Hope everyone has had a good Christmas and NYE,
2017 was a big year for the videogame industry, it revolved around the discussion of lootboxes, MTX, and singleplayer games. It was an interesting year with EA being at the forefront of most news with Star Wars Battlefront II and the shuttering of Visceral Games and the death of Visceral’s Star Wars game.
Video gaming in 2017 was incredibly heavy. AAA games came out in the fall rush and some of them were huge disappointments and controversy everywhere we looked. Although, it wouldn’t be correct to call 2017 a disappointmenting year for games although it was somewhat of a disappointment; it seems like last year was the year of MTX and Lootboxes with publishers like EA not caring anymore about the long-term consequences.
Given the beating of AAA games last year, I feel that 2017 will be the year in gaming history in which the power truly switched from “games” to “games-as-a-service.” trend that we’ve been seeing since 2014 but 2017 was the year that “games-as-a-service.” exploded.
2017 also brought about the discussion of Singleplayer games once again to the forefront with Visceral Games being shuttered and their Star Wars game being shot by EA, singleplayer games like Prey failed to resonate with the rest of the gaming community. Although, there were big hits like Super Mario Odyssey, Horizon Zero Dawn, Wolfenstein II, and much more but that doesn’t really help the narrative that Singleplayer games are well and okay. It’s fair to say that SP games in 2017 were met with challenges and will continue to be met with challenges that threaten it’s existence because of the events that transpired in 2017.
As we move into 2018, I will try to predict the big headlines for the year and do a wishlist for what I would like to see in 2018.
MTX and Lootboxes.
The messaging of MTX and Lootboxes will change drastically as a result of what occurred in 2017. Every publisher including EA knows they have to change the perception on this practice, I think we’ll see alot of companies seeing what they can get away with and after the controversy surrounding Battlefront II, I think publishers have no choice but to re-examine how Lootboxes are sold.
One thing is for certain, this is not the end of Lootboxes and MTX. They’re here to stay and there has been alot of justified controversy surrounding this, but even if companies like EA plan to back down changes won’t happen overnight. I’m curious to see how Battlefield 2018 and Anthem respond to this.
On the other hand a different scenario, the fallout from the Battlefront II controversy will be seismic. Europe looks to legislate in this area, if Europe passes this legislation then publishers will have to face having different software for Europe or abandon the concept of MTX and Lootboxes globally. Also, it’s entirely possible we will see another backlash similar to Battlefront II this year.
Another panic about SP Games
2017 was the year that brought the topic of death of SP Games to the forefront. Singleplayer Games are dying because of “Games-as-a-Service.” and how the game industry is moving towards this model and I predict that E3 this year will be Multiplayer-centric with Battlefield 2018, Anthem, and other multiplayer-centric games making an appearance there and once again, the industry will have a fright about SP games.
We’ll have to wait and see on this one though.
Red Dead Redemption 2 gets a release date and it’s coming to PC.
It’s due at some point during the summer season this year and I predict Rockstar will announce the release date of May 2018 and it looks like to me that Rockstar will announce RDR2 on PC about 8 to 9 months later like how they did with Grand Theft Auto V.
Battle Royale clones everywhere.
We’ve already seen a spurt of battle royale modes in 2017 with games like PUBG and Fortnite: Battle Royale and there will be many more to come this year.
Epic games successfully ported Fortnite into this genre last year, but we’ll see more games being built from the ground up similar to PUBG in the coming years and into the next generation of hardware. There will be plenty of companies hopping on the bandwagon for this one.
Microsoft will bring more exclusives to the Xbox this year.
Okay, now this is a little bit of a stretch but I really hope Microsoft brings more exclusives to the Xbox. Microsoft is lacking behind Sony when it comes to exclusives, with the power argument won; it’s time to focus on other things like exclusives.
Sony has a powerhouse of exclusives like Nioh, God of War, The Last of Us, Spiderman, and much more coming while Microsoft doesn’t have much of anything besides the games we already know are coming. Going into 2018, it looks bleak and Microsoft needs a W in their belt when it comes to gaming, the games that came out last year that weren’t Cuphead and Forza were average at best in terms of people liking those games. It was a very disappointing 2017 for Xbox.
Hopefully as the year progresses, there will be better times ahead when it comes to exclusives. Microsoft should be doing everything in their power to lock in people as it can into the Xbox ecosystem and that means building a strong lineup of exclusive games that aren’t just Halo, Gears, and Forza.
Borderlands 3 gets announced at this year’s E3.
Before I lose hope and Borderlands 3 becomes the next Half-Life 3, I hope Gearbox announces this game before 2018 comes to an end. It’s been about 7 years since Borderlands 2 released and it’s about damn time that we get the sequel!
Please announce the sequel, Gearbox?
Brothers in Arms 4 gets announced for 2019.
Before Gearbox was known for Borderlands, they made this game called Brothers in Arms which was a tactical WW2 era game about a group of soldiers in the 101st Airborne. The franchise was one of the best franchises of the ‘2000s until Hell’s Highway released in 2008 and the franchise quietly went away until 2015.
Hell’s Highway was the last Brothers in Arms game to be released, it focused on Matt Baker and his squad as they fought in Holland during Operation Market Garden and that game released 10 years ago. In 2015, Randy Pitchford said in an interview that they’re currently working on the next installment of the franchise but I fear it may be too late.
The reason why I say that is because too much time has passed for a sequel, it’s been 10 years since Hell’s Highway released and I feel like outside of myself and others the audience isn’t there but I hope I’m wrong. It is time that we receive this long overdue sequel.
Splinter Cell makes a comeback!
It’s been nearly 5 years since we last saw Splinter Cell. Splinter Cell: Blacklist was an excellent game, it returned the franchise to what it did best which was always stealth-action instead of whatever Conviction was.
I predict that we will see Splinter Cell make a comeback and it will be on Ubisoft’s stage at E3 but will be marketed with Microsoft and maybe a timed exclusive to Xbox. The reason why I say this is that Splinter Cell has always had a history with Xbox, always been marketed with Xbox and looking back on the history of Splinter Cell, it makes the most sense.
I really hope a new Splinter Cell is announced this year, Splinter Cell needs to make a comeback this year.
Other Predictions for 2018
- GTA VI will be announced at some point this year for a 2019 release date. It’s got to happen at some point.
- VR headsets will won’t get any cheaper by year’s end and will once again be affordable by those who have money
- E3 this year will be multiplayer-heavy with Battlefield 2018 and Anthem and EA’s E3 will once again be a snooze.
- Microsoft will announce a Fable game in development by Rare or CD Prokject Red at E3 and won’t come out for some time.
- Microsoft and BioWare will come up at this year’s E3 and announce a reboot of Jade Empire, it’s the kind of surprise that Microsoft needs right now.
- The next Battlefield will be shown off at Microsoft’s stage and EA will have the marketing with Microsoft like they’ve done with Battlefield 1. Maybe, if Phil Spencer is bold enough it will be 30 day access on the Xbox similar to how Call of Duty is on Playstation.
- The next Tomb Raider will be a multi-platform game seeing that the Xbox temporary exclusive limited the sales of Rise of the Tomb Raider.
( Battlefield 1 photo by Supremex11.)