2016 was a mix of extremes. There were some great games and announcements, like Pokemon GO and the Nintendo Switch. There were terrible failures, like Mighty No 9 and No Man’s Sky.
And with the political firestorm that was the 2016 US Election and Brexit, it’s been a year that’s certainly divided opinions. Heck, some might even say it’s the most controversial year on record! For both gamers and non gamers alike.
But hey, let’s look towards the future shall we? Because as per the norm, we’ve decided to write up our list on predictions for what could be happening in the gaming world in the coming year. And so here is our list of predictions for the gaming world in 2017!
Here are our predictions for the gaming world in 2017!
Nintendo Switch Related
Starting with a couple about the Nintendo Switch, the company’s new hybrid system coming in March 2017…
1. The console will do better than the Wii U, but will not become a phenomenon like the NES or Wii
Yeah I know, a bit of controversial given we haven’t seen a lot of the system and its games yet. But either way, I predict it won’t do amazingly. It’ll do well, and it’ll certainly blow the Wii U out of the water (a decent name will do wonders here), but I just don’t see it revolutionising the video game industry.
2. It will not get a lot of third party games
And just like the Nintendo 64 onwards, I don’t see it doing too well with ‘triple A’ developers. It’ll probably get a few games (mostly ports in its early lifecycle), but these companies seem to care more about tech and ‘power’ than they do about interesting mechanics and gameplay opportunities. And hey, they know that their audience is likely not going to be on a Nintendo system any time soon.
3. Super Mario Switch will be a Super Mario 64 style 3D platformer, with less linearity in its level design. It’ll also have an ice theme
This is all based on that early footage we saw, which shows areas with lots to see and do (like in Mario 64 and Sunshine) as well as suspicious traces of ice and snow in what should otherwise be a desert environment.
4. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild does really well in terms of review scores and sells excellently for a Zelda title (I’m guessing about 5-6 million plus).
As for Breath of the Wild, I see it doing well. However, I’m not sure how much the actual Zelda fanbase will like it, given that it seems very different from the typical ‘modern Zelda formula’ and dispenses with any heavy plot focus.
5. Mario Kart is announced for Nintendo Switch, and is based on Mario Kart 8.
Yeah, this is pretty obvious too. However, I do fully believe that we’ll get an ‘ALL NEW’ Mario Kart game as far as tracks and battle areas go, just one minus any new major ‘gimmicks’ or introductions. Maybe a bit like how Super Circuit was basically Super Mario Kart 1.5?
6. Splatoon sequel announced and released
It’s a successful new IP, and was hinted at in the Nintendo Switch trailer. Nothing more to be said.
7. Super Mario Maker gets a Nintendo Switch port.
As for this game, I suspect it’ll just get a port rather than a sequel or major reimagining. The special costumes will probably all be on disc by default, and it’s possibly a few other minor additions might be made too. Like the Challenge Mode from the 3DS version.
8. Gamecube games are announced for eShop.
Again, it’s pretty obvious isn’t it? Every new generation brings more classic Nintendo games to the eShop, and the Nintendo Switch seems like the perfect system to bring Gamecube games over.
9. Super Mario Sunshine gets a HD port/remake.
I don’t know why, but I can really see this getting a port or remake at some point. Probably because they could both fix a few minor flaws with the game and use all kind of modern shaders and lighting effects and what not to make it look truly gorgeous on the new hardware.
10. Pokemon Stars is announced as a Pokemon Sun/Moon sequel
It will have Necrozma as a main part of the story, and involve a new villainous team (since the last two both got reformed/disbanded). I can sort of picture Faba turning to the new villains, given his somewhat arrogant personality after generation 7, and I can also picture a lot of the older characters becoming trial captains and kahunas this time around. Like Hau standing in for Hala. Or Guzma getting a new kahuna type role.
