish and promote journalists who cover gaming content (a la Newsweek's N'Gai Croal). We'll see the most thoughtful and thorough game coverage emerge from sources other than the major enthusiast press sites.

- Not even Phil Harrison can save Infogrames. It'll go under completely, and the Atari brand will finally be taken off life support.

- Halo Wars will be a critical and commercial disappointment. Halo: ODST, on the other hand, will be a major success, but it will still be the last Bungie-built Halo title. Before the year is out, Bungie will release a teaser trailer or website for its next big project, but they won't announce a name or any details.

- InFamous will prove irresistible, and will finally bring Sucker Punch the widespread acclaim they deserve.

- Miyamoto will announce a new Nintendo IP based on his latest hobby, and it won't excite anyone.

- Katerin will be 100% wrong about iPhone gaming. Well-crafted and full-featured releases by id Software and Square Enix will be in the App Store by the end of the year.

- None of the big three console manufacturers will announce major hardware redesigns, but they'll all release new peripherals of dubious value just in time for the 2009 holiday season.

Jeremy "Nyles" Greenfield

- A Japanese developer (possibly Atlus) will release yet another wonderful niche PS2 game, which will be described as the "swan song" of the ancient console. This will also happen in 2010.

- Everyone will forget to feed and care for their lovingly created NXE avatars, leading to a tragic wave of starving, filthy avatar hoboes.

- The Wii will pull farther ahead of the DS in the race for best adventure game platform. What, you didn't know about that race? In 2009, you will continue to not hear or care about adventure games.

- Fallout 3 will get its two promised DLC packs, which will raise the level cap to 21.2 and 21.5 respectively. A new perk will be included, but sadly, it's only available at level 22. There will also be a $1.99 downloadable patch to put armor on your existing armor, to make it shinier.

- An Assassin's Creed sequel will be announced, with carefully subdued fanfare and lowered expectations. "We expect this game will have some polygons, and the buttons will control body parts, but don't get too excited, we're talking hands and feet."

- Dragon Age will be Jade Empire plus Mass Effect minus everyone's hazy, nostalgic memories of Baldur's Gate 2. It will not have a sequel, or a proper ending. It will, however, have a separate ending for "gwevil" characters, or characters who act evil in order to do good but not take credit for it, which would be evil.

- Unless someone buys me an iPhone, every GWJ writer will be wrong about iPhone gaming, forever. Rabbit, Spaz, Kat, Fly: If you don't want to be totally embarrassed by your lack of foresight, buy me an iPhone. I would also like a pony. A pony hollowed out and filled with iPhones.

wordsmythe, a.k.a. "King Grahammar of Daventypo" (Copy Editor)

- Games scheduled for this year that don't release for Christmas will be in a tough spot, and potentially sold off. I expect a number of buggy or otherwise unpolished titles pushed out at the last minute.

- And don't expect any new IP announcements if it's not from Blizzard, Nintendo, or Valve. Now that I think about that, new IP from Blizzard or Nintendo is sort of a silly thought in the first place.

- Smaller games with lower price points will outpace AAA titles, but neither will do particularly well.

- No new consoles announced. Planning for the next generation is postponed until the economy picks up in late 2010.

Comments

Sadly, no one is predicting a price drop in any of the consoles

MotionPlus sends Wii into stratosphere.

Sony announces motion control device ....for PS2.

Steve Jobs dies.

Certis has big balls

Certis wrote:

- Duke Nukem Forever will be released this year.

My predictions:

- Dragon Age will come out, but few if any will take notice.

- No Alan Wake.

- No Diablo III.

- The first installment of Starcraft II will come out some time this year, but it'll be a long wait for the next two episodes.

- 2009 will be the year that we finally see the first decent media tie-in game in the form of Ghostbusters. Close yet distant runners up will be Batman: Arkham Asylum and Aliens: Colonial Marines.

- Barack Obama will film a commercial for World of Warcraft. There, I said it.

