2015 was, FFXIV aside, basically a waste in the MMO space in terms of what was delivered. A bit of ‘wake up’ progress was made regarding F2P MMOs, but for the most part nothing new of significance arrived, though some seeds were planted via Kickstarter. I’m hopefully that in 2016, we will see at least a few of those seeds sprout into something worthwhile.
At the top of my list is Crowfall, and even though I don’t think we will see a full release in 2016, I do expect the game to get close, and for much of 2016 to be filled with game updates that move everything forward. What I have seen in alpha up to this point has been very encouraging, from the art style to the mechanics. There are still countless hurdles for Crowfall to get over, and plenty of opportunities for the game to get screwed by bad design decisions, but so far, I like what I see and have heard. My predictions is that as we move through 2016, the hype for Crowfall will grow significantly.
Second behind Crowfall is Camelot Unchained. I haven’t followed this one as closely as I have Crowfall (and I haven’t followed Crowfall all that much), but what I have seen looks solid, and Inquisition has picked this game as our next title to jump into. I do hope this is the title Mark and company redeem themselves with, and hopefully that redemption happens sometime in 2016. Prediction: The game launches and is worth playing for longer than a few months.
After those two titles things get a bit murky for me. I fully expect FFXIV to continue being as great as it is and see further growth, but a great themepark is still a themepark after all. WoW will continue to decline, but that one is an easy call now because Blizzard themselves have given up and accepted that WoW is now a spot to visit for a month when an expansion hits, rather than a home. Some F2P MMOs will shut down, but again, that’s basically a given. I do think the turn against F2P, if it hasn’t already happened with the majority, will happen in 2016. Welcome to the right side of history for those joining late.
And that’s basically it. The MMO space just doesn’t generate the type of news and hype as it once did, and while I still follow it closely, so much of what is happening is the same old same old. Let’s hope 2016 shakes things up, and gives not only the genre, but those following it a reason to be excited once more.