Top-10 Game Predictions for 2010-2011

It’s prediction time again.  First, we need to run-down our 2009-2010 predictions and see how we did.  Here they are:

10. Microtransactions In Flash Games Will Struggle. Too many games, too few people willing to pay. The most successful service will be Mochicoins, but it will still struggle with quality vs. what people are willing to pay for. However, a few very well made and successful games will point towards the future.

This is pretty much true.  Money is being made on Microtransactions, but most of it is on Facebook.   Many developers are still struggling.

9. Adobe will announce a new version of Flash that makes AS3 much more accessible for artists and designers. Also, real 3D support will be finally added to Flash. At the same time, Silverlight 3 will start making in-roads, but mostly for corporate applications, on the 360, and on Sharepoint web sites.

Well, there was a new version of Flash, but 3D support is still not really incorporated.  That may be in the NEXT version.   CS5 is much more accessible for designers though, so we did OK.

8. Atari will officially do something on the web in regards to their classic game library. It will be too little too late.

They DID, and we were mostly correct!

7. Web Surfing on the 360. Microsoft will open-up the 360 to web browsing…but without Flash support (just like the iPhone).  However, Silverlight will be supported. Silverlight web games will become a new “home brew” dev platform for 360 games.

Hmm.  Not yet, but they have opened-up more apps for the 360.  I still think Silverlight support is going to make it onto the 360 very soon.

6. Even though it has robust Flash and HTML 5 support, the Palm Pre will be a dud (at least in the USA into the foreseeable future). Sprint is is the only carrier right now, plus the CrackBerry is killing in corporate market, while the iPhone has a lock on consumers mind share and handheld phone gaming. That leaves early adopters and Sprint customers.

Nailed it.

5. Also, even though there was nerd backlash, Diablo 3 will be released and it will generate a huge, massive, amazing ocean of cash for Blizzard. A new “Ultima” branded single player Diablo-like game will be announced by Electronic Arts. Sadly, Richard Garriott will not be involved.

Ooops.  These things have to be RELEASED first.

4. A new console from a MAJOR company will be announced. It will be download-only and will support games from multiple platforms (Flash, PC, emulated, etc.). This could also come in the form of set-top box that “rents” games ala Netflix directly over the internet.

The “download” only console was the new PSP and it was a dud.

3. The PC will fall even further away as a platform for AAA game titles, but indie and web games using Flash, Unity and and Instant Action will pick-up much of the slack.

Pretty much true.

2. The Atari/Bushnell Movie will take a drastic turn in tone when Will Farrell replaces Leonardo Decaprio in the lead role, and Seth Rogan is cast as Al Alcorn. However, it will be nothing compared the switch in tone for the “Asteroids” movie when Universal casts Jack Black as “Medium Sized Rock”.

The rumors are still out there… 🙂

1. A great new book on AS3 Flash Game Development will be published. You all will love it and will buy a copy. Also, that “How To Create Blog Posts That Hypnotize And Influence Your Readers” e-book I bought last year will finally pay off.

Many of you loved it,  some not so much.  Still, it was a rewarding experience.

Now for the new predictions for 2010-2011.

10.  Flash Games Everywhere!

Google TV, the Google Web App Store, Flash games on Android, Flash conversion on the iPhone, Flash player 10.1, etc.    Flash games will take-over much of the non-core game industry in the next 12 months.

9. Diminished Power Of Flash Game Portals

With Flash games everywhere, the power and influence of Flash game portals will diminish somewhat.  Look for some consolidation (e.g. Kongregate + New Grounds), and for portals to start their own development arms, as they, themselves, branch to mobile, Facebook ,and other platforms.

8. Silverlight Down, HTML5 Up

Silverlight will fall even further out of the game space, while HTML5+Canvas games grow in number and sophistication.  The inclusion of Canvas support in I.E. 9 will help fuel this fire.  However, for Microsoft and Sharepoint shops, and on the Windows 7 phone, Silverlight will grow in influence and usage. Silverlight will still be viable, but focused on Microsoft platforms.

7. Atari/Asteroids Movies Will Still Live In Development Hell

The Nolan Bushnell “Atari Movie” and the Universal “Asteroids” movie will still be in development hell, far from any kind of production or release date.

6. Atari Will Mine Their Classic Catalog Even Further

Atari will continue to mine their classic game catalog, and finally dig out titles that remain unreleased on modern platforms such as remakes of games like “Yar’s Revenge” , “Air Sea Battle”, “Canyon Bomber”, plus coin-op games like “Food Fight” and “Hi-Way” and “Qwak”.  I’d also look for the Flashback 3 to finally get a release, maybe even as a mobile device.

5. More Retro-Style Games On Downloadable Platforms

With games like “Scott Pilgrim” on the Xbox 360, we will see many more classic looking and playing games on the downloadable game platforms.   Unlike “Retro Evolved” games, these games will hit all the nuances of classic games, and revel in them.   At the same time, retro-evolved style games will continue to be created at a rapid pace.

4. Big Fanchises Will Falter

At least two well-known franchises expected to move “tonnage” will falter.  Neither will be PC-based, but both will put their respective publishers on the brink of bankruptcy.

3. The Mac Will Rise

Pushed buy Apple’s moves in gaming, the Mac will rise as a game machine. Some big PC games will see simultaneous and possibly targeted Mac releases.   Publishers will see good sales for Mac games because the user-base is more willing to pay for software.  Look for Mac sales to edge-up again and challenge the PC’s dominance.

2.  Quality Advertising Supported Games Will Start Disappearing

High-quality games that use in-game ads for revenue will start to trickle in the next 12 months.  Coins games, mobile platforms, etc. will dominate instead.  Look for more “demo” style games that hint at game-play instead of being full games themselves.    Tiny developers will still use in-game ads, but mostly for the other services they provide (high-scores, social layers, etc), and not really for the revenue they generate.

1. The 3DS Will Fail, But The Wii2 Will Shock The Gaming World

I’m going out on a limb here, but I believe the 3DS will be failure in the USA.  It will be too expensive, and will not be able to compete with the iPhone and Android and mobile gaming platforms.    However, it will have some great games and be a cult hit.  It will dominate in Japan.

As the Xbox 360 and PS3 transform into the Wii with their own motion controls, Nintendo will announce the Wii2 in 2011.  While the system will miss the Christmas 2011 season, there is good reason for it.  The Wii2 will include some revolutionary technology that only Nintendo could put together.  HD+ visuals, Blue-Ray, 3D, massive amounts of solid-state storage, mind-control, an anti-piracy device utilizing buyer’s DNA/retina scanning, holograms, virtual reality, full-body scanning motion control, time travel and weather control are just some of the features that are possible.

What are your predictions? Tell us in the forums:

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