Looking back at looking forward

edited November 2008 in Story Games

Stumbled across this over at The Forge, but I couldn't think of any good place over there to discuss it.

In April 2005, there was a thread inviting people to submit predictions about the nature of RPGs in 2008.

It's sort of neat to see what people predicted, and what they didn't.




  • edited November 2008
    I love looking back at old prediction threads. My favorite howlers:

    "I see more games for non-traditional audiences and based on non-traditional genres (not fantasy, scifi, horror)." It's not that these games weren't made - but they're out there in the same proportion as in 2005, I'd say.

    "I see many more older roleplaying settings/systems being licensed for computer and video games." No more than before.

    " I see a shift away from the endless supplements. " The opposite happened.

    "I see Vertigo-style imprints for indie-style kick-ass (and possibly creator-owned) work within the bureaucracy of the bigger companies." Bzzt. White Wolf was the only one that tried this (to my knowledge) and they closed up shop before 2005.

    "I see a slow stagnation period (which started already at the end of the nineties) lasting till 2007 or 2010, at which point one of the currently big mainstream companies collapses or fades away due to extreme disconnection with reality." Didn't happen. (Okay, this one technically has 2 years to go.)

    "At the same time a great hit game is born from humble heritage, presenting gamers with easy to play, simple, bounded and modular design coupled with expert marketing and a lucky ride on the latest youth culture fad. That game will define the next ten to fifteen years of mainstream roleplaying when it's redone to countless settings." Hahaha, no.

    "The corporate RPG interests will remain in the process of slowly destroying themselves, fighting for deck chairs on the titanic. This will continue until there is only D&D left, which will then be dropped from Hasbro's production lines as a big money-sink. (Either that or they will develop D&D 5 as a constant production game with no add ons like Monopoly or Chess.)" Hahahahahahahahaha

    "If there is a major push into mainstram markets, it will come from games which 'spin-off' from popular network TV series. These will be mainly mainstream due to the cost of licensing rights. At last one of these games will be inspired more by PTA than by d20, and it will be good." Licenses are the bricks placed in the bagful of kittens that is a RPG.

    "I see most of the "big-league" RPG games moving over to MMORPG formats online, much like City of Heroes or World of Warcraft are now." Did not happen, though I put this on the border of 'not yet'.

    "Within three years, I expect RPG corebooks to cost between $60 and $80 and we'll have less to choose from." Bah ha ha ha, no.

    Judgment calls:

    "Additionally, I see games becoming more focused on doing a few things really well, instead of trying to do everything at once." I lean towards no, this did not happen, but I could be convinced otherwise.

    "It will be impossible to play every well-designed RPG. There will simply be too many of them." I kind of think this was already true in 2005.

    Not Yet:

    " I see more non-SWMG (straight white male geek) players and designers, and market/marketing shifts to reflect this change. " This is going to happen due to demographics but it will happen in 2018, not 2008.

    "There will be at least one major published attempt (almost certainly indie-led) to crack the CCG market with a functional CCG/RPG hybrid. This time it will work - but it won't make nearly as much money as a big CCG. It will get a lot of play at conventions." Someone is going to do this someday, I agree.

    True Dat:

    " I see more proven "mainstream" creators doing their own indie "side projects," while getting most of their income from freelancing for the Big Guys." This is definitely happening.

    "As for actual gaming, as opposed to the industry, I see nothing changing. " This is always my prediction about everything and I am so rarely wrong that I could be wrong about it for the rest of my life and still come out ahead.

    "Many people will still be messianically hoping for the breakthrough, breakout game that will bring others into RPG play as a hobby, but it will not have come yet, if it will ever come at all." Correct.

    "The mid-sized gaming companies will be hit pretty hard. The small, indie companies will hardly be affected at all. The big two (WotC and WW) will be hit but I doubt they will falter. D&D will likely see its fourth edition, melding itself even further with its line of collectible miniatures." Dead on target!

    "To my perceptions, the pool of active designers making good games at any one time is approximately constant. There's been a drastic increase in people making kinda-sorta good games, sure, but the really, really good ones? Nah." Agreed.

    I like that komradebob explicitly recognized his post as a fantasy. :)
  • Posted By: JDCorleyI like that komradebob explicitly recognized his post as a fantasy. :)
    FWIW, I still have that fantasy...
  • We all have dreams, man, we all have dreams.
  • Posted By: JDCorleyWe all have dreams, man, we all have dreams.
    Actually, I really want to thank you for pointing out that old post to me.

    I'd been re-visiting some stuff I'd worked on that inspired that post, in an effort to get someting going myself. That parrticular post showed me wanting someone else to do it, and simply hand it down to me full and complete.

    And that just ain't gonna happen, so I guess I better get a move on.
  • No problem, komradebob. Be the change you want to see in the world.

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