Bold Predictions 2018


It's bold predictions time once again! Every year I struggle with the distinction between which way I think the wind is blowing and the way I hope it will. Since VR became a thing I've predicted that Sean Sands would have a unit strapped to his face by the end of the year. He's especially stubborn, so the sad fact remains the more I wish it were so the less likely it is to actually happen. If you listen to the podcast this week, which we recorded before CES, I predicted we would see a VR refresh and so far the Vive has rushed ahead with the Pro to start me off on the right foot.

For the rest of my and the podcast crew's predictions, you can listen to the latest GWJ Conference Call where we also go over our old predictions so we can feel real, real bad about ourselves. Make sure you visit the old 2017 predictions post and see how you did last year too!

I'll be locking this thread in a few weeks so get your predictions in!

Onward to the GWJ Writer Squad predictions!

Greg "doubtingthomas396" Decker:

  • If Nintendo doesn’t launch a massive new multiplayer title before March, their online service will remain free until they produce a reason for players to pay for it that isn’t “we’re holding this game you’ve been playing for the past year hostage until you give us $20 a year.”
  • The release of Steins;Gate on the Switch will appear to be the harbinger of a massive wave of visual novels for the platform, but that wave will never materialize due to the inability of developers to sneak aftermarket R18 patches past Nintendo’s gatekeepers.
  • Sony, realizing that the PSVR is no longer competitive on price with Oculus or HTC, will announce PSVR Pro, and it will require the higher-tier PS4 sku.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 will be delayed until at least 2019, but it won’t help.
  • Microsoft will announce some kind of VR or AR compatibility for the Xbox 1X. Extra credit, long shot prediction: It will involve the re-emergence of the Kinect.

JR Ralls:

  • Nintendo has a decent sophomore year with Pikmin 4 and Switch Mario Maker. They will also announce, but not release, a Zelda sequel that is as similar to Breath of the Wild as Majora's Mask was to Ocarina of Time (same engine, similar graphics, etc)
  • Far Cry 5 is the most controversial game of the year and President Trump ends up attacking it
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 is released and is as widely regarded as Game of the Year, but no GTA VI announcement.
  • Steam will have over 10,000 games released on it in 2018 alone.
  • Sea of Thieves is the bomb of the year (similar to how Mass Effect: Andromeda was for 2017)
  • Videogame graphics reach Toy Story 1 levels but not Jurassic Park 1 levels.

Chris "C" Cesarano:

  • Against my better judgment, I'm going to go ahead and buy into the hype that Mother 3 will be a premiere title on the Nintendo Switch's Virtual Console. I mean, we got Star Fox 2 on the SNES Classic, so I'm willing to buy into anything at this point.
  • Metroid Prime 4 will be announced to release in 2019.
  • Square Enix will announce a Final Fantasy Collection for release on all major platforms, putting together the first six games in a single package.
  • Square Enix will announce a new Theatrhythm for release on Switch ... and it will release in America.
  • Nintendo will finally release their Switch rewards as part of their Nintendo Rewards program, and it will still continue to be an awful waste of existence.
  • Capcom finally reveals footage of their Resident Evil 2 remake, but it won't hit store shelves until 2019.
  • Capcom announces that they'll be shutting down servers for Dragon's Dogma Online, further confirming the death of a franchise I'd love to see more of.
  • Valve will announce a new game, but it will be multiplayer focused and supported by microtransactions. It will not be Half-Life related, it will not be Portal as we expect it, it will not be Left 4 Dead as we want, and if it's an existing property at all it will be Team Fortress 3. Odds are it won't even be that grand a scale and may as well be a mobile release.
  • Sony will finally begin announcing new IP again, though the center stage of E3 2018 will be Ghosts of Tsushima.
  • Microsoft will announce Halo 6 and Gears of War 5, and the majority of cheers in the audience will be coming from Microsoft employees.
  • Due to Nintendo's insistence to stick by a phone-app for online communication, their online gameplay service – despite competitive pricing – will be a money loss as few will find it worthwhile to play online with such shoddy voice chat options.
  • Elder Scrolls VI will be announced, but won't release until 2019 or 2020.
  • A game franchise that we haven't seen an entry from since the 90's will be revived. Whether it'll be a major tone-deaf blockbuster or a faithful indie darling is anyone's guess.
  • The third Tomb Raider game will be fully open-world, and thus will be the delight of many Western gamers and the least favorite in the franchise for me. Also, will rely much more heavily on microtransactions for profit.
  • E3 will be full of companies making jabs at EA and lootboxes – despite the fact that most of the open-world or multiplayer games we'll see were completely designed with pay-to-win lootboxes in mind.
  • EA will try to highlight the lack of pay-to-win lootboxes in Anthem without admitting they're trying to earn goodwill again, despite how obvious it'll be that the game originally had pay-to-win lootboxes.
  • Fans will be outraged when they find out they need to purchase the season pass in order to get the actual conclusion to Kingdom Hearts III, and even then the story will be confusing and feel incomplete.
  • Bravely Third is announced for Nintendo Switch.

