So, it's another new year already. The "Big Sneeze" known as Christmas (followed by the "Big Sneeze After the First One to Garuntee You to Get Snot All Over Your Hands" that was New Years Eve) has passed. So what now? Indeed, what can we all look forward to this year? WARNING: LONG POST IS LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...
#10) Moar Multiplayer Co-Op campaigns via Live/PSN/Innernet It really is going to be a big year in the form of Co-Op Campaigns, gaming wise. After Gears of War, people began breathing metaphorical fire into the forest of gaming design, and multiplayer-designed story and gameplay has spread like a wildfire through most of California. But is this a good thing? Too Human and Army of Two, though cleverly/poorly named, are still on my radar soley based on their Co-Op attitude towards the main story. Only time will tell if these, and others, stand up to the hype and begun meaningful additions to my game library, not just gimmicky games to add and play every now and then (*looks at Phantasy Star Online*).
#9) Rythm Games with a twist Now, this one was touched on some weeks or so ago by Tycho over at Penny Arcade. In his News Post/Blog/BBS-thingy, he postulated about having people making music, and not knowing how to play their instruments. I have been waiting for a similar such beast. I think this year, we will either get to play, or get our first glimpse of a Rythm game like Guitar Hero or Rock Band that will allow a player(s?) to create their own music, using naught but a videogame and loads of free time. And liberal use of headbanging and "The Horns".
#8) WoW becomes the new MySpace; kills kittens and gets to 10 million players; ceases to suck? I don't care what anyone else says about it's competitors, World of Warcraft is a juggernaught in a sea of dinghys as far as MMO's are concerned. This year, it's two main competitors in the wings - Age of Conan and Warhammer Online - will come out swinging, hoping to take a nice fat slice out of WoW's pimply ass. So why look forward to the potential downfall of a game? Cause Blizzard is smart and won't let it happen. As it stands now, WoW has basically a monopoly on the MMO market. Sure there are others, but nowhere near as successful. But what if not just one, but TWO potential big hitters step into the ring and tag team it? Blizzard will be forced to tray and hold onto it's customer base; which means good stuffs for people already subscribing in the form of new events and in-game content patches. I'm looking forward to Blizzard's reaction to the first real competitors it will ever have in the MMO market.
#7) PS3 gets the respect it desrves........then actually gets a good reputation (zing!) As fun as it is to hate on the bastard child of the gaming world, it isn't productive. Let's be honest; from a marketing standpoint, multiple hands in the same cookie jar promote competitiveness in the market. This is why exclusives are so important; if there is something you cna only get one one platform, but not the other, then that platform has an advantage in your area of interest. From a gamers standpoint, with more hands in the same cookie jar (aka, your wallet), they are going to fight each other that much harder to get your hard earned cash. Now, the Playstation 3 has tried to get it's hands in gamers proverbial snack stashes for a while now, with marginal success at best. I am not a fanboy or a hater, but let's be frank; if a console is literally collecting dust in the back somewhere compared to the other consoles that are out, it's because it isn't doing well. This year, however, I think the PS3 will finally get it's big hitters that it needs to get back in the game. Or it will come down another 100 clams, which would have near the same effect.
#6) Developers will switch advertising methods to more independant or viral ones You'd be an idiot to not think that the debacle with God's and Heroes didn't go unnoticed within game developer circles. Word is out that companies pay for favorable advertisement, even if it stinks so bad flies won't touch it. Aside from it being totall bullshit on the producers and advertisers part, it still has a huge effect. Last year, we saw the "Ass Creed/Ass Effect" debate. It basically reaffirmed everything else we as gamers knew from the time we picked up one of either a SNES controller or Genesis and decided our gaming fate henceforth. PEOPLE PLAY DIFFERENT GAMES. Not one reviewer playes the same as another. This is why games like Dynasty Warriors still exist; people find them entertaining (the same however could be said about most thing's made out of EA, except Koei doesn't market Wallet Rape like EA can/tries). Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect both have a similar following: they are both well done and thought out games, but mose people thought one was better than the other. Now, what does this have to do with advertising? Well, if IGN says Turd Farmer: EXTREME is the most badass thing since handlebar mustaches and MacGuyver, and does loads of advertising, the masses will buy out of interest (the forumla may sound flawed, but replace the word Turd Farmer with any other sports game out there and it sitll holds). Now, what if it sells 200k copies day one? More importantly, what happens when those 200k copies get lit on fire or impaled through a Gamestop employee cause it sucks so bad?
Stay tuned for part 2 when I get off work. Feel free to discuss this, I'd like to hear everyone elses imput.