Slow Start to the Year

Syp has a post that reflects my current thoughts, that the year is off to a slow start.  I think this is mostly due to the new console generation, and the push-back on development of cross-platform games.

From a PC-only perspective, we have the indie stream (kickstarter and Steam) where development timelines are “always beta” it seems.  Sure, we get the odd Banished coming along but the real push of games seems to be months away.

The first real launch appears to be TESO, in a month, and from beta reports I’ve read – Reddit included – there are some rather significant bugs that still need to be ironed out.  They’ve mentioned no open beta, so the odds of having these bugs killed before launch seems small.  I guess there’ll be a day 1 patch.  Fingers crossed.

TSW Tokyo was delayed.  GW2 living story doesn’t seem to be having much impact.  Diablo3 did put out patch 2.0 (the loot-bonanza) which seems to be going well.  How the RoS expansion comes to fruition is a separate manner.  I honestly do not expect major sales on that front but it’s interesting to read about.  Neverwinter’s Icewind expansion is a few months away.

Wildstar still doesn’t have a launch date, though apparently this “phase” of beta had completed invites.  There are certainly bugs in the game, it’s a beta after all, but there are apparently some core mechanics that need to be tweaked.  The hype is in a lull right now and given that elder game is currently being tested, we’re likely 3 months away.

WoW is the last one on the list.  WoD heresay indicates that friends and family beta is just getting started.  The watercooler discussion still shows that there are large design gaps to be filled.  I would be surprised if WoD launches before November at this pace.  This would make the current patch 14 months old, which is so astoundingly stupid I am at a loss of words.  It does give TESO and Wildstar a ton of breathing room.

Other games on my list include Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, Xenonauts and a couple other outliers.  Hopefully when March finished, we’ll be on a good wave of launches to fill out the year.

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