Erik "wordsmythe" Hanson:

  • Hold on to your butts, this is the year of big reorgs and acquisitions in the AAA space.
  • Part of that publishing strategy shift is going to involve mining, as Cesarano predicts, '90s IP. I'm guessing Marble Madness or Snake, Rattle N Roll, plus something that used to belong to Origin Systems or Dynamix.
  • Nintendo will reach some stable point in their online space that doesn't make anyone happy, and we'll realize they gave up on fixing it months after they stop.
  • Far Cry 5's repeated revisions toward and away from offending anyone will ultimately please nobody.
  • Mod support for Far Cry 5 makes it much better (and much worse).
  • We'll learn of bot and troll armies used by a games publisher to force a marketing narrative.
  • The last few years' work on enemy AI that learns from player behavior will move outside the game instance; enemy AI in single-player games will learn from tactical data across all players who play while connected. (This will lead to groups of gamers who attempt to distort the input by collectively goofing off and trolling AI enemies.)
  • Relatedly, there are going to be big bumps this year for all that online data collection that companies love. New pressures on bandwidth, regulation, and data security are going to rock publishers' worlds.


As per just about everyone, I whiffed hard on the Nintendo Switch in my 2017 Bold Predictions, so let's skip to some of the others:

* Nintendo will announce and release the Mini Super NES in time for the holidays. It'll have double the library of games, double the number of stocked units, and double the demand, so if you didn't pick up a Mini NES in 2016, you're probably out of luck with this one in 2017 too.

Unless you have crazy determined family members who bought the 46th out of the 100th put on sale on Amazon and had it delivered on Christmas Eve.

* Mass Effect: Andromeda will be an early horse in the race for GOTY, though I'm willing to bet hardcore fans are going to get to the end of it and lament that the new characters and plotline just aren't as good as the original trilogy.

And it was an early horse for the first couple of hours. And while the party member characters were interesting, I found the characters who stay on the Tempest not quite as interesting as their counterparts on the Normandy.

* Star Wars: Battlefront 2's single player campaign will be this year's Titanfall 2 and/or Battlefield 1.

I don't know, was it? I think the loot box thing poisoned the well.

* No Man's Sky, a year after launch, will be a lot more like what people wanted it to be.

It's even gotten to the point where you got crazy in-game conflicts like you see in EVE and Elite.

* Assassin's Creed: Something. Kind of an easy one, but I think the year off will do the series wonders.

* Call of Duty: Something. I don't think they're taking the year off. If there's going to be a delay, it'll probably happen down the line.

I'm pretty sure I had these two.

* That streaming TV show you won't shut up about when talking with the family during the holidays? You don't know it exists yet. Think about it. Did you know about The Crown or Stranger Things this time last year?

Black Mirror Season 4, maybe? The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?

Let's see where I'll whiff this year:


* The Switch's base will continue to grow thanks to it beating the naysaying of 2017 and word of mouth by people who actually use it. Aside from the next Metroid, I don't think anything's going to reach the hype of Super Mario Odyssey or Breath of the Wild in terms of first party titles. Third party devs might be inspired to make ports for the Switch based on what Bethesda and Rockstar did in 2017.

* XBox One and PS4 coast the way through the year, perhaps discounting their base models during the holidays.

* Nintendo won't do a Mini N64 this year. I don't think there's enough first party titles and third party titles they could get the licenses to in order to make it happen and besides, who wants to put up with that controller again? What I think could happen is a new version of the original Game Boy, with tons of titles built into it, an optional colorized mode for all the games to be displayed on a modern LCD screen, and built in Blue Tooth for multiplayer.

* High end VR like Vive, Occulus, and Playstation VR plateaus. Companies might take the hint from Ubisoft's Star Trek Bridge Crew and introduce non-VR modes to expand the number of players that can play these games. Low-end VR, like the kind you can play on your iPhone attached to a cheap set of goggles could get more prevalent.

Games You Can Play This Year:

* Red Dead Redemption 2 will come out this year and be a contender for GOTY, but I'm not sure if a Rockstar game will claim the crown. Also, I think last year's LA Noire VR game was a test case for interest in a potential VR version. Also, I believe it'll also be available for the PC and Nintendo Switch.

* The System Shock remake will also come out this year and factor highly in GOTY consideration.

* A repeat from last year: Harebrained Scheme's Battletech will be this year's XCOM. Possibly a sleeper pick for GOTY. It possibly may even be better than Mechwarrior V.

* Star Citizen's Squadron 42 will come out this year, be better than what the detractors say...and that'll pretty much be it for Star Citizen in 2018 if not going forward.

* The new Spider-Man game for the PS4 will be one of the best exclusives of the year, but not at the top of GOTY votes. Also, people won't stop talking about how much the in-game Peter Parker looks like a crazy genetic hybrid of all the modern actors who played Peter Parker.

* Total War: Three Kingdoms will ignite an interest in Asian history, Chinese in particular, that could carry over to other historical gaming franchises.

* Anthem, in addition to suffering from loot box fatigue, may also be the victim of Destiny fatigue.

* Far Cry 5 will attract political attention as Amanda mentioned, but I think on the other end of the spectrum it'll get flak for pulling its punches.

* I think when the dust settles, it'll be The Last of Us 2 that emerges as 2018's game of the year.

Games That You Didn't Know Existed That You Could Play This Year:

* Uh...nothing I can think of off hand? I'll explain below.

Games That You Won't Be Playing This Year:

* No new Elder Scrolls. Sorry, it feels like the Skyrim blitz last year and this year's Fallout 4 VR pushed Bethesda's schedule back.

* Assassin's Creed: Something. I think Ubisoft sticks to the every other year formula going forward and I was hinting at above the next version will take place somewhere in Asia.

