2018 is drawing to a close, and with it a year of majestic gaming ups and horrendous downs. From the highs of God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2, to the lows of Fallout 76, Sony’s refusal to commit to cross-play, and of course the Diablo Immortal reveal. But what does 2019 bring? Will it be a massive clump of bad practices and terrible choices? Will it bring enjoyment and fun times for all? Who knows? For now, let’s look at some good things that I hope will arrive in 2019, and some bad things I think are inevitable.
1. An Abundance Of Titles
This one is a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to the upcoming year. Many, MANY games are scheduled for release in 2019, but it’s the unconfirmed ones that I’m more interested in.
Code Vein could be released sometime around the middle of next year, away from the February release date brawl. MediEvil could also be on the cards, as it would make sense to release it the year after Spyro and Crash Bandicoot found such success with their remasters. I would also expect to see games like Control and Babylon’s Fall to come out in 2019, as Remedy Entertainment are well on their way to completing Control, and Platinum Games have a remarkable ability to finish games within the year of announcement (as when they announced Bayonetta at E3 2009, and released it in Japan on 29 October, 2009).
2. The Crystal Ball Doth Obscure 2019
Sadly some titles we’d love to see arrive will still be absent. Final Fantasy VII‘s remake will inevitably not be shown, only hinted at and mentioned to be “in development”, continuing to disappoint fans of the series for yet another year. Cyberpunk 2077 will continue to be the hype train that keeps on chugging, dropping bits and pieces over the course of the year to keep people interested, yet never quite delivering anything concrete to assuage gameplay critics. Death Stranding will keep being strange and enigmatic, with vague story details and metaphors abound as Kojima tries to distract from the fact that nobody except him knows what the game even is about.
We will also, likely, see some more of Beyond Good & Evil 2. Since there’s been so many delays with that project, any news will be considered good news when it comes to updates.
3. Dust In The Lens
An inevitability each year is the shuttering of development studios. The snuffing of houses filled with immense talent and skill.
2019 will be no different, and I believe there are certain studios on the chopping block as the year goes on. Respawn Entertainment could removed from their owner’s portfolio as their reach begins to infringe on Respawn’s freedom to pursue their own ideas. I don’t see Respawn ceasing to exist; rather, I see them becoming independent and continuing on their own.
Ghost Games, current bearer of the Need For Speed franchise, will most likely go under. The last few NFS titles have not exactly performed critically to higher up’s intended standard, and this doesn’t bode well for their future (66% and 61% on Metacritic respectively for Need For Speed and NFS: Payback). Criterion Games will most likely shut down as well, being highly likely to close its doors. Far removed from their heyday with Burnout, Criterion now works on Battlefield alongside EA DICE. But with EA DICE doing the lion’s share of the work, where does that leave Criterion? Supporting the remaster of Burnout Paradise and riding the VR wave.
Other studios seemingly destined for shuttering or independent operation are High Moon Studios, Fun Labs, and Raven Software. These three are relatively high-profile studios whose lack of activity marks them squarely for being shut down.
Doom And Gloom And Rainbows
Of course, at the end of the day, this is all the speculation and prediction of one person. This could all be completely wrong, and everything could work out fine, and that’s good! It’s good to throw ideas out there and see what sticks. So for now, this is my little crystal ball for 2019.
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