- Valve will announce something and it'll catch all our attention.

- No Duke Nukem Forever.

- Empire: Total War will still have the same AI flaws of its predecessor, made all the worse in sea battles when your fleets start running aground.

- Alpha Protocol and Battlestations: Pacific will be this year's sleeper hits.

- The first indication that Star Trek Online isn't coming out in 2009 will be when Cryptic quietly changes the start year for the game from 2409 to 2410 on their website.

- A new Call of Duty will be announced and will come out this year to about the same fanfare as the fourth entry.

- People will begin to temper their expectations about Star Wars: The Old Republic when it finally sets in that it's being done by Bioware Austin, not the original Bioware.

- BioShock 2 won't amaze people the way the original did.

- Ken Levine's secret project will be announced...on the GWJ Conference Call after an inappropriately timed slip of the tongue that Rob forgets to edit out.

- Mount and Blade will be this year's Sins of a Solar Empire.

- Pandemic 3 will be released and it'll still be next to impossible to infect Madagascar.

- The LEGO gaming franchise will start to wear out its welcome.

- Sony will continue its death-spiral

- We could see the economy result in the death of at least one major publisher besides Infogrames/Atari.

- Next to nothing announced in terms of hardware and peripherals from the Big Three, but plenty of third-party stuff surrounding the Wii.

- Felicia Day will stumble across that thread about her and stop returning Julian's calls.

- DLC will rule the day.

Zonk:
"None of the following games will be released this year: Champions, The Old Republic, The Agency, DC Universe Online, Star Trek Online, Lego Universe, Stargate Worlds."

...that doesn't count sir. Consider yourself a top-25 game journalist again

  • Most of the highly anticipated games released this year will be bitter disappointments.
  • Something I have no prior knowledge of prior to playing it will be entertaining and enjoyable.
  • Nintendo will continue to make an embarrassingly huge amount of money by selling software to people who don't know better.
  • DRM will continue to impede actual customers while not inhibiting piracy one damn bit.

Jacksonville Jaguars, playoffs, 2009! Book it!

*Legion* wrote:

Jacksonville Jaguars, playoffs, 2009! Book it! :D

I would, but every time I agree with you, they don't.

Rat Boy wrote:

I would, but every time I agree with you, they don't.

I appreciate your abstinence in this prediction.

- All in all it will be a tepid year in gaming; most of the major releases will underwhelm, and we will be looking more towards DLC for 2008 games by the Fall.

- Everything named HALO will bomb; Halo Wars will go down to tepid reviews, and Halo: ODST will be largely ignored.

- Sony cuts the price of the PS3 by a $100 by Spring '09 and announces the release of software PS2 BC.

- Mad World will bomb, and self-identified "hardcore gamers" on GAF will be mystified.

- No FF13 even in Japan.

- By Summer 2009 Microsoft is selling full Xbox 360 games over live

- Rockstar announces "GTA: "..." the full on follow up to GTAIV by the end of the year.

- Sony exclusives bomb; Killzone 2 bombs, INfamous bombs, Uncharted 2 bombs, R&C: Future 2 bombs

- Insomniac goes full on Third Party and starts publishing for Xbox 360 by the end of the year.

- Street Fighter IV brings fighting games back into vogue. Briefly.

- Best Selling game of the year whatever Call of Duty is next. Followed closely by Bioshock 2.

- Forza 3 releases Fall 09, GT5 is nowhere to be seen

- Dragon Age Origins sells "OK" but nothing amazing. Once again PC Gaming is proclaimed dead when really BioWare should've just rolled out Mass Effect 2.

- CryTek rolls out its first console game; most likely some strain of Crysis

- Alan Wake disappears into the annals of vaporware.

- Shawn Elliott constructs the most awesome Developer Podcast ever heard over at 2k Boston

- 1Up sputters out and dies by the Fall; most of the "major talent" that is left will bail out by the end of the year. 1Up by this time next year will essentially be a link dump for Ugo.com

- CBS sells Gamespot, or at least tries to sell Gamespot.