* Call of Duty: Something. As I mentioned last year, I think this year is when the fallout from the poor reception to Infinite Warfare catches up to Activision. It's possible that the next version gets released earlier in 2019 than normal, but I'm not holding my breath.

* Star Wars Something. While the backlash to Battlefront II's loot box system was big, Disney and Lucasfilm stepping in was even bigger and I predict that EA's going to be compelled to rethink their entire approach going forward.

Gaming's Sword of Damocles:

* I think, if the end of Net Neutrality happens this year and is as bad as feared, we will see online gaming take a major hit. And if governments start declaring loot boxes illegal, we will end up seeing quite a number of lower budget, F2P/pay-to-win games disappear entirely. Larger games may have their plugs pulled, too.

Sports Predictions Since *Legion* Can't Be Bothered Anymore:

* The Jacksonville Jaguars will reach the Super Bowl next month...only to lose to the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota.

* The Golden State Warriors will win the NBA Championship...over the Boston Celtics.

* The Las Vegas Golden Knights will win the Stanley Cup...over someone from the Eastern Conference. Sorry, I don't follow the NHL that closely.

* Portugal will win the World Cup.

* The New York Yankees will win the World Series...over the Marlins just to stick it to Miami fans even more.

Rat Boy wrote:
* Nintendo will announce and release the Mini Super NES in time for the holidays. It'll have double the library of games, double the number of stocked units, and double the demand, so if you didn't pick up a Mini NES in 2016, you're probably out of luck with this one in 2017 too.

Unless you have crazy determined family members who bought the 46th out of the 100th put on sale on Amazon and had it delivered on Christmas Eve.

I dunno man, I got one for my brother-in-law, my sister got one for me, and the week after Christmas my buddy and I saw nine stacked up at the Best Buy. I don't think it was all that tough.

Anywho, I was very much a negative Nancy last year, but let's see what I got right and wrong. First, the wrong:

- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be delayed, and if the Switch sales numbers do not immediately beat the Wii's then pundits will bang on every drum they can to claim the delay is the cause for Nintendo's latest failure.

- The members of the conference call will talk about the Switch when it releases and when Breath of the Wild comes out, but otherwise it will be business as normal.

- E3 this year will be one of the most amazing yet... especially since the majority of newly announced titles will release in the Fall and holiday season, as is becoming more and more the case.

- Denis Dyack will make headlines once again by saying something stupid.

I feel confident saying none of these came true. E3 wasn't bad but it was largely without major announcements. Or that's how it feels looking back, to me. Maybe I should reread those threads?

- The Scorpio will be better received by hardware enthusiasts and gaming press more positively than the PS4 Pro, but it will fail to capture the attention of the masses.

Was this true? I feel like this was true.

- VR will see a slow and steady incline in marketshare, but will still make hardly a dent in mainstream (unless it's a cellphone company's crappy me-too gimmick that fails to capture the wonder of VR).

I don't follow numbers enough to know if this is true or false either.

- Prey 2 will be Dishonored in space, a move that pleases the masses and leaves me as one of five people lamenting that the original concept will never see release.

I think this was half right. I still lament the lack of the original Prey 2 premise, which seemed like a lot of fun but in hindsight wasn't going to be possible on the hardware they were gunning for during its original announcement. However, based on what I've played of the demo and the response of others, "Dishonored in Space" isn't really accurate.

I guess I should start with my usual "my predictions from last year weren't good" comment. Time to double down again (with a tweak).

-FIFA 19 for the PS4 has the in-match parts of The Journey mode playable in PSVR and it will be amazing - Every 6 months or so you get a news story about "X team uses VR for training" with a photo of a player on a training pitch with a headset but it's completely impractical because 1) Most training is done with the ball and teammates and you need to see both and 2) Wires. It would be a pretty awesome perspective to play in though.

-Paradox ends development on Crusader Kings 2 DLC, releases a Rome game set in the Republican period (for now). - They've wrung all they can out of what CK2 is but it feels to soon for a direct sequel and I don't think they've figured out how to go back to Victoria and make it more accessible yet. A Rome game though could incorporate a lot of the relationship and trait lessons from CK2.

-Blizzard releases an online fighting game set in the Overwatch Universe - Since Riot seems content to have only one major video game ever Blizzard now bears my annual completely wrong prediction about a big online only fighting game. Comes with a good story mode for maximum shipping. Future non-Overwatch Blizzard characters will be added in the future.

Figure I'll sneak one more in here before Certis gets around to locking the thread:

-Far Cry 5's theme and story are so tone deaf and poorly handled that American Neo-Nazis embrace it It becomes the "game of the alt-right" but is unpopular outside that circle and doesn't sell well overall.

Let’s see:

1. Wireless VR headsets become available and interest in VR skyrockets as a result.
2. We see the first hints of Augmented Reality (AR) games for 2019 with Microsoft betting heavily in this field with HoloLens.
3. Nintendo doesn’t have a breakout hit but continues to build a solid lineup.
4. Pirates are the new PUBG as Sea of Thieves becomes a major hit.
5. The new Civ expansion revitalizes the game and puts it on equal footing with Civ V.
6. Pillars of Eternity 2 is considered best RPG of the year.
7. Anthem saves a flagging Bioware as they focus more on awesome game systems than story.
8. The next Elder Scrolls game is announced at the Gaming awards show for a 2019 summer release.
9. Amazon games release their first titles and begin to build a small but passionate following.