11. Pokemon anime quickly changes to integrate new storyline
God, you almost feel sorry for these guys, don’t you? Not only do they have to adapt a brand new game every three years or so, but they’ve recently had the series throw more and more curveballs in their face mid generation. The gen 5 and 6 anime seasons both had to be completely retooled in how they presented Team Plasma and Team Flare…
12. Necrozma gets a new form, like Zygarde did.
And talking of Pokemon stuff, I think it’s pretty obvious by now Necrozma is getting a new form. Trio legendary with base stats of about 600? Design that looks like a dragon’s head? Yeah, this guy isn’t at his most powerful at all.
13. Retro’s game isn’t Metroid Prime 4. Fans sob.
But hey, enough Pokemon for now. I’ll bet anything that Retro’s next project isn’t either Metroid or Donkey Kong related.
14. Super Smash Bros for Switch port gets announced, with more ‘comprehensive’ Smash game promised for the future. Inklings are main new characters, with Ice Climbers returning.
No Source Gaming, they’re not just gonna release ports of old games and pretend they’re sequels. But it is quite probable some sort of Smash for Wii U port will be done to get some quick interest going, and that it’ll have a few minor additions made.
15. Mario RPG/Rabbids game is officially announced too.
Nothing more to be said here. It’s predicted by everyone at this point.
16. But Mario & Luigi will still get a game
Probably with more original content like Dream Team, given that Nintendo considers this the ‘canon’ Mario RPG series now, and given that AlphaDream is willing to tell Miyamoto where to stick his ‘suggestions’.
Unlike Intelligent Systems.
17. Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door comes to Virtual Console, does really well.
Still, at least Paper Mario fans will probably get this much. And like the original Paper Mario, it’ll sell really well on the eShop.
18. Fire Emblem announced for Nintendo Switch
Because hey, it’s gonna get another game after the success of both Awakening and Fates. Wonder if any censorship controversies will follow it?
19. Pokken Tournament gets Switch port with new characters from arcade version.
Forget the Wii U owners, you’ll need to pay out for a new version of the game if you want to play as Empoleon kids!
20. Analysts Proclaim Console Doomed
Finally, someone will claim the console is doomed and Nintendo is going to go bankrupt because of it. This ‘someone’ may or may not be Michael Pachter.
So yeah, those are the Switch related predictions out of the way. But how about the general Nintendo ones?
General Nintendo Related
Such as Super Nintendo World, the theme park deal they’ve got going with Universal Studios? Well, we’ve got predictions for that stuff too…
1. Super Nintendo World will not just have a Yoshi, Donkey Kong Country and Mario Kart ride.
Yeah, those will be obvious inclusions. But here’s the thing; the concept art may have been referring to the Japanese park.
And do you know what the obvious difference between the Japanese and American parks is?
The latter are much, much bigger. How much?
Well, Universal Studios Japan is apparently 108 acres according to Wikipedia.
Universal Orlando (with its theme parks, hotels and other stuff)… is apparently 840 acres.
They have eight times as much room for Nintendo attractions in North America. So it’ll get quite a few more rides and attractions there than in Japan.
2. It’ll blow ‘Avatar Land’ out of the water
I mean, really Disney? You now decide to make an area based on Avatar?
That was 7 years ago. You’re basing a whole theme park land on a popular movie that was a fad for a couple of months 7 years ago.
Either way, it’s pretty obvious that Nintendo’s theme park attractions will prove the more popular ones. No one gives a toss about Avatar in the long run.
3. Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem will be free to play on mobile
With money being used to buy in game items and abilities. This will partly be in response to Super Mario Run’s criticism and investor expectations for their games.
4. WarioWare will get a mobile game
Come on, the very format just screams ‘this will be awesome on smartphones’. It’s a very safe choice for a possible third Nintendo smartphone app.
5. Nintendo based cartoon will air on Nickelodeon
It’s been rumoured, and I honestly think it’s most likely going to be Nintendo based. After all, the average consumer is certainly more interested in say, a Mario cartoon than a Pac-Man one, especially given the rarity of the former in recent years.
Maybe Butch Hartman might end up working on it?
6. Nintendo goes after a major fan project that’s been around for a decade or so without any problems, and all hell breaks loose, again.
Unfortunately, I see this happening too. Though it beats me what fan project they’d go after. I mean, Pokemon Uranium, AM2R and Project M are toast.
