2015 is here and well underway. But with most of the year still to come, here are our greatest fears for 2015.
A Lack of VR
We keep talking about it but it’s starting to feel like something is wrong, something keeps pushing it back, and I’m thinking that even by the end of 2015, it’s possible that neither Sony or Oculus will have their VR products available for consumer purchase. I’m talking main ones, too- not something like Gear VR but the proper main products. Every time we seem close, something pushes it back, it seems, and by now I’m starting to have my doubts as to when a consumer version exists. If a consumer version will ever exist.
The Witcher 3 isn't Great
This is not a true fear because I don’t believe it will come true at all. BUT, on the off chance that The Witcher 3 isn’t absolutely amazing… I’ll be crushed. I try to optimistic about the video game industry as a whole but rarely put all my eggs in one basket when it comes to individual games. Except for a few. The Witcher 3 is one of those few. Hell, not only have I put all my eggs in that basket, I’ve gathered up everyone else’s eggs and put them in the basket for good measure. I mean seriously, I already own the game twice. So yeah, it better be awesome. You hear me, Geralt? Be awesome!
2015 Won't be the new 2007
In 2015, I’m afraid there just won’t be that many great AAA games. 2014 was a wreck of a year for big-name publishers. The new franchises that should’ve kickstarted the generation - Watch Dogs, The Crew, Destiny - landed with a dull thud instead of a triumphant boom, and looking at this year’s lineup, I can’t say I’m feeling incredibly optimistic. This year’s first big release, Dying Light, doesn’t look like much more than a polished-up Dead Island, a formula that I’ve simply grown tired of. Other big releases scheduled for this year don’t have me convinced that AAA publishers are moving forward, either. Where are this generation’s BioShock, Mass Effect, Uncharted, or Gears of War? Aside from Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis System, I’ve seen nothing to indicate that publishers have any idea how to utilize the incredible technology of next-gen consoles to move the industry forward.
More AAA Garbage
That EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Sony, and Activision continue to plod along, giving us big budget releases that are underwhelming or just plain bad.
A Glut of Remakes
Remastered Games continue to be released. 2014 was the year of the "remastered" games. The Last of Us, Metro Redux, and Tomb Raider are just a few of them. While I am in no way against a remastered game under certain circumstances. If the game is old enough that a remaster could reach a new audience or give a truly new experience for the game I'm all for it. For example I believe Grim Fandango being remastered holds merit. Unfortunately, as of late most games are barely a year or two old. For 2015, I would much rather see brand new IPs or new games. There are already two remasters released in January and more announced so looks like my fear may come true but we shall see.
A Glut of Generic MMOs
More generic MMOs spilling forth and flooding the market with tired ideas and boring, cheap money-making schemes. Looking at you Perfect World Entertainment.
Death of Portables
My biggest fear for 2015 is actually a concern that has been bugging me for several years. I love technology. There’s no getting around that. As my curiosity for the latest tech grew over the years and I became more educated on how those devices actually function; I came to the daunting conclusion that the video game industry is currently on a path to self-destruction. The sector of gaming in the most trouble? The portable market. The 3DS, which had an unsuccessful launch followed by several years of rebuilding, is being absolutely crushed by what the Nintendo DS did in the same amount of time on market. Comparing the numbers actually makes me a little sick. In the past year as well, Sony has pretty much given up on the PlayStation Vita and the system is now essentially a “niche gamers only” machine. While I love both portables and portable gaming in general, there is this sinking feeling in my stomach that 2015 will show once and for all that these devices no longer have a place in the market. The death of portables won’t happen in the following year, but in 2015 we’ll know whether or not phones and tablets have made the portable market too risky for Nintendo and Sony going into the next generation.
Jonathan is the host of the DarkCast, DarkCast Interviews, and Gamers Read. He loves books, video games, and superheroes. If he had to pick favorites, they would be Welcome to the Monkey House, Mass Effect, and Superman respectively.