- No one announces a major console this year.

And the Hail Mary Probably Won't Happen But What the Hell prediction ...

- Sony abandons the PS3 by the end of the year and announces that it will shutter its games division by 2010.

Certis wrote:

- Sony will refresh and re-launch the PS3. A new, lower-priced unit with fewer added features and a fresh focus on Home will set the tone as Sony tries to keep the PS3 in line with cheaper Blu-ray players. It will take on a smaller form factor and a less ostentatious gloss.

I think a redesigned model is going to be a lot more likely from Microsoft than from Sony. Is there anything Sony can drop from the PS3 at this point? The only thing I can think of is either the wireless or Ethernet, both would have to have costs in the cents by now, so it wouldn't save them anything.

Microsoft, though, could do a nice slim redesign after it's integrated the CPU and GPU on to a single super-cool chip. Maybe it'll even throw wireless in there.

Michael "Zonk" Zenke
- Free-to-play MMOs are going to be big headlines this year, especially titles launched in 08' to little fan fair and developed overseas.
wordsmythe, a.k.a. "King Grahammar of Daventypo" (Copy Editor)

Slacking off on your first day?

Also, nothing on the PSP?

pneuman wrote:
Certis wrote:

- Sony will refresh and re-launch the PS3. A new, lower-priced unit with fewer added features and a fresh focus on Home will set the tone as Sony tries to keep the PS3 in line with cheaper Blu-ray players. It will take on a smaller form factor and a less ostentatious gloss.

I think a redesigned model is going to be a lot more likely from Microsoft than from Sony. Is there anything Sony can drop from the PS3 at this point? The only thing I can think of is either the wireless or Ethernet, both would have to have costs in the cents by now, so it wouldn't save them anything.

Cutting out Wireless might save them a few bucks. Maybe. Ethernet would be pennies on the dollar by now. Call me crazy but I like the PS3 design. There is something so outlandishly bombastic about it ... The PS3 design is like a Frenchman who barges into your house, sits on your couch, refuses to leave, and proceeds to tell you how great he is while doing nothing nine months out of the year.

Sony doesn't need a re-design so much as a new marketing campaign. There commercials over the Holidays were terrible and they've been terrible since the PS3's launch. Furthermore they rely way too much on "Hardcore" word of mouth and the traditional "gaming press" to get their buzz out for them.

Killzone 2, for instance, should be EVERYWHERE. I should be being assaulted and offended by Killzone 2 ads everywhere I go. There should be guys dressed in Saris on every street corner shoving a Killzone 2 demo disc into your hand. Aliens should be abducting me in my sleep to watch the Killzone 2 trailer. But ... where is the push for Sony's GOTY? Ummmm?

- Games that will be smothered by the gaming press due to excessive coverage/speculation and ignored by the masses: Heavy Rain, Brutal Legend, Alan Wake

- Games that will receive extra-special massages with happy endings from reviewers: Street Fighter IV, Heavy Rain, Alan Wake, Final Fantasy XIII, Flower, StarCraft II, Afrika

- WiiMotion Plus will bring greater motion tracking possibilities that will not be fulfilled by any other company except Nintendo

- Nintendo will release Wii Sports Resort, put their feet up and call it a day. Perhaps they'll toss us the bone of a new Mario or Zelda, but it'll be tied to a string and pulled back to 2010

- The Beatles Game will sound the final chord for new rhythm-based games before being booed off the stage, and the dulcet tones of Rock Band 2 will begin to wane

- Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams will not live up to the original, because it will strive to do something different and will be commended for the effort

Jeremy had me rollin.

"- A Japanese developer (possibly Atlus) will release yet another wonderful niche PS2 game, which will be described as the "swan song" of the ancient console. This will also happen in 2010."

It's funny because it's true.