*Please don’t be Mother 4. Please don’t be Mother 4*
7. Someone will actually sue in response to that
On the flipside, I suspect someone will actually lose it when Nintendo tries to shut down their work and simply tell their lawyers that they’ll see them in court.
It’s gonna happen sooner or later. Someone is gonna be in a court case over fan fiction or fan games or something similar, and the internet will be eating popcorn for months. I mean, it’s already happened over less grey legal issues. Like with Kodi boxes and piracy claims.
So someone will likely do the same for fan games or fan art or fan fiction.
My bet is on the Twilight Princess HD mod creator or the Freeshop dev being the ones to sue.
8. Amiibo line discontinued
On another (potentially heartbreaking) note, I also believe full well that the whole Amiibo idea might be the nearing the end of its lifespan.
Yeah, it had a good run. But Toys for Life just isn’t a big thing any more, and with Disney Infinity being cancelled and Skylanders having trouble, I think the writing is on the wall for Amiibo too.
9. Pokemon GO adds all generation 2 Pokemon before spring, to get people’s interest up when the hype ‘restarts’.
Nothing more to be said here. We’ve got the baby Pokemon from generation 2, and I think we’ll get the rest soon as well.
10. Trading and abilities are some of the big additions in the next few months too.
Because hey, Pokemon GO will expand to Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos and Alola Pokemon in the next few years. And unless abilities are implemented for the likes of Slaking, the game will be torn in half due to the broken gameplay balance.
And so with Hoenn likely coming late 2017/early 2018, I see abilities being implemented to prepare for it.
11. Super Mario Run gets updates
Moving on from Pokemon GO, I fully believe Super Mario Run will get updates in 2017 too. After all, it’s only logical, regardless of what Nintendo might say.
And that ends the list for Nintendo. But what about the other companies and games? Well, stay tuned for that! Since I have some pretty interesting predictions about them and their systems too!
Other Gaming Predictions
1. Sea of Thieves is a Cult Classic
Like how Sea of Thieves (Rare’s pirate simulation game for the Xbox One and PC) is closer to a cult classic than a mainstream hit. Again, it’ll do decently. It’ll get a fair few sales, and reviews will be mostly good.
But I suspect the game as it stands might be a tad too complicated for the mass market. I mean, this is a title that requires significant teamwork, to the point you’re basically manning all the typical roles on a real ship in the process.
2. Rare will revive another classic franchise
However, I don’t think Sea of Thieves will be their only ‘hit’ in 2017. I also think it’s possible Rare might announce a more ‘traditional’ game as well. Like say, a new instalment in the Banjo-Kazooie series.
And that’s in part because of Playtonic. Rare and Microsoft know the demand is growing for 3D platformers now. They know people will want them back soon. So Banjo-Kazooie seems like a fairly likely possibility for a future revival.
3. The upcoming video game movies bomb hard.
Surprise surprise. The fact they based them on unlikely franchises like Tetris is not going to help matters here.
4. Yooka-Laylee does well, 3D platformers take off
On a more positive note however, I believe Yooka-Laylee will do really well and kick off the 3D platformer genre again. I mean, it’s already starting to pick up steam even before that game’s release date (as you can see in my massive indie 3D platformers list).
But once Yooka-Laylee gets great reviews and sales, the floodgates will open. Banjo-Kazooie style 3D platformers will come back in full force.
5. A new GamerGate style controversy will happen
And back to negativity again. Put simply, I believe we’re gonna see another GamerGate type fiasco in 2017.
As in, a massive controversy that tears the gaming community in two and ends with huge arguments over something or another.
But here’s the thing; I also think it could be much worse than GamerGate was.
Why? Because whether you like it or not, political discourse has fallen a lot since GamerGate. There, both sides were… mostly a bit more reasonable than today, they didn’t lie quite as much about as what was going on and internet attacks on social media were fairly minimal.
Post Brexit and Trump?
Oh, it’s gonna be much worse. Now we have a media that is sometimes known to lie through its teeth and paints misleading narratives far worse than before, ‘fake’ media sites that thrive on controversy and lies, internet commentators and social media users in full on delusional filter bubble mode and all manner of other stuff besides. Heck, someone who hated GamerGate is now trying to run for congress!
