At the end of every year we try to guess at what the big stories of the next 12 months will be, which means we foolishly create a semi-permanent record of everything we got wrong. Last year, for instance, we absurdly predicted that "after 12 long months of waiting, we’ll finally get a new Call of Duty game." What a whiff! Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare released November 4, 2016, while Call of Duty: WWII released on November 3rd of this year—sorry, PC Gamer, that's a day short of 12 months.
We should've known better and hopefully our 2018 predictions fare better. For now, let's look back at what we were right about, and what we got completely wrong.
We said: "Changes at big publishers"
OK, that's pretty vague, past us. One of the things we actually predicted is that Ubisoft could be restructured by a Vivendi hostile takeover, but that hasn't happened. In October, Ubisoft announced that it'd be buying up 4 million of its own shares to block Vivendi from reaching 30% ownership. It appears the Guillemots are safe in their control of the corporation for now.
The only thing we were dead right about was that 2017's Call of Duty would return to a historical war. We didn't predict that EA would reset a Star Wars game and shut down Visceral (we really should've seen that coming given how little we'd seen of the game), but by far our biggest omission was EA's botched Battlefront 2 launch and that loot boxes would become the biggest topic of the year. The PC Gamer News Prediction Engine has failed us, and has now been replaced by a cardboard box we crawl into when we can't take any more of the loot box discourse and just need five minutes of peace.
We said: "Destiny 2 will be announced for PC"
Ding ding ding. This one wasn't exactly tricky, as we had already been hearing rumors about a Destiny 2 PC release before we made the prediction. Still, we're relieved we didn't flub this one. We have a pretty good record of predicting PC releases: we said GTA V would come to PC before a PC version was announced, we speculated that Final Fantasy XV would come to PC before it was announced, and earlier this year we reported on rumors that Injustice 2 would release on PC, which happened recently. Unfortunately, our record is in jeopardy. While it initially seemed plausible that Death Stranding would come to PC—and there was (now deleted) evidence to that effect—it's looking more and more like a full PS4 exclusive.
We said: "New versions of the Vive and Rift will be announced"
Yep. This year, Facebook announced the Oculus Go, a standalone unit with a mobile processor, and HTC announced the Vive Focus, which is the same kind of thing—like GearVR, but with the phone built in and presumably a little more power by way of the Snapdragon 835 VR Platform.
So this happened, though the push was not to increase resolution or fidelity, but to use mobile processors for headsets that don't need powerful gaming PCs, expanding the market (or so they hope) beyond its current ultra-expensive niche. That doesn't mean we won't be seeing new PC VR headsets soon, too. This year, we got to try out a wireless Vive prototype, and while we first heard about it last year, we got more details this year on Oculus' untethered Rift, codenamed Santa Cruz.
We said: "MOBAs, minus laning, will be the new free-to-play trend"
Sort of? Battlerite is one of our favorite free-to-play games of the year, and our favorite modes in Master X Master are its non-MOBA modes. Except, shoot, MXM is closing in January. Does it count as a correct 2017 prediction if it doesn't close until 2018? We'll say yes. Except, dammit, we specifically called out Amazon's Breakaway, which is now unavailable as it's being redesigned. So we didn't exactly nail this one. In truth, 2017 was the year of the battle royale shooter, free-to-play or not. As with loot boxes, we were wrong by way of omission in that regard.
We said: "E3 will open up to consumers"
This happened, and it wasn't hard to predict: with big publishers pulling out of E3 proper to put on their own, open-to-the-public events, we knew the show would have to change to accommodate their wants and keep that booth money coming. It did, with 15,000 non-industry tickets going on sale in February. We're pretty sure we'll see the same thing in 2018. If you're curious about what it's like, the people we interviewed at E3 seemed to be having a pretty good time.
We said: "More Fallout 4"
Well, sorta. We did get Fallout 4 VR this year, as well as the high resolution texture pack, but what we were hoping for was the announcement of a New Vegas-style interlude or expansion. That didn't happen. Obsidian did tease a new game, though Chris Avellone says he's not involved and it's not a Fallout game.
We said: "Valve will finally edit this page so it doesn’t read 'The most recent game we've added to the list is Portal 2,' which it has erroneously read since the release of CS:GO over four years ago."
We said: "Lots more games about Donald Trump."
We said: "Red Dead Redemption 2 will be officially announced for PC, right before the announcement that it’s been delayed until 2019."
Yeah, not so much. Red Dead Redemption 2 was delayed to spring 2018, and there's still no PC announcement. New prediction: It'll be delayed to fall 2018, and a PC announcement will come in 2019, six months after the console release. Fingers crossed Rockstar doesn't make us regret sticking to our guns on this.
We said: "After six more mysterious trailers for Death Stranding, someone on the dev team will finally suggest they start working on the actual game at some point instead of just making creepy movies."
We can't confirm this, but we can confirm that Hideo Kojima and Mads Mikkelsen had sushi. We assume they were chatting about the latest creepy movie, though. And sadly, we now doubt a PC port is in the works.