And the one prediction I hope to God is wrong:

10. We all get to play IRL Fallout 5 after the second Korea war ignites nuclear holocaust. Start working on your builds now - I’m going for sniper/hacker with the dad bod.

Guess I'll do my scorecard:

garion333 wrote:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be released in March (or near enough to the Switch launch) in order to boost sales, but due to rushing it out the door it will be one of the first heavily patched Nintendo games released. May or may not negatively impact Switch sales/buzz.

Nailed it. Game definitely needed to be patched up. "Heavily" is probably inaccurate, but a month after release the game got a nice performance patch for Switch since it was coming in so hot. Didn't impact Switch buzz or sales at all though.

garion333 wrote:

AAA games will continue to slowly morph into games as services with less and less focus on contained experiences and more focus on mp and open-ended gameplay.

This wasn't even a bold prediction.

garion333 wrote:

Lego Dimensions won't continue into 2018, Skylanders will limp along another release in 2018 before dying.


garion333 wrote:

DQXI in 2018.

I'm hoping so, but S-E has been mum about when it's hitting the West.

garion333 wrote:

Insomniac Games to fold.


garion333 wrote:

New Armored Core game sells more than any other thanks to From's now-marquee name attached to it, but will be easy to pick up in a discount bin for fiver within six months.

Nope, but I think I'll bring this one to 2018.


2018 predictions:

*New Armored Core game sells more than any other thanks to From's now-marquee name attached to it, but will be easy to pick up in a discount bin for a fiver within six months.

*New Excite-something game from Nintendo focused on creating own levels.

*New Kururin game!

*Sony continues to be boring, but sell a ton of consoles.

*Microsoft announces their own Switch-like device that interfaces with your Windows PC and/or Xbox.

*Steam continues to be unable to slow the release schedule down and indie devs begin to move on to other projects and jobs. The effects of this won't be felt for a couple years, but claims that "PC gaming is dying" will begin again around then.

*Insomniac Games releases Spiderman, which underwhelms like the last dozen of their games and they sell their souls to Sony or Microsoft.

*Microsoft announces Minecraft 2. It's actually a F2P BattleRoyale MOBA CCG with loot boxes.

*Epic switches back to having paid games and not only F2P or B2P games as services.

*New Elder Scrolls announced for 2019. Possibly pushed out early for holiday 2018 as Bethesda's publishing wing continues to underperform despite putting out good games. Game will be buggy as hell and maybe this time people will complain enough to make Bethesda change their tune.

*More sports titles move to games as services, like they should have years ago. Other genres follow suit, but shouldn't.

Big BOLD predictions:

Anthem is going to really betray the Bioware fanbase who are expecting a Bioware(TM) game. I honestly don't know what the gameplay's going to be like, but I don't think a lot of the narrative things that Bioware is known for make it into this one. The ugly backlash may or may not be mollified by the quality of the gameplay.

Microsoft starts getting desperate with the Xbone. Do they try to bring back the Kinect? That was a big deal for a little bit. Sure, let's say they try to bring back the Kinect. Actually, an interesting move might be to try and integrate Rocksmith into the Xbox and make a major marketing push for it. That sounds more plausible.

Next Assassin's Creed protagonist is a woman.

The best mech combat (Mechwarrior, Battletech, etc.) game of the year ends up being an indy release without a major license.

Telltale announces a Firefly game.

This might be a year or two early, but I think Blizzard announces a Destiny style game.

The biggest media freakout of the year is not for Far Cry 4, but for one of EA's sports games, which includes an ill-advised girlfriend section in it's The Journey mode.

The only comfortable prediction I feel I can make right now is that this year I suspect I will spend more on board games and pnp RPGs than I do on video games. And I think there will be more board game noobs like me making the switch to more social face to face games than ever.

Score for last year: +2, -15

shoptroll wrote:
  • Nintendo Switch sells 10-20 million units by end of the year
  • The World Ends With Two for Nintendo Switch
  • Mistwalker finally announces their console Terra Battle game for Nintendo Switch
  • Shin Megami Tensei V announced by Atlus for Nintendo Switch.
  • Thief Go announced and released for mobile/PC.
  • New BioShock game announced by 2K
  • Arkane is going to take another run at The Crossing now that Ubisoft's done something similar with Watch_Dogs
  • Knights of the Old Republic Anniversary Edition announced for 2018 release
  • Bulletstorm Remastered leads to a proper sequel announcement
  • Borderlands 3 revealed. Duke Nukem as a pre-order DLC character. (This one's for you DT)
  • [s]Double Fine drops hint on a Brütal Legend or Full Throttle sequel, but they won't seek funding for it this year.[s/]
  • Telltale announces a Star Wars or Indiana Jones related project
  • Permanent Overwatch co-op or horde mode before end of year. Also, some form of paid non-Loot Box DLC is revealed.
  • Final Fantasy XVI announced with Yoshinori Kitase producing (I'm going to be right sooner or later on this one)
  • Hajime Tabata takes over Tetsuya Nomura's role (directory or produce) for Final Fantasy VII Remake (probably won't happen until next year)
  • 2nd Generation Vive and Rift announced. Higher resolution, better ergonomics, same price as Gen 1 devices.
  • One of the major game portals (Steam, GOG, Humble) is going to open up an Android marketplace.