God help us all.
6. A major gaming site shuts down
Cause hey, the last few years have been brutal for news sites, and they’ve committed suicide with their reputation on a major scale to boot.
So I suspect the last straw with break the camel’s back, and a ‘mainstream’ gaming media outlet will bite the dust in 2017.
7. YouTube starts losing popular channels
But it’s not just large gaming sites that will struggle in 2017. Oh no, I think YouTube might run into issues too.
Why? Because now we’re in a world where alternatives actually exist, and a fair few popular channel owners are considering them in YouTube’s place. I mean, look at all the popular creators who are slowly moving towards VidMe for their works:
And this is only being encouraged more and more with YouTube’s flaws coming to the surface. Content ID is wrecking the site, with scam artists taking revenue from videos they don’t own the rights to. YouTube’s ‘advertiser friendly guidelines’ have never been revoked or reconsidered, even after the backlash (and seem to be there to encourage mass media creators to move to YouTube more than anything else). Either way, I see alternatives like VidMe and Twitch taking larger and larger chunks out of YouTube’s audience and creator base as the next few years go on.
8. VR still doesn’t catch on
I also see VR not really becoming as big as people think it will. Yeah, it could do better this time around. That’s not too unexpected.
But I think there are just too many fundamental issues with VR to make it really plausible as a mainstream technology. It’s just not ‘there’ yet.
9. Resident Evil 7 comes out/does better
On a brighter side though, I do think 2017 might be the year where Resident Evil finally stops being a joke and starts being taken seriously as a series again. It’s certainly looking more respectable than Resident Evil 5 or 6 did, and it feels like Capcom is really focusing on the horror aspect of the series a lot more now.
10. Mega Man gets a revival.
And talking of Capcom, I see a Mega Man revival as fairly plausible too. I mean, it’s got that cartoon series coming up, and the bad blood caused by Mega Man Legends 3 being cancelled has mostly simmered down by this point.
So I can see some sort of new game coming for the series.
11. Project Sonic 2017 struggles
Onto Sonic now though, with a few thoughts on the big Sonic game of 2017.
Basically, I see it struggling. Why? Because something about the whole concept just strikes me as… likely to mess up. I mean, you’ve got a big focus on the year in the title. That’s a warning sign. You’ve got tons of hype for the game, with it heavily pushed in Sega’s marketing. That’s warning sign number 2. And well, with a serious looking story and ambitious gameplay concepts, it all just seems like a repeat of Sonic 06 in the making.
So yeah, I don’t see it doing well to be honest. Still, at least the other Sonic game will probably make up for it…
12. Where as Sonic Mania does well
Since hey, it’s a traditional, 16 bit Sonic platformer by people who seem to have a good reputation when it comes to making them (albeit unofficially). So like Mega Man 9 and 10, I see Sonic Mania being received well by fans and critics.
13. Lobodestroyo gets moved to Nintendo Switch.
Moving on from Sonic for a bit now, another prediction I have is that Lobodestroyo will be moving to the Nintendo Switch. Again, nothing more to say here, the Wii U just has no audience at this point in time, and Nintendo likely doesn’t want new games released for it.
14. Beyond Good and Evil 2 announced, though held back til 2018.
There’s also not much to say here. It’s been confirmed as in development recently, so I think a reveal trailer seems only too likely in 2017.
15. Mighty No 9 is toast
What isn’t so likely on the other hand, is Mighty No 9 being anything more than a dead franchise. Yeah, I know they wanted to released a movie, a cartoon series and multiple sequels.
Unless some sort of twisted ‘miracle’ occurs, it’s not happening. Sorry guys, but your plans to create a blockbuster franchise based on your Mega Man expy are about as dead as Hello Games’ attempts to save their reputation.
So those are my predictions for the gaming world this year. Are they going to be accurate? Am I going to look like a complete moron when they turn out to be false? Well, we can only really wait and see.
But hey, what do you think? Do you agree with the predictions? Or are they too insane to take seriously?