What's the point in making predictions unless they are graded? Clearly it's time to shine the harsh light of history on my fearless 2004 predictions that were posted on January 2nd of last year. Read on for the predictions and the grades:
1) At least one MMORPG will be anointed "the MMORPG for the mainstream" but fail to deliver
So this is an interesting one. Certainly The Matrix Online was the product I was thinking about, but it hasn't launched yet, so that doesn't work. Certainly CoH, WoW or FF XI might fit the bill, but none of these have really crossed over. I'll take this close one.
2) A handheld device will allow portable connection to a major MMORPG
Ragnarok Online Mobile launched this year and allows Asian players limited access. Correct!
3) There will be a successful online-world game on the Macintosh
While a bunch of online games are available for the Mac, including SL, ATiTD, and Planeshift, it hadn't been a good year for large MMORPGs. Sony announced that they were doing a code freeze on the Mac EQ and things looked glum. Then, lo and behold, WoW on Mac! Give me another one.
4) An online-world will come under unflattering media attention on par with the current GTA3/Vice City coverage
MMORPG addiction has been the topic of the year, building on the original "EverCrack" stories to reach a pretty high level. I has expected that the attention would come from other directions, but I'll take it.
5) Richard Bartle will flame somebody for bringing up a topic discussed on MUD-Dev in 1997
While Richard actually was preemptively flamed several times, he showed admirable patience throughout 2004 didn't draw from MUD-Dev very often. Either TN's discussions are moving forward or he just got tired of providing links. Wrong.
6) A successful MMORPG will be released by a small, independent developer
Of course, "successful" is a poorly defined term here. However, 2004 saw no significant MMORPG launches by small or independent developers -- or at least none that show up Sir Bruce's chart. Wrong again.
7) A game designer will reference psychological, behavioral, economic, and game theory inaccurately in the same talk
This was, of course, tongue-in-cheek. In fact, I think that 2004 saw some of the best game related talks that I've heard, especially Ted's keynote at AGC. Happily wrong.
8) Real-time voice masking technology will become good enough to mask the gender of the speaker
This one really bugs me as the tech seemed to be moving along quite well last fall but hasn't gotten over the hump. Damn. Wrong and back to .500.
9) The 2nd Austin Game Conference and State of Play 2 will be both more contentious and more interesting than their first outings
OK, this was a pretty easy one, although it would have been possible for either or both conferences to jump the shark. Fortunately, neither did. A return to correct answers!
10) At least one of these predictions will be laughably incorrect!
Phew, my CYA prediction keeps me over .500! Clearly my predictions need to be more aggressive for next year.