This year's predictions:


  • 3DS isn’t dead yet and gets at least one more major release (other than Dragon Quest XI)
  • The Switch's paid online service continues to be delayed until Nintendo cancels it due to lack of consumer interest and no longer needing it financially
  • Amiibo program starts winding down
  • Switch has a solid year of titles from B-list franchises and Wii U ports from Nintendo, but nothing as big as 2017's lineup
  • Skyward Sword HD is one of the major E3 announcements
  • A new member of the Switch family debuts by Black Friday


  • PlayStation 5 is announced and demonstrated by E3. Launches early 2019.


  • Final Fantasy XVI announced with Yoshinori Kitase & Matomou Toriyama producing/directing (this is the year I swear!)
  • World of Final Fantasy 2 announced for PS4 / Switch


  • New Darkstalkers game announced at EVO
  • Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite gets X-Men vs. Inhumans themed Season 2
  • Monster Hunter World announced for Switch


  • Remembers they still have a well-loved back catalog and releases new Gradius, Contra and/or Castlevania collection(s)


  • Assuming it's released this year, Anthem under-performs resulting in Andrew Wilson stepping down as CEO
  • The Sims 5 is rumored to be in development, is running on Frostbite (and devs aren’t happy with it)


  • Red Dead Redemption 2 actually ships this year. Will be the community GOTY.

My one and only prediction: EA shuts Bioware down completely.

Looking over 2017 Bold Predictions, 1 year-ago-me was lazy and did not predict anything

I am still looking for the 2016 prediction. Not that I want it; just figure it will happen someday... - smart phones as controllers.

On to the fresh predictions (caution, I am passionate about the word BOLD)

Minecraft launches new revision to hook the next batch of yearlings...
- It is in space, with lower gravity - super high jumping and less fall damage.
- It is super simple (at launch) to fit well with the yearlings age.

VR matures to the point we are wondering... have we reached "Ready Player One"

Have you seen The VOID? If not, I recommend googling it.
- VR experiences explode like escape rooms exploded.
- These VR facilities move into dying retail locations: Kmart, Sears, Blockbuster, empty Mall anchor spaces.

Anthem will be delayed until 2019.

Some other EA release will be disappointing and sources will blame it on Frostbite again.

Metroid Prime 4 will also be given a 2019 release date.

HBS Battletech will make the GWJ community top 10.

Mechwarrior 5 will be released in 2018, but it will be half baked and not much fun. PGI will announce plans to port MWO to the Unreal engine.

Neither I nor anyone whose home I visit will own VR hardware (excepting Google Cardboard of course).

Microsoft will go on an acquisitions spree in hope of finding the next Bungie and ending their drought of exclusives.

Oh, forgot one:
More than half the AAA multiplayer first person shooters released in 2018 will feature a shrinking circle battle royale mode.

  • Nintendo: Hope you enjoyed Mario and Zelda because that's your lot. Initial excitement will fade as future game releases fail to delight. My bold prediction: Zero Switch games will make it into the GWJ Conference Call's Top Games of 2018.
  • Microsoft: Xbox VR headset announced at E3.
  • Sony: I have nothing bold to predict. They will seek to maintain stability with no risky decisions.
  • Telltale Games close down due to a lack of sales despite continued [Franchise]: A Telltale Story releases.
  • Valve Software: We're all wondering what the hell is happening inside Wonka's Chocolate Factory because more Oompa-Loompa's leave and no new chocolate is announced (Read as: No new games announced).
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: get ready for average gameplay in a stunning open Western world. That's no surprise for a Rockstar North title so my bold predication is the conversation will centre around a botched mission that tackles sexuality or gender-equality in some horrible fashion.
  • Pay to play: Loot boxes will become increasingly common and will become banned in parts of Europe creating splintered/different releases of games in different economic regions.
  • Europa Universalis V is announced!

I expect it to be a fairly quiet year in gaming.

The things that excite tech enthusiasts (VR! True 4K gameplay!) will continue to fizzle with consumers.

The industry will continue to act like a bunch of toddlers playing soccer; this year's ball everyone tries to kick too late is the battle royale genre.

After years with a lot of verve and fundamental reinventions (as 2017 was), aren't usually followed immediately by big shifts. There's a delay as those new ideas and businesses percolate. Expect 2018 to be the 2008 to 2017's 2007.

kazooka wrote:

The best mech combat (Mechwarrior, Battletech, etc.) game of the year ends up being an indy release without a major license.

Here's hoping.

(Trent is a friend.)

wordsmythe wrote:
kazooka wrote:

The best mech combat (Mechwarrior, Battletech, etc.) game of the year ends up being an indy release without a major license.

Here's hoping.

(Trent is a friend.)

That is honestly like the third indy mech combat game I've seen that could conceivably top out better known franchises.