It will take me most of the year to catch up with the holiday season releases from last year.

The entirety of my new PC gaming will come from the triumvirate of Blizzard, Stardock, and Valve.

But I won't buy any new Blizzard games because Starcraft 2 will be their next release, and the battlecast has demonstrated that I will be hopelessly incapable of the micromanagement needed to play it.

I will still consider the console an inferior platform than the PC.

I will continue to buy more games for the XBox 360 than for the PC.

And finally, I will make it another year without getting enough achievements to unlock anything in TF2.

Another gaming magazine will fold by the end of the year. PC Gamer and Game Informer are the most likely victims.

1UP will not be restored to it's former glory but will do much better then anyone anticipated, with page views easily eclipsing anything Ziff Davis managed with it.

John Riccotello will not be the CEO of EA by the end of the year.

After disastrous sales of Dawn of War II, Empire: Total War, and Dragon Age, and great but still disappointing sales for Sims 3, almost any and all PC games with a single-player focus will either be loudly or quietly dumped. Relic, Creative Assembly and pretty much all other remaining PC-centric developers will either move to being console-centric or making multiplayer-only games. This includes Valve, now that Left 4 Dead is proving to have a large tail and has already outsold The Orange Box. The list of upcoming games on PC in 2010 will be almost exclusively made up of MMOs, casual titles, and badly ported console games from about eight months previously.

Valve will have nothing new come out other then additional content for their other games.

The Beatles game will sell OK. The next Guitar Hero incarnations, however, will do much better then they ever have before and will completely destroy the "rhythm games are being worn out" argument.

Both Microsoft and Sony will push for the casual audience even harder then anyone ever imagined they will. In fact, the doomsayers about the success of Wii being detrimental to hardcore gaming will sound much more believable by the time the year is out.

This will honestly to god be the year of the PS3. Killzone 2 may not be immediately huge, but have a long tail and will sell gangbusters by the end of the year. Uncharted 2 and God of War 3 will also sell extremely well. Sony will release statistics involving Home microtransactions, and will prove to be a much bigger success then anyone else believed. Halo ODST will sell pretty well, but MS won't have anything quite as powerful as previous years.

Ubisoft will release Assassin's Creed 2 before the end of the year. The same cannot be said for Splinter Cell: Conviction.

One moderately large developer that we all assumed was doing great will suddenly shut down unexpectedly, because they're broke. Most likely a PC developer, possibly a PS3 one.

Alan Wake will come out this year, Duke Nukem, Mass Effect 2 and Final Fantasy XIII (in America) will not.

Games where sales that are either underwhelming or flat-out horrible include: Prototype, Forza 3, Wolfenstein, Alpha Protocol, Ghostbusters, Brutal Legend and Bioshock 2, although for that one it's more likely it will be pushed to 2010.

Microsoft will close Rare for good. Other then some bemoaning on select forums and gaming news websites, nobody will care and they won't be missed.

-Ghostbusters will be a huge hit that will save Atari

-Home is going to get a huge redesign that makes everything free or used with free in game currency, possible some kind of economy that doesn't run on real money included, or it will just completely fail and be abandoned. latter most likely.

-new Pikmin game and one more Nintendo franchise announced alongside it, most likely Zelda.

-Final Fantasy 13 and versus will release in japan

-kingdom hearts 3 will be announced following the release of the KH hand helds

-ratchet and clank future 2 and uncharted 2 will both sell extremely well

-360 will stop selling and sales will plummet, PS3 will sell extremely well as people will finally be switching to blu-ray

-Only 1 magazine will fall apart this year, probably gamepro

-1up will be restored somewhat, a few of the staff that stay freelancers will be rehired.

-Rebel FM, talking orange, and geekbox will become largely popular podcasts and will become major players in the industry next year. Wouldn't be surprised if they all consolidate into an independent site.

-90% of my predictions will be wrong

Blizzard will announce, and may even release this year, a console version of Diablo 3.

