Monday, January 1, 2018

Death Bat's Gaming Predictions for 2018

So, I guess I'd be remiss if I didn't make some predictions for 2018, so here they are:

1. Kult: Divinity Lost will finally come out (in PDF, at least)

It may not happen until December, but Helmgast may indeed have something "final" in time for 2018 release. This was a Kickstarter I almost backed, but thanks to my risk-aversion I refrained from actually getting involved (dodged another bullet there). Modiphius is set up to be the publisher for whenever this does arrive, and I did pre-order the PDF for when it's released on a sale for $5, so with any luck we'll see this in some form in 2018. I'm not betting on it, even though I am predicting it!

2. Still no Pathfinder 2.0 in 2018

This is reverse psychology vs. the universe (and Paizo). No Pathfinder 2.0 beta test will be announced or even hinted at in 2018! Nope, not at all. Nothing to see here.

3. Melee, Wizard and/or The Fantasy Trip will Kickstart in a Big Way

Steve Jackson has the rights back to his work on the Melee/Wizard and Into the Labyrinth portions of the original Metagaming RPG which was the precursor to GURPS. Indeed, GURPS exists because back in the day they wouldn't sell it to him for less than a million dollars and now that they are long gone he's patiently been able to win creator rights back to his works. Steve has already suggested a new release with a Kickstarter for a high quality deluxe set of Melee is a possibility, so I expect we'll see that announced and Kickstarted in 2018, with a 2019 release. This one seems like a no-brainer. With any luck we won't have to wait that long for a more generalized "no frills" release....i.e a Melee/Wizard boxed set ala the Car Wars re-release SJG did, for example.

4. A New Marvel RPG will be announced

After Margaret Weis Studios lost the rights to this it's been in limbo, but I will go out on a limb and predict that some large entity (WotC or FFG, for example...or Modiphius) announce the rights to produce a new Marvel Superheroes RPG, possibly with tie-in or visuals to the films. Long shot, but hey....let's have some fun in the predictions here.

On the video game side Marvel is, in fact, working on a new Action RPGs after they released their contract with the makers of Marvel Heroes Omega; which was a good game, at a certain point, but I understand that the publishers/devs were a problem for Marvel to work with for many reasons, and the game lost a lot of fan support after it changed the name to Marvel Heroes Omega.

5. Wizards of the Coast Ramps up Production to Four Books; and Eberron Returns

Right now WotC seems to be releasing two adventure tomes and one rules tome of some sort, and have done so for the last couple years. I predict this year they will add a fourth tome in the form of a setting book which will then tie in to at least one of the adventure books. My bet is on Eberron.

6. Not Gaming, but I Predict The Movie Apocalypse Will Actually Happen in 2018

This video talks about the issue from back in 2016, but points out that Hollywood blockbusters in 2018 will reach and exceed a saturation point. I am inclined to agree, and I think shades of this are evident in 2017's robust and excessive blockbuster release schedule. Hell, I skipped quite a few movies I would otherwise have seen simply because I only have so much free time and cash to actually catch films...and so many I would otherwise have seen had to get repurposed as "wait for Netflix releases" as a result. Anyway, I really do expect 2018 to pan out much as the video suggests, with a lot of Hollywood studios suffering due to the massive over-saturation of the market as a result. Only Disney is likely to weather the storm.

On the plus side, the tendency for theaters today to adopt luxury pre-assigned seating in theaters is a nice trend which makes me more willing to see movies with the comfort of knowing I don't have to wait in lines, so there is that! But I don't think this will save them from financial doom.

7. Video Games will Aim for Different Monetization Schemes in the Wake of EA's Loot Crate Controversy

This year is almost certainly going to see Triple-A publishers try to figure out how to avoid the controversy that EA experienced from the Star Wars: Battlefront II loot crate backlash. I will be wrong here, of course, if all of the controversy is media-driven but behind the scenes gamers continue to happily buy the loot crates, so we'll see....but I genuinely think the crowd has changed on this, and people are tired of seeing content that used to be part of the base-price being hidden behind randomized gambling-like purchases now. Bungie has been criticized for doing this in Destiny 2 (you can ignore the loot crates, but means being forever a guardian wearing dirty browns and greys), and even single player titles like Middle Earth: Shadows of War have been blasted (maybe with less vitriole, though). And of course Actiblizzard is considered the modern trend setter and devil for its Overwatch crates.

Anyway, my expectation is many Triple-A producers will either resort to the safer season pass/DLC packs which gamers seem mostly okay with, or refine the loot crate process to keep it focused on cosmetics.....but really, people still hate this, and it will only go away if that hate transcends internet opinionism and turns in to actual "speaking with my dollars" by not buying. And I have a hard time believing gamers can actually restrain themselves.

8. Still no Fantasy AGE Companion in 2018

I think Green Ronin's interests lie in other directions. I predict we'll see a revised Core rulebook before we see a Companion. We might see a Titansgrave sourcebook, though.

9. Runequest will release

Safe bet here, as it really should. I predict it will be a very cool system, people like me will continue to bitch that it is no longer generic, and we will still have to wait for 2019 or later to see what the new "powered by BRP" systems look like. Alas, Chaosium is just not on board with a good core "all in one" tome anymore.

10. Genesys Core has Legs and Will Grow...A Lot

I really think this system has a lot of potential, and it's clear and explanatory enough to get most gamers over the hump of strange dice. FFG seems to be very reliable on producing new content, and the general buzz out there is extremely positive, so I predict we'll see a lot of product love for Genesys in 2018.

11. Starfinder Will be Make or Break in 2018

People are all over the place on this, with a lot loving it, many being so-so or having issues (such as me) and a few regretting it. The Pact Worlds book will be out in 2018 for sure, and if sales continue briskly for the game, Paizo will announce at least one more hardcover and the start of a second adventure path next year.

Okay, that ought to do it for now!

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