  • Red Dead 2 proves that Rockstar has shifted focus as a developer. The game will be well-received but the single player aspect of it will be somewhat sparse next to the online multiplayer component, which is where most of the content will be.
  • No Elder Scrolls 6. Bethesda may make some guarded allusions to ESVI during interviews, but it won’t come out nor even be officially announced this year.
  • Destiny 2 finally gets it’s sh*t together. Player numbers balloon on all three platforms as everyone gets back into the game... for roughly a month, maybe two, before dropping off a cliff again. Destiny 3 is officially announced before the end of the year.
  • Anthem is okay. It releases with most of the same issues that people complained about with Destiny but it’s still a commercial success and pulls players from Destiny on the strength of it not being Destiny.
  • Sony officially announces a new “elite” PS4 console with slightly better specs than the XbOX, to be released in 2019. The Pro becomes their default console, the PS4 Slim is their “budget” console, and the base PS4 isn’t *officially* discontinued but it’s production is significantly yet quietly dialed back.
  • Crackdown 3 gets delayed one more time, but actually gets released before the year is over. Microsoft spends a frankly obscene amount of money marketing it, only to be met with middling reviews and the general sentiment that it feels half-baked and should have been pushed to 2019.
  • A major gaming company will end up in a legal battle with an ISP (probably Comcast) over charges of the ISP throttling multiplayer gaming connections. It will be settled before going to court, but despite the outcome no one will win except for the shareholders.

Not a prediction but a hope: even if, mechanically, Anthem is inferior to Destiny, I'm hoping that Bioware background shows Bungie how story-telling in such a game-type works.

The Jaguars win the superbowl.

- YouTube loses market share, as more of its gaming big hitters migrate to Twitch, who will push their VOD service to compete with the YouTube model (offering less confusion over the monetisation system).
- Call of Duty announce battle royal mode.
- New Spyro Game or Spyro HD collection announced.
- Both Rare and Ubisoft’s pirate games will be sales flops (despite both being enjoyable).
- We get the first legislation put forward (somewhere in the world) to regulate loot boxes.

More confident of above, really bold predictions:
- On above, this is the year Rare is shut down.
- New Fallout Game announced, not a numbered game in series, more like what New Vegas was.
- Nintendo announces another big tie in game with another company (like Mario + Rabbids).
- New Switch Pokemon Game announced that will tie into their online service.
- Bloodborne 2 announced.
- EA will start pushing VR with its sports games, namely FIFA, offering VR mode for story/pro mode.

Clusks wrote:

New Switch Pokemon Game announced that will tie into their online service.



You know they already announced this, right? ;)

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Clusks wrote:

New Switch Pokemon Game announced that will tie into their online service.



You know they already announced this, right? ;)

I honestly had no idea

Clusks wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
Clusks wrote:

New Switch Pokemon Game announced that will tie into their online service.



You know they already announced this, right? ;)

I honestly had no idea :o

You should have ignored it and came back next year. Nobody would have remembered but Clock.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I predict I am annoyed I apparently didn’t do any predictions last year.



The thing is, I was sure I’d done a prediction because I vaguely remembered smack talking Star Citizen. Oh, wait, that was in 2015:

Star Citizen is vaporware, and distrust and disappointment increase as the delays build. Something that promises to do everything is going to wind up doing nothing. It’s Battlecruiser 3000AD with better graphics and a presumably more sane developer.

So, you know, that was my 2015 prediction, would have been my 2016 prediction had I bothered to do them, and, well, as long as we’re doing 2017 predictions . . .

1. Star Citizen is vaporware, and distrust and disappointment increase as the delays build. Something that promises to do everything is going to wind up doing nothing. It’s Battlecruiser 3000AD with better graphics and a presumably more sane developer.


2. To double up on my Star Citizen prediction, lawsuits begin to fly. Seriously, people, this is why you don’t let the creative geniuses run stuff. Someone has to be there to say “no”, and nothing kills a software project more than endless scope creep. Star Citizen will never, ever be released in anything like a final form. 2017 will see more shuffling and promises, but this will be a train crashing off a bridge into a sinking freighter that is packed with burning dumpsters.

Crytek filed a lawsuit, but I was expecting a wave of lawsuits from backers and people involved in the project. So, not really.

3. The Nintendo Switch is like every Nintendo console since the SNES except the Wii; it’s different, innovative, and doesn’t sell nearly as many copies as competing consoles. It does better than the Wii U, but the PS4 and Xbox have a share of the market they’re not surrendering anytime soon. The Switch can’t find a market in between the far more powerful consoles and the endless series of tablet and phone games people play.

It’s good that conceivably the singly stupidest thing I thought of in 2017 is now preserved in digital format for all time. I might have been somewhat wrong about this one. Possibly.

4. Mass Effect Andromeda scans your gaming history, and if you played as DudeShep in the first trilogy your console or PC becomes sentient at night, walks into your room, and strangles you with a power cord. What? You think you can say the words “Mass Effect” without somebody arguing about who the real Shepard is? Yeah right. Also, ME3’s ending sucked.

5. Mass Effect Andromeda is much more fluid than the prior games, and basically rips off Destiny’s sense of movement. Which is a good thing. The game is lauded for both its gameplay and its story.

6. I play approximately 9,000 hours of Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer over the course of the year. This seems difficult being that a year only has 8,760 hours, and a third of the year is gone before the game even releases. I’ll find a way.

In my defense, ME:A was much more fluid than the prior games, and the combat in the game was phenomenally fun. I also loved the multiplayer, and put a couple hundred hours into it total; the additional mobility you were given with a dash move, better movement, and lots of interesting kits made it great.

The game was . . . not so lauded, however. Not so much. At all.

7. Legion predicts the Jacksonville Jaguars will make the playoffs this year. The Jacksonville Jaguars will not make the playoffs this year.

The Jacksonville Jaguars did not make the playo . . .

Wait, what actually happened?


Nothing else hugely notable in my predictions. So, for this year.

