Year end prediction posts are tons of fun. Let’s see how I did with last year’s post.
- Correct. Champions and Free Realms both launched. Those were both smaller than the big launches of 2008 (Age of Conan and Warhammer), and I expect they will end up being smaller than next year’s Star Trek Online launch.
- Wrong. The console version of Champions Online never came out. I hear it’s because of difficulties working out revenue sharing and certification details with Microsoft, not because of any technical challenge. We’ll see if it actually comes out in 2010.
- Wrong. Has there been a single large MMO announced in 2009? Carbine, Trion, Red 5, 38 Studios, and Zenimax certainly haven’t announced anything.
- Wrong. Nope. Nobody bought Turbine. Atari did buy Cryptic, which is almost the same thing. Maybe I should be more vague in the future.
- Correct? Upper Deck University launched, but hasn’t had much traction. Are there other kid’s MMOs that launched in 2009? Wizard 101 from King’s Isle launched at the end of 2008 and had an excellent year in 2009. What does that mean for my prediction? No idea.
- Correct, sort of. Both Microsoft and Sony decided to launch gestural control devices instead of whole new consoles. They are trying to get some more mileage out of their investment in the current generation. Project Natal has had a lot of buzz, but no dev kits have shipped as far as I know. The PS3 motion controller has been a little more under the radar. Both of these devices are expected to ship in 2010.
- Hard to say. Maybe we’ve hit bottom, maybe we haven’t. Ask me in two years.
- Wrong. Oh so astoundingly wrong. Between Layar and Junaio’s launches, tons of marketing campaigns, and lots of concept and research videos, AR has had a year full of hype. Those see-through displays I was so excited about in January didn’t happen, but on the smartphone/magic lens front there has been quit a bit happening.
- Hard to say. Did Microsoft start an MMO in 2009? They didn’t announce anything. Wonder if they’ll announce it before they cancel it.
- Wrong. At least I haven’t heard of one. Lots of indy games made lots of noise in 2009, but none of those were XNA games.
- Correct? iLike’s firesale to Myspace is one. Metaplace.com going away is arguably another, though Metaplace lives on as a company, at least for a while. Geocities counts too, I guess. The trouble is the “have heard of” qualifier. Most web startups are completely unknown outside of Silicon Valley
- Wrong. There has been no SOE reorganization fallout visible from the outside. The Agency lost the head of its studio, but the game seems to live on. DC universe is going fairly well from what I hear.
- Correct. Mythic merged a bunch of servers. Then they laid off a bunch of people. Then EA kicked out Mark Jacobs. Then EA laid off more people. It has been a tough year over there. I hope everyone lands on their feet.
So for the year, that’s five correct predictions, six incorrect predictions, and two unmeasurable predictions. Not such a good year to see the future.
The biggest thing I missed is the way mobile is heating up. The App Store is a couple years old at this point, but it really exploded in 2009.
What about you? Did 2009 turn out like you expected?