-StarCract 2 will release this year.

-Dragon Age will sell well, but we'll never know about it.

-Dawn of War II will sell better than the first one and will see a CoH like community form around it. It will be a better game that Starcraft 2
.
-2009 will be the year of the Wii software. Games like Punch Out!, Sin and Punishment 2, Wii Sports Resort, Pikmin 3, and a new Mario game will still not get jilted hardcore gamers to wake up.

-Earthbound will be released on the Virtual Console.

-PS3 will continue to do nothing and sales will continue to drop. It will be the year that the PS3 is totally redundant.

-Xbox 360 will continue on its current path. It will not see a price drop this year.

-The Halo boom is over. Halo Wars and Halo LONGNAME sell well but not at the same clip as the prior games.

-Dragon Quest IX will release in the USA this winter and will be awesome.
-Kingdom Hearts 3 will be announced for the Wii

-PC Gaming will have a fantastic year and we'll see..

-Hellgate London relaunched and again, no one will care.

-Champions Online will release this winter. None of the other big MMOGs will make it out this year.

-The Beatles game will sell huge, on the Wii. Sell OK on the 360 and PS3. EA will move the content over on those platforms and DLC.

-Core gamers will still complain about the Wii

-Game Critics will try to work in "with the economy the way it is" "recession" and any other term dealing with economics they really don't understand into every article written. \

-President Obama will demand that every American buy a Nintendo DS, just to get it over with.

-We'll see Neverwinter Nights 3 announced along with Baldurs Gate 3.

- In a budget move, the D&D Online Tabletop will be canceled, as will Magic: the Gathering Online.

Regarding the M:tGO part of that prediction: No. Way. In. Hell.

Cancel the online game that's already been out for quite some time, a game people have sunk money into in the form of digital cards? No, that would be a PR nightmare of monumental proportions. Perhaps, perhaps, it won't be updated but it will most certainly not be canceled. Servers don't cost so much that WotC would shoot itself in the foot like that.

Michael "Zonk" Zenke
- Jumpgate Evolution will release this year, and faces big challenges in informing players about its hawtness. NetDevil has a great product on their hands, they just have to get the word out.

I totally agree completely.

Julian "rabbit" Murdoch
- Browser-based and free-to-play games (MMOs especially) become legitimate and financially viable.

Mmmmm...they always have been.

- Brutal Legend will ship, and sell OK. A separate soundtrack will be released, that will sell very well.

*Sigh* Yeah.

- PC game DRM will start eroding, with companies adopting a "frequent content" model, or just giving up and joining Steam.

Maybe some of them, but I think one or two might go the other way and start paying drm programmers to come up with new ways of messing up computers(on purpose and we all know what happens when they mess up computers merely accidentally).

- In a budget move, the D&D Online Tabletop will be canceled, as will Magic: the Gathering Online.

Aaahhhh...but I was gonna play Magic again...eventually, someday.

- PlayStation Home will be canceled.

Or turn on us and launch all our nukes.

Alex "Spaz" Martinez
- iPhone gaming will see more fantastic "boom" cases involving dudes making an app, then retiring on profits. Commence the iPhone App Bubble.
- E3, reopened to the general public, will wrestle with an economic downturn, an uninterested audience, tightened advertising budgets and the loss of games-enthusiast media interest. E-For-All effectively dies.
- XBL Community Games spend the majority of the year sucking.
- Microsoft will announce that it will bring Steam functionality to its next next-Gen system.

Yep.

Adam "The Fly" LaMosca
- Katerin will be 100% wrong about iPhone gaming. Well-crafted and full-featured releases by id Software and Square Enix will be in the App Store by the end of the year.