1. Star Citizen is vaporware, and distrust and disappointment increase as the delays build. Something that promises to do everything is going to wind up doing nothing. It’s Battlecruiser 3000AD with better graphics and a presumably more sane developer.

Certis politely and correctly asked people to stop going into the Star Citizen thread to crap all over the development process, and instead reserve that thread for people to share actual news about the game. This is not that thread, so I can continue to shake my head in utter disbelief this astounding fecal show of a train wreck masquerading as a software development process still somehow manages to stumble forward. I argued at one point we’re basically in Pyramid Scheme territory, as the development team promises new features and begs for more funding, and then uses that funding to stay afloat to do the last round’s worth of promises’ development. Somebody else argued it was a Ponzi Scheme instead. Really, the form of fraud Star Citizen has turned into is irrelevant. There will be more promises, more requests for money, and no Star Citizen.

2. Read Dead Redemption 2 is considered great, and has a multiplayer component similar to GTA V where you rob banks, hold up trains, and do other western stuff and it’s incredibly successful. I will not buy the game at launch. I will wait until somebody can verify how much of the pointless, banal crap Rockstar likes to throw into their games in order to make them feel “realistic” is stuck in there. If there is one single element of mandatory @#$!! cattle herding I’m out. It’s also a leading GOTY candidate, here and elsewhere.

3. Sea of Thieves has modest sales, but, being an Xbox title, not that many people play it.


4. Anthem does not release in 2018; with the backlash facing loot boxes forcing a significant rewrite of the game’s loot system plus a desire to actually release a, you know, finished title, it’s pushed back to 2019. I’ve come across a few things saying there have been developed issues regardless, and EA, looking at what happened with Battlefront II, decides to wait until the game is actually done.

5. Crackdown isn’t good. It’s shiny and glitzy but shallow. The first Crackdown was fun, the second never existed in the first place, and this one . . . it’s mechanically OK, but just doesn’t give you much to do other than spend a half hour thinking how cool it was to be able to crush buildings.

6. Nintendo, having fired its Zelda, Mario, and Mario Kart cannons, has a “down” year. Sure, there’s still Metroid, Kirby, and Donkey Kong, but none of those are Zelda or Mario.

7. Think I failed to get this right next year; a new Elder Scrolls game is released by Bethesda, and it’s about dwarves. Because why not dwarves?

8. VR remains a gimmick few people want. The immersiveness isn’t worth the inconvenience.

I’m not certain why everyone thinks a new Elder Scrolls game is coming out this year. I want more Elder Scrolls as much as the next person but back in mid-2016 Pete Hines said that they hadn’t even started pre-production on a new ES yet... even if they started working on it immediately afterward it wouldn’t be ready until 2019 or 2020 given Bethesda’s release history.

ruhk wrote:

I’m not certain why everyone thinks a new Elder Scrolls game is coming out this year. I want more Elder Scrolls as much as the next person but back in mid-2016 Pete Hines said that they hadn’t even started pre-production on a new ES yet... even if they started working on it immediately afterward it wouldn’t be ready until 2019 or 2020 given Bethesda’s release history.

And last year, Todd Howard said they had two other new, Elder Scrolls-sized projects that would release first. It's a much safer prediction that Bethesda will unveil a new IP of some kind than that they'll roll out Elder Scrolls VI.

I hit one out of the park last year:

* Call of Duty goes back to WWII.

And one half right:

* Original Xbox games become backwards compatible with a feature that lets you play games in LAN mode over Xbox Live.

Other than that mine were mostly crap. I really didn't expect the Switch to do as well as it has.

So recycling from last year:

* Bethesda Softworks announces a new IP at E3 for release Fall 2018.

* Halo 6 announced at E3 for Fall release. 4k 60FPS HDR on Xbox One X.

New stuff:
* Switch keeps selling well. Is the top selling console worldwide in 2018.
* PS4 sales slow. Fall price drop.
* Sony announces a new handheld at E3. All games released for it are compatible with the PS4. Doesn't release this year.
* Xbox One X sales are steady. Fall price drop.
* Microsoft brings back 1 versus 100 on Mixer or tries some other game show like thing on Mixer.
* Microsoft goes all in on getting more console exclusives. They announce a number of console timed exclusive third party games due out next year at E3.
* Twitch launches a game show as well.
* Psyonix announces a Mario Kart like battle racing game (Rocket League Racing).
* Bioware's Anthem is not released this year.
* Sea of Thieves is fun for a few weeks and then most people move on to something else as it ends up being lacking in depth and very repetitive.
* Was going to predict a new Fable game being announced but news of that came out this morning. Was going to predict Rare as the developer but looks like Playground (developers of the Forza Horizon series) is making it.
* Far Cry 5 is not half as controversial as it was made to seem.
* Blizzard releases an HD remastered version of Warcraft 3 and it's expansion.

I will edit this for formatting and clarity later.

2017 Predictions:




PUBG will begin flailing about in March or April and concurrent players will drop incredibly quick as server infrastructure issues and the buggy experiences rapidly shift players towards other battle royale games. Flush with cash, PUBG corp. will then shift towards a proprietary storefront app ala Steam and its first game will be a PUBG CCG.

EA will announce in Q1 that Battlefront II will get a soft relaunch in Q2. The Q2 relaunch will re-introduce paid lootboxes (including a paid version of the Pink Darth Vader mod that Dice will appear to have simply stolen from the mod author), a battle royale game mod, and an in-game announcement of Battlefront III.

