games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 Gaming Predictions of 2019 – Day Gone, PS5, More

January 29, 2019 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Days Gone

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! I had something come up last week so I didn’t complete the article so here we are with the same topic. These are just some of my guesses for what is going to happen in 2019, some, if not most will probably be wrong but this is just for fun. Let’s begin:

#8: EA’s continued downward slide

This is related to another pick on this list but man, EA has had a rough go of it the past few years. The Star Wars license is in shambles, their 2018 marquee game, Battlefield 5 is a financial bomb, they got government agencies on them for loot box shenanigans, and so on. If the FIFA or NFL license, EA would be truly sunk. I have a feeling this year isn’t going to go much better for them, they’ll release their usual lineup of sports games, some will be good some won’t be, and a few other games and that’s…it. Their indie stuff will also be, likely fine, but won’t be the hit(s) that EA wants. It’s kind of a depressing drag.

#7: Rival Schools Revival

This is a long shot but I like Rival Schools more than Darkstalkers, personally. I say a revival for Rival Schools (or Darkstalkers) for two reasons: 1. Street Fighter 5 is getting a little long in the tooth. It’s better now than when it came out but it’s still not a great hit. And 2. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was a huge failure. Dragon Ball FighterZ as well as Tekken 7 really stole Infinite’s thunder. So why not have Capcom go back to the well and actually revive a dormant franchise? Plus, Rival Schools is just fun and could do with a modern reboot.

#6: Days Gone is gone

So, that Days Gone game is supposed to come out this year. Of the PS4 games they’ve shown, this looks like the most “finished”, compared to Last of Us 2, Death Stranding or Ghost of Tsushima. However, that doesn’t mean anything. Any and all trailers of Days Gone make it looks like the most generic “We made a zombie sequel to Ride to Hell: Retribution!” as you could possible make. Who is actually excited for this game? I guess the zombie tech looks kind of cool but after the novelty wears off, after the first 5 minutes, who cares? I predict this game will come and go quickly, and Sony will be happy to wash their hands of the whole thing.

#5: Blizzard shows…something?

Everyone wanted and really expected Blizzard to show Diablo 4 last year at Blizzcon and…they didn’t. It was one of the funniest responses to a press conference that I can remember. Blizzard really has to show something this year that is memorable or unique. Be it a new game (Diablo 4), a remaster (Diablo 1 or 2 HD) or a whole new franchise/game. If they come out at Blizzcon 2019 with “Here’s another Hearthstone expansion and hey, that Diablo mobile game is now out!”, everyone is going to riot.

#4: Bioware Finished

This is related to number 8 on this list but after Anthem comes out (and tanks), Bioware is officially done as a developer. EA has the worst track record when it comes to subsidiary companies: Maxis, Visceral, Pandemic, Mythic and half a dozen more have all been obliterated by EA. Some of these should have been shut-down sure, but a lot of them are the result of corporate screwing up and unrealistic sales figures/profit that cause the games to falter. Anthem is really Bioware’s last shot, especially after Andromeda, and I got a feeling it is going to be their last hurrah.

#3: PS5/Xbox 2 Announcements

To be fair, both these systems are already being worked on in some dark lab in their respective company. There are already rumored specs out there for each machine, promising 4K gaming, tons of RAM, Raytracing support, and other such things. I think at E3 this year, Xbox definitely announces the Xbox One successor, both a name, box shape, and possible release date. I suspect Sony will play it a little more close to the vest, another reason why no E3 presence this year, and just basically say “Yeah, the PS5 will be out in 2020”, or something along those lines. I also think Microsoft will beat Sony to the market first, but it won’t matter much. Everyone knows the PS9 is still coming out in 2078 anyway.

#2: Gamecube Emulation

SNES emulation is already coming to the Switch, from the leaked info already on the system. And hackers have gotten N64 emulators working great on the Switch as well. It’s also already known that the Shield Tablet can play Gamecube games in China anyway, with Mario Galaxy 1 HD. So yeah, I think eventually Gamecube games will be released on the Switch. I don’t think it’ll be part of Nintendo’s subscription service, they’ll probably each cost between 10 and 20 bucks, but that’s my theory. Also, given that there is a way to connect USB-cabled Gamecube controllers to the Switch dock, I can see this happening even more.

#1: Fallout 76 Free to Play

It took Battleborn over a year to go Free to Play for people. I got a feeling that Fallout 76 is going to break that record quite handily. Frankly, I expect this game to go F2P around July 4th in some sort of “Independence Day” event. The player base for this game is just decimated, with the lack of content, end-game quests, or even high capacity servers if people DID want to play. Selling this game at $60 was a joke, at least most MMO’s have a lot of content for people to get through. Most of Fallout 76 was conquered within the first week by players. So yeah, this game is definitely going Free to Play sometime in 2019, likely the sooner the better.

For comments, list what you think will happen in 2019 and why.

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The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison