By now most readers of the Brackety-Ack know I am an avid fan and consumer of video games, and this time of year brings both a moment of reflection and of speculation. While there were some surprises this year in the form of cancelled games and studio shut downs, the New Year seems like a time for change. A time to start something new, to re-invent the old.Â Here is what I think some of the big moves of the industry will be.
First, I think the new Tomb Raider game will be the most successful one to date and will change the way studios develop games. In an industry that is dominated by sales, the Call of Duty and Halo franchises have become the benchmark of what game developers are aiming for. With this new Tomb Raider game, consumers will see a shift from games that revolve around a no holds barred player free-for-all, like Call of Duty and Halo, to something focused on storylines and character development, such as the Mass Effect franchise and Skyrim. While there will be a new Call of Duty announced or released next year, I foresee a trend of developers moving more towards the game as a vehicle for storytelling and not just solely an entertainment gun fest.
Next is Value’s Big Picture program. For those who are not familiar with this program, it’s an initiative on Steam to have an easy option for people to play their computer games over a big screen television through means of hooking up the computer via monitor cable. There is no need to invest in this program due to a simple variable, everybody that uses Steam owns a computer or a laptop and does not feel the need to play on a big tv using a typical videogame controller. Plus everybody that is already interested have the capabilities to do so. So why Steam, are you trying to market your program to console users on the sole marketing tool of the use of a controller? I think this will be a phase much like the 3d-gaming phase that was cool at first but eventually nobody will care about it.
Finally the biggest prediction is that there will be a new Xbox? My prediction is yes, they will either announce or release it sometime next year.Â Truth be told, the Xbox 360 is an old system, and there have been rumors around the industry about a new Xbox prototype being built. Nintendo has already released two new systems in the time Xbox 360 has been out on the market I think it’s time for a new Xbox system.
While these are just a few of the various gamer related predictions I see happening in the coming year, one trend that I hope for is the development of indie, or independent, games. Right now there are several initiatives that invite smaller developers to produce their games and I hope this trend keeps growing. At the end of the day it is all about having fun. Here’s to 2012 and hello to 2013.