I've never actually said anything because I haven't completed to any degree that which would make the final product recognizable as a game or even as functional software but as an independent developer
I would love to cash in on the iPhone App Bubble
but I also own a DS Lite and therefore want the iPhone to die.
BEHOLD the monstrosity birthed by the good N and made unclean by the evil i. GAZE as a mirror at the goodness twisted upon itself. Unto the defiler's own image hath this wretchedness been brought forth!
That took a few revisions, but I like it.

- Publishers will space out their releases to avoid getting lost in the shuffle (see Q4 2008)
- Gamers will be shocked at how decent the new UGO'ed 1up turns out. We won't admit it, though.
- We'll see at least 3 more well thought of studios close their doors.
- No Diablo III this year
- Halo 4 announced
- Good support from Valve for the 360 version of Left 4 Dead, comparable to how they treat the PC version
- Team Fortress 2 available for download/purchase from Xbox Live Marketplace
- At least 2 of the big PS3 exclusives will disappoint sales-wise (Killzone 2, God of War 3, Uncharted 2)
- No core Mario or Zelda game this year

Certis will read this book.

FUN!

Rat Boy wrote:

- The LEGO gaming franchise will start to wear out its welcome.

You're about a year late on that one.

MINE!

-Valve will release a new Orange Box, but with a different title, in November. It will include Half-Life 2: Episode 3, Portal 2 and a brand new IP. For those that pre-order on Steam, they will not only get the usual $5 discount but will also get access to a massive Left 4 Dead update two weeks earlier than everyone else.

-Nintendo will announce a new Zelda title utilizing the new MotionPlus peripheral and hardcore gamers will finally take interest in the Wii again. Unfortunately, it will wind up being a series of mini-games with some light exploration elements.

-Natsume will release 4 new Harvest Moon games, all for DS. The first one will release in March and be exactly like all other Harvest Moon games. The next three will release in October and will be the exact same game as the one released in March with the only difference being a different main character and an addition to the game's title to denote which main character players will get in that version. The versions will be, "Female Edition", "Transgender Edition" and "Sea Turtle Edition".

-Capcom's Bionic Commando will be a sleeper hit. Everyone will agree that the playing the game with the Rearmed "Radd" Spender skin is the only real way to play.

-Donkey Kong will be acquitted of all molestation charges.

-1up will bounce back and grow into something great once again. Some of the old crew will even be hired back. It will become very profitable and will be a bastion for intelligent game discussion. As soon as Andrew Pfister is hired back, UGO will fire everyone, bring in five dudes who sometimes play Madden, and force them to write endless articles on just how hot Lara Croft's boobs are. This will be 5 times more profitable than 1up ever was.

-Duke Nukem Forever will somehow be the key to bringing Skynet online.

-Family Guy will finally stop being popular. Please! Oh, and there will be another mediocre Simpsons game.

-Sega will release a good 3D Sonic game. Nah, I'm just f*cking with you!

-Brutal Legend will actually be better than sex. There will be peer-reviewed scientific studies proofing it with incontrovertible evidence and everything.

-Mad World will start another small "games are hurting our children" hissie fit amongst the uninformed and the douchebagged. God of War 3, released two weeks later and far more violent and sex-filled than any other mainstream game in history, will be completely ignored by anti-game alarmists. Both games will be very good.

-2009's GWJer Game of the Year will go to a game that actually deserves it.

- Blizzard will only release Starcraft 2 towards the end of the year. They may announce the new MMO they're working on which will either be WoW 2 or a new IP. Lost Vikings fans will get their hopes up at the inevitable teaser and again be disappointed...until late 2010.

- MMOs will continue to have a one month flash of popularity until their population is reabsorbed by WoW. But WoW will reach a subscription peak this year that will be a struggle to maintain in 2010. I will continue not playing MMOs and enjoying a healthy and productive lifestyle.

- Valve has no new IP but will release a small dribble of information on HL2: Episode III and Portal 2. Decent chance of Left4Dead: Episode I being announced with ambiguous details and pie in the sky promises of frequent affordable episodic content. An end of the year release will package the three together. Free TF2 and L4D content will continue to be released and it will continue to be better than paid for DLC by other studios.

