In case you’ve missed the news, 2019 has finally arrived. Since 2018 was a fairly turbulent year for gaming, 2019 provides a fresh start for the industry. Here’s hoping that somebody important takes notice.
Bring About the Death of Lootboxes
Lootboxes, Microtransactions and assorted shadiness permeated most AAA games in 2018 such as Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Fortnite and Red Dead Online. In Belgium, lootboxes are already illegal but the only people who can truly stem the tide are the gaming industry themselves. How better to regain the loyalty of fans than to personally abandon microtransactions? A ‘back to basics’ approach may be exactly what customers need with the growing apathy towards any multiplayer game that isn’t a Battle-Royale. Fortnite being free-to-play has blown a hole straight through EA’s tactic of ‘You bought the game full-price, now pay extra to win’. Cosmetics are at least less shady and being able to see exactly what you’re paying for helps massively. Fortnite may target vulnerable younger gamers but it does do some things right.
Provide a Service Better Than Steam
The end of 2018 provided the gaming industry with an alternative to Steam. The Epic Games Store only has a 12% commission rate compared to Steam‘s flat 30% rate. Plus, if the game was created using Unreal Engine 4, the commission is included in the aforementioned 12%. Seems too good to be true, right? Well, the onus is now on Epic Games to ensure a steady stream of games are released, with several high-profile games already announced. Steam has a massive head-start on Epic Games in regards to number of games, but also the number of shovelware games. This year could finally drive Valve to provide a better service or they may face some real competition.
Slow the Constant Supply of Ports
As much as a good port can introduce a game to a new audience, there’s only so many versions of Skyrim that can be released. The inevitable announcement of the Playstation 5 this year means another wave of ports, despite there still being ports announced for the Playstation 4. It’s a never-ending cycle of ports. While it’s essentially printing easy money, original games are becoming fewer and far between. This isn’t just a problem in gaming, with Disney releasing 3 remakes of older movies this year. It may be up to indie developers to save the gaming industry from being stuck in the past.
Finally Release Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
The Metroidvania genre had a great year in 2018, with Dead Cells proving a massive hit and Guacamelee! 2 providing a solid sequel. While there’s an admittedly slim chance of Metroid Prime 4 releasing anytime soon, the hopes of gamers worldwide rest on Igarashi himself, one of the pioneers of Metroidvanias. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon may have been a fantastic ode to the original linear Castlevania games but the main event has yet to materialise. 2019 has a stellar line-up already but a new, great Igavania game could make it a year to remember.
Go Where Smash DLC Has Never Gone Before
It’s fair to say that not many people saw Piranha Plant coming. Honestly, Joker, of Persona 5 fame, came as a big surprise too. Clearly Nintendo are perfectly happy to go bat-shit crazy with the remaining cast members. Who knows which character will be next? Kazuma Kiryu? Captain Rainbow? The Ouendan? The list is endless. One thing is for sure, more surprises are in store for Smash fans in 2019. Plus some more Final Fantasy VII music and some spirits would be appreciated.
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