This year certainly brought us the good, the bad, and the ugly of the gaming world: several scandals, wonderful new games, some not so wonderful games, the first full year of current-gen consoles, and the Luigi death stare. Now we have 2015 to look forward to.
Will 2015 be as much of a roller coaster ride as this year? We sure hope so. Hopefully more good than bad, though. We make our predictions:
Better quality control for console games
The console market simply CAN’T have another year like 2014. If this wasn’t the worst start to a new generation of consoles, it’s certainly one of the worst. Delays, glitches, and countless GBs of patch fixes became the norm in the second half of the year. If we loved a game this holiday season, one of the reasons was because it at least worked out of the gate. But games like Assassin’s Creed Unity and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, two games that released in November and are still receiving fixes for their countless problems at launch, are perfect examples of a disconnect between the industry and its loyal fans.
The industry will learn from 2014 and practice more honest marketing when it comes to new releases, as well as better quality control. You can’t make a quick buck if your entire fanbase no longer has any faith in your products. Things will have to change if all of the big publishers hope to have a healthy financial year. They’ll have to give us quality games.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue will get a next-gen remaster
We’ll try to keep this on the optimistic side of things, but this is one we’ve been talking about around the office since the game was originally announced earlier this year. Rogue is the last-gen counterpart to Unity, but we don’t think that will be the case for long. Ubisoft is used to releasing a couple of AC games a year, and we don’t think 2015 will be any different. We would have more faith in the publisher if they weren’t already working on a next-gen sequel for 2015 after their disastrous Unity launch. Assassin’s Creed Victory, which we hope gets delayed until 2016 (or isn’t made at all), needs to win back A LOT of people. Ubisoft had a turbulent year with almost all of its releases, but we have a feeling their plans haven’t really been put on hold. We’ll definitely get 1+ Assassin’s Creed games next year for current gen.
Sony won’t re-introduce Team Ico’s The Last Guardian
Predicting that something WON’T happen is perhaps cheating, but given the recent press this game has received, igniting the rumor mill once more with the long-awaited game’s re-introduction into the PS4 roster, we just have to place our bets on this one. It won’t happen. It didn’t happen last year when people started talking about it. Nothing the year before. Every year, Team Ico or someone affiliated in some way with the mysterious game rises from the dead to hint at the game’s inevitable release. What do we get at every E3? Disappointment. We’re not getting our hopes up this year.
Rare Ltd. will finally announce a game that isn’t Kinect Sports
Where did Rare go wrong? Was it signing with Microsoft Studios, who continues to reassure fans that the studio is a vital part of the Xbox One’s future? It would seem that the developer has been sidelined in the aftermath of the Kinect’s death (and that’s really all one could really call it). But the guys at Microsoft keep telling us that Rare is working on something new. And hopefully it’s not Kinect Sports. Banjoo-Kazooie might be a safe bet. Perfect Dark and GoldenEye are way less likely. Maybe a new IP? We have to wonder just how much money Microsoft would be willing to put behind a studio who’s lost a lot of its muscle…But we’ll play the optimists and say that we’ll get something new from Rare next year.
People want more Bond after Skyfall. And someone somewhere must have a plan to release a new 007 game in time for SPECTRE, the next Bond film, in November 2015.Activision backed away from the license after three AWFUL Bond games that still make us cringe. Their take on the license was very COD-like, and the franchise really suffered for it. Could it be that RARE got their baby back? LOL, probably not.
Who knows if anyone will bother actually picking up the license, though. And that’s a damn shame. Bond helped the FPS genre become what it is today, and he shouldn’t be allowed to retire from the gaming world. The last anyone said anything at all about the 007 franchise, it was Telltale’s Kevin Bruner talking about how interesting it would be to make a Bond game at the studio. Shit, we’re listening…
SO MUCH STAR WARS
If Disney and EA don’t kick next year in the face, it will be the biggest missed opportunity in gaming history. You’ve probably heard by now that there’s a new Star Wars film coming out next December, right? That means that there will be at least one new Star Wars video game out in time for the movie. That first game will likely be DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront, and we wouldn’t be surprised if we get a formal announcement from Visceral Games about their new Star Wars game. Will BioWare, the third studio working on a Star Wars game, join the party? Probably not. Not only do the Star Wars veterans have their hands full with The Old Republic, but they’re also working on a new IP called Shadow Realms and a mysterious new Mass Effect. So DICE and Visceral will carry most of the weight next year. We wouldn’t be surprised if we also get the next batch of game announcements next year, as well…One thing’s for sure about 2015, we’re going to get bombarded with A LOT of Star Wars.
The Last of Us 2 will be announced
After Uncharted 4 is out the door, Naughty Dog will set their sights on a sequel to their 2013 Game of the Year. It’s inevitable that we’ll get another helping of Joel and Ellie by 2016. In fact, they’re probably developing the game in an underground vault somewhere as we speak. None of us are complaining. We’re just wondering how Naughty Dog can possibly top themselves…They always pull it off, though.
The Year of Nintendo
Nintendo got a bit of hate during the first half of 2014 for its lack of new games and odd marketing strategies, and we’re just as guilty as everyone else. But from the moment Mario Kart 8 hit the shelves and they introduced the roster of new games coming out in 2015, it was Nintendo madness all over again. We should know by now that nothing can keep this beloved company down. Nintendo had a great year once the wheels started turning in May, and we suspect that they’ll ride that wave all through 2015. Next year will see the release of a new Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Yoshi, Kirby, and Mario, as well as plenty of new IPs. What more could you possibly ask for? Maybe a new Metroid game, but that probably won’t be until 2016.