- Expect to hear the phrase "story pillar" uttered for the umpteenth time by Bioware/Lucasarts PR and maybe some class announcements for TOR, no release. Dragon Age will not do as well as Mass Effect and there will be a big marketing push announcing and promoting ME2 towards the end of the year.

- Brutal Legend may not be a huge commercial success but it will be a great game, do better than Psychonauts, and shockingly be the next big multiplayer game the GWJ community adopts (if it is released on the PC which it better be, if not then a slightly smaller 360 following will emerge).

- Alpha Protocol will be a sleeper hit and will steal RPG of the Year away from Dragon Age. Game journalists will struggle to find a third runner up.

- Deathspank will be released and it will be good. The surprise iPhone version will be the best iPhone game of 2009. (Disclaimer: I don't own an iPhone.)

- Demigod will have a cult following but will not be successful. Gas Powered Games is in trouble. Stardock is fine though and Elemental: War of Magic will be as big if not bigger than SoaSE in early 2010.

- Alan Wake will be released but it'll evoke split reactions from gamers, ditto for Deus Ex 3.

- Bioshock 2 won't be as bad as everyone expects it to be, but it either won't innovate upon the original or change too much. Some people won't be happy either way.

- Duke Nukem Forever will be released and it will be terrible. Or it'll be revealed that 3D Realms was turned into a front for a money laundering scheme and no work on the game was ever done in the first place.

- I will be the only person in the world to purchase a PC copy of Street Fighter IV. I will get bored with it after a week since there will be no one for me to play multi-player with. I will curse the gods for the lack of cross-platform multiplayer.

- Not really a prediction but the best games of 2009 have yet to reveal themselves as such. Starcraft 2 and Brutal Legend will undoubtedly be my personal favorites but everything else is up for grabs.

I definitely agree with a lot of these. Here are a few of mine:

-Nintendo announces their new Zelda game, but then pulls the game to sit until 2010 and then later 2011 release. Fans will be angry and rant for months.

-Nintendo DSi sells some, but isn't quite as popular as Nintendo hoped. Gamers still buy the Lite because you can still play GBA games on it.

-Wii motionplus will encourage more developers to explore the possibilities and actually try to bring more hardcore games to the system.

-The 360 will get a redesign to make it sleeker and quieter so that you're not starting up a jet engine. RROD still exists though.

-PS3 is still lagging in sales but gets some design changes in order to make it cheaper and more competitive with BlueRay players.

-KH3 won't come out until 2010 in order to make it EPIC and replayable.

-Music/Rhythm games will finally die out on all systems but the Wii since they decide to take a unique approach to everything.

Oh, I have another one:

- Over 75% of the "bold predictors" in this thread will fare better at premonitions than Michael Pachter.

larrymadill wrote:

And the Hail Mary will never Happen But What the Hell prediction ...

- Sony abandons the PS3 by the end of the year and announces that it will shutter its games division by 2010.

I know it's predictions but that will never happen,

- Sony will refresh and re-launch the PS3. A new, lower-priced unit with fewer added features and a fresh focus on Home will set the tone as Sony tries to keep the PS3 in line with cheaper Blu-ray players. It will take on a smaller form factor and a less ostentatious gloss.

I agree fully with this one, it's just one of those things.

-Sony will not refresh the PS3, but will drop one model to $299. The PS2 will still not drop to $99, but the PSP will go down to $149.
-Game Informer and Play will be the only domestic multi-platform magazines remaining by the holiday season.
-The Xbox 360 will see a new, quieter revision with an internal power supply. It will look no different otherwise, but be reduced to $179.
-A Zune application will appear for the iPhone, emphasizing the Zune Pass.
-The DSi will be another hit for Nintendo, selling faster than the DS Lite.
-Blizzard will introduce commentated matches on Battle.net with Starcraft 2's release.