The ritual has arrived once more. It’s time for me to make wildly inaccurate predictions about the way forward for video games. This is at all times embarrassing for me, however I’m hoping that one in all these years it should sharpen my pondering.
I’ve written greater than 15,000 tales for VentureBeat over almost 10 years, largely primarily based on what different individuals take into consideration the way forward for tech and video games. But every year, I attempt to take in a few of that pondering and exit on the limb with my very own predictions. This yr, within the consolation of my dwelling, I favor the protected and the predictable. I can tolerate the method of pondering issues by means of about every year.
As the sport business crosses $116 billion in income, I figure any individual ought to have the ability to make a bundle by making good predictions. That’s not more likely to be me, however I’ve enjoyable pretending to be a seer anyway. First, I’ll give myself grades for final yr’s predictions, after which I’ll make 10 new ones.
My scorecard for predictions for 2017
Last yr, I predicted that Red Dead Redemption 2 can be a smashing success. I figured that was a protected prediction, however I didn’t count on what has change into inevitable with massive video games from Take-Two Interactive’s Rockstar Games label. They take their time. Rockstar introduced it might push the sport again to the spring of 2018. But that’s OK, as I can now make the identical prediction for 2018.
Letter grade: F
I additionally stated the Nintendo Switch would outsell the Wii U, however it might fall in need of the Nintendo Wii’s 100 million in gross sales in the course of the technology. This was a simple win, because the Switch has bought greater than 10 million items and is already close to outselling the lifetime gross sales of the Wii U at 13.6 million items. But it’s not but clear that the Switch could have the legs to beat the Wii.
Letter grade: A (however nonetheless to be decided)
I figured digital actuality was additionally a simple prediction, as I stated it might possible wrestle to achieve traction in 2017. Superdata Research estimates VR and software program gross sales will hit $3.7 billion, and it’ll ultimately hit $28.3 billion in 2020. But the variety of items going out the door has been disappointing, with Samsung’s Gear VR being the one platform to prime 5 million items to date. VR has been lackluster with customers, even with first rate gross sales for the PlayStation VR. Microsoft moved into the market with Windows combined actuality headsets, however we don’t assume that moved the needle a lot.
Letter grade: A
I predicted like many others that Apple would enter the augmented actuality fray. I used to be proper about that, however it solely launched its software program platform, ARKit, for builders so as to add AR to current iPhones and iPads. Apple didn’t launch a AR machine, as anticipated.
Letter grade: B
I stated the U.S. would proceed to lose jobs to abroad recreation corporations. I don’t have laborious knowledge on this but, however I consider it was appropriate. I’ve seen many expansions of recreation corporations in Europe, Asia, and Canada, however I’ve written lots about cutbacks at U.S. corporations like Electronic Arts (Visceral Games shut), Gazillion, Torchlight, CCP (in Atlanta), and Gree (in San Francisco). Kabam bought itself after which dismantled lots of its operations.
Letter grade: A (however laborious to confirm)
I stated the sport business could have an opportunity to construct an open platform for the Metaverse, however it should fail to take action. I feared like Tim Sweeney of Epic Games that the business would squander its likelihood to construct an open platform to host the Metaverse, the digital world envisioned by Neal Stephenson within the novel Snow Crash in 1992. I used to be really fallacious about this, as corporations comparable to Philip Rosedale’s High Fidelity are utilizing blockchain to create interconnections for networks of digital worlds. He’s simply getting began, however that’s all we’d like to date.
Letter grade: F
I stated that the variety of Triple-A console video games printed in 2017 would slip. I don’t have the info on this one but, however I really feel prefer it’s true. Electronic Arts printed eight video games in 2016, and this yr, it had about the identical quantity. We’ll discover out extra when the stat collectors get to work.
Letter grade: Unclear
I predicted the next-generation of consoles would floor at E3 2017. I used to be proper that Microsoft would unveil its machine, code-named Project Scorpio. The Xbox One X debuted in November, however Sony stayed mum about its plans.
Letter grade: B
I predicted that we’d see the partitions come down between science fiction, actual world tech, and video video games. I used to be primarily fascinated about how HBO deliberate to do a VR model of its Westworld TV present. But it turned out that HBO shelved that effort. This was the theme of our GamesBeat Summit 2017 occasion, and it’s one we are going to proceed at GamesBeat Summit 2018. One of the talks was in regards to the coming collectively of self-driving automobiles and automobile simulations. We have been proper about that notion, as Phantom Auto just lately debuted its self-driving automobile that may be remotely pushed by a human with video recreation driving gear.
Letter grade: C
And I predicted Donald Trump would encourage recreation builders to be extra artistic. We noticed loads of so-so video games impressed by numerous issues Trump did this yr, however I can’t say I’ve seen his affect, optimistic or adverse, on the inspirations of the most important recreation builders to date.
Letter grade: C
For the same old enjoyable and embarrassment, listed below are my predictions for 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.
My predictions for 2018
1. Red Dead Redemption would be the Game of the Year.
I hope Rockstar actually does ship its Wild West fantasy in 2018, or I’ll get one other F on my prediction. If they do ship, I believe they’ll have an affordable shot at having Game of the Year. Red Dead Redemption 2 has been rescheduled for the spring, and primarily based on the trailer launched to date, it seems like it is going to be one other top-quality manufacturing from Rockstar. The recreation options an all-new solid and story about “outlaw Arthur Morgan and the Van Der Linde gang as they rob, struggle and steal their approach throughout the huge and rugged coronary heart of America so as to survive.” Rockstar has gained so many recreation awards that it is a fairly protected prediction, the place the competitors isn’t the risk. It’s Rockstar’s award to win or lose.
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