EA, in further attempts to regain goodwill, will announce the resurrection of the Command & Conquer franchise. It will not be a traditional RTS. It will be a reboot of C&C: Commando. It will be a “hybrid experience” based largely on Metal Gear Solid style gameplay and feature, of course, a battle royale mode in which you do not gather arms and armor, rather you find single units to command or pilot such as Orcas or Mammoth Tanks. A dedicated single player mode with cooperative campaign will be the focus of “serious internal discussion.”

Into the Breach, from the developers of critically acclaimed industry darling FTL, will launch to solid reviews. However, it will seem to lack that certain something, especially in an already crowded field of incredibly strong indy games. People will find themselves wishing that it were actually FTL 2.

Red Dead Redemption 2 will launch close to the season premiere of HBO’s Westworld to capitalize on sexy-time cowboy adventures. The actual protagonist of the game will be a woman.

Far Cry 5 will launch. It will largely be ignored, despite concerns about the so-called controversial content. The messaging will chiefly mirror recent Far Cry games: tone deaf, confused, and irrelevant. The gameplay itself will feel very, very stale in a post- Horizon and Zelda world. Primal will eventually be regarded as the superior game, simply because it tried something different. Discussion of the future of the franchise will be quite negative.

Additional content for Hitman will be announced late Q1. The missions will focus on political assassinations. This will be highly controversial in the United States given the election year and people will begin hand-wringing.


The Switch has a banner year. A cosmetic refresh of the SKU will drive first time-ownership and promote “two Switch households.” Games on Switch, however, will disappoint early adopters as this year will seem dull compared to launch titles.

Sony will begin focusing heavily on expanding quantity and quality of accessories, apps, and peripherals for the “Playstation Family.” Games media will generally agree this hints towards the PS5 but really this year is just Sony putting the traditional console market on lockdown.

Microsoft will develop a kind of institutional panic around the Xbox brand. X1X will be a huge commercial failure with already low sales dropping precipitously by mid-year. X1X will be in danger of being discontinued as losses will be unsustainable. Microsoft will introduce a basic Xbox 1 SKU at 99$ USD in a desperate effort to drive market penetration. (I agree 100% with this from the conference call prediction.) Late year discussion will make unpleasant comparisons between the Xbox brand and Dreamcast.

Microsoft will announce Gears of War 5 and Halo 6. They will be announced this year and launch this year with enhancements for X1X. Most people won’t care. The announcement messaging will only reinforce the idea that Microsoft is out-of-touch. X1 holdouts will seriously consider migrating completely to a different platform.

At some point, during some cooperative gameplay session, either I or Rybowl will throw a grenade at me, him, or both of us. Even if the game does not feature grenades, this will still occur. Each of us will blame the other. I will continue to be the correct one.

Sea of Thieves will fall victim to over hype, release as a fairly buggy but playable multiplayer game. Over the summer it'll get patched into a solid title to play with friends, but will suffer from the stigma.

The long rumored Bethesda space rpg will be announced, will allow up to 4 player co-op. No official word on ES:6 in 2018.

Star Control: Origins will earn cheers for solid gameplay and combat mechanics, jeers for soulless reproductions of the races of the original series.

Has there been any hype at all for Sea of Thieves? Anticipation for it has seemed decidedly muted, even among Xbox enthusiasts.

Looking back , I don't think my predictions were bold enough.

Aristophan in 2017 wrote:

Demand outstrips supply of the Nintendo Switch until the summer. Zelda sells about equally on both the Switch and WiiU platforms. It is amazing.

Zelda sold more on Switch, but otherwise, this seems accurate.

We wil be drowning in Amiibo. Lego Dimensions quietly disappears, and Skylanders takes the year off and is canceled for the foreseeable future.

Yep. Lego Dimensions is canceled, and no Skylanders news.

Red Dead Redemption 2 delays into 2018.


Project Scorpio gets a name change and launches at a premium price - $499. Microsoft aggressively pushes it at E3, and it wildly available in the fall. Sales are strong.

I don't think sales have been strong, but otherwise yep.

PSVR continues to sell well. PS4 Pro becomes the default system in the fall, and is bundled with Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Nope. PSVR is selling, but it's not gangbusters. There were some serious discounts this holiday season.

Remasters this year: Demon's Souls (PS4 exclusive), Crackdown (Xbox exclusive), and Final Fantasy Tactics (again).

Nope. Nope. Nope.

A board game prediction: Twilight Struggle 4th Edition is announced and released by the end of the year. It has been 20 years since Fantasy Flight put out its first game - it is time.


Now for 2018!

Red Dead Redemption 2 is delayed to Spring 2019.

Nintendo re-releases the Mini NES, with increased availability. It contains at least one more game than the original release.

Virtual Console comes to the Nintendo Switch, focusing on Nintendo 64 games. A new right Joy Con is released for compatibility.

Both Microsoft and Sony have permanent price drops on their premium consoles.

The GWJ Game of the Year isn't really discussed much in January.

Bloodborne 2 is announced, and released by the end of the year.

Bethesda announces and releases a new RPG world using the Skyrim / Fallout engine.

PUBG remains strong all year, but a Battle Royale mode becomes very popular in two other franchises (in addition to Fortnite).

Two words: Vita 2.