World of Warcraft will see a decrease in subs again
Are we saying that the only reason Warlords of Draenor was the only reason Blizzard’s flagship title regained all of its subs back in 2014? Probably. Yes, World of Warcraft is still king of the MMORPG and for good reason. It’s a solid experience with a lot of fun things to do. But it’s also 10 years old (11 by next year). How much longer can the title ride on its merits? This is basically a countdown for the inevitable WoW 2 announcement. That said, Blizzard has stated that it plans to release new expansions much more quickly. This will definitely help keep players’ interests. Still, the subs will be way below the 10M mark by late next year.
An MMORPG shake-up in general
There will probably be some big changes in the MMORPG world next year in terms of what you’ll be able to play for free and what will be new. We’ll start with the things that will probably go free-to-play: WildStar and The Elder Scrolls Online. Neither game was really able to find its footing in 2014, suffering through rough launches and depleting player population. While WildStar will definitely go F2P, The Elder Scrolls Online might be able to stick with its subscription model since it’s a bit more niche and has the history of an entire franchise as support.
We’ll also get some new releases. The big titles on deck are EverQuest Next, Star Citizen, and H1Z1. The former two might still be too early in the development cycles for 2015 release dates, so it might be H1Z1 that gets most of the attention next year. It would be a smart move on Sony’s part to push out their zombie survival MMO the same year that the current genre king, Day Z, finally gets its full release. We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?
The future of Batman games will be revealed
As far as Rocksteady Studios is concerned, Arkham Knight will be the last game in the Batman Arkham series. It’s been a truly great run, but we’re excited to see something new. What will Rocksteady work on next? For that matter, what is WB Games Montreal working on next? Rumor has it that the “Origins” timeline introduced in 2013’s Arkham Origins will continue after Rocksteady concludes its trilogy. The earlier years of Batman’s vigilante career will be at the forefront of the next installment. But if 2015 will truly see the end of the Arkham series, we will likely see what’s next for Batman in terms of video games. Will Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment introduce a new series inspired by another classic comic book storyline? Or will they tacke a new superhero? It remains to be seen, but we’ll probably hear about it by next year’s E3.
BioWare unveils new Mass Effect game
BioWare had a big year in 2014. Dragon Age: Inquisition topped a lot of charts and even won Game of the Year at The Game Awards. The veteran RPG developer will be looking to capitalize on that success. While it’ll be WAY too early to announce a Dragon Age sequel, which suddenly is no longer their B-franchise, there’s been enough of a time gap for a new Mass Effect. BioWare has already confirmed that yes, they’re working on a new installment, and that no, it won’t be a regular sequel. It’s a whole new Mass Effect experience. Mass Effect 3 released back in 2012, and that’s the distant past in the video game world. They’ll likely unveil the new game at E3 2015.
Middle-earth 2 in development
Yes, we’re setting up a big year for Warner Bros. Interactive next year. A big Batman announcement and the next Middle-earth game. Shadow of Mordor was a major hit this year, and enough time will have past for WB to tease the next installment. Since it’s a single-player game that doesn’t have enough longevity to keep it from becoming a repetitive experience, WB will have to reignite the hype for this soon-to-be franchise. Surely, Middle-earth 2 (as we’re going to call it for now) be something bigger and more ambitious than the first installment. Honestly, we just want to kill more orcs.
Cortana will return in Halo 5: Guardians
A lot of what we’ve seen of Halo 5: Guardians in terms of the story involves the Master Chief going AWOL to find Cortana, his lovable AI companion. It’s the reason why Agent Locke is out looking for him across the galaxy. So what will part of the game’s plot involve? Finding Cortana somehow and bringing her home. The scheming Catherine Halsey, the scientist that created Master Chief and is now on the run with the Covenant Remnant, will undoubtedly plant the seed in Chief’s head. Although it will be a trap, he’ll actually find a way to bring Cortana back from the dead. Will we be happy about it? Part of us, the part with a soul, will be very happy for Chief. But the other part will be a little annoyed that 343 didn’t stand by their controversial move to kill off the main supporting character of the franchise…
Deus Ex: Universe arrives and wins Game of the Year
This is the wishful thinking of our Games Editor: For as long I live, I never have to see another Blade Runner film because the Deus Ex series has already filled that gap for me. It’s the logical next step. Full of cyborgs, transhumanism, biotechnology, nanobots, espionage, and unbelievable conspiracies, Deus Ex has always been my go-to choice for sci-fi gaming. Human Revolution really did it for me, although it was a little on the short side and the ending isn’t as satisfying as past helpings. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want another installment and then another.
Deus Ex: Universe is presumably a next step for the series, an evolution for the franchise. Cyberpunk made a quiet return with Dontnod’s Remember Me last year, but it’s Deus Ex‘s job to really bring high concept sci-fi back to our consoles. Unless Valve feels like releasing Half-Life 3. I’m not going to even bother predicting that one, though…
Just kidding, The Legend of Zelda Wii U will win Game of the Year
There are a lot of BIG games coming out next year that we could easily see as potential GOTY titles, but Zelda is a veteran. Nintendo’s big flagship is not only releasing on a new console. It’s also evolving into something bigger than we’ve ever seen.We’re calling it now: Link wins big in 2015!
If life has taught us anything, it’s that our little Hylian hero is always a contender. He’s the Daniel Day-Lewis of video games, coming out of his cave every few years just to win some awards. And his Wii U installment promises to be his best ever: an open-world Legend of Zelda the size we’ve never seen before. Details are pretty scarce at this point, but what we saw in this demo was enough to get us all very excited.
Those are our big predictions for 2015 in gaming. What are yours? Tell us in the comments. Most importantly, Den of Geek Games wishes you very Happy Holidays!