2012 is here, and what better way to start the new year than with a list of stuff we would like to see. While 2011 was a great year for gaming, I know deep down that 2012 will be an even better one. Here’s why:
Free To Play- Last year the “FTP” model took off like no one’s business. We saw many great games go free to play, and we even saw older “PAID” titles like World of Warcraft and DC Universe Online go free to play. With that being said, whats next? Will we see more and more titles utilizing the “FTP” model, allowing for in-game micro transactions? I sure hope so. If there’s one thing that game developers and publishers can learn from games like League of Legends and Farmville, it’s that “FTP” can bring in more money than a standard retail priced game. I truly hope more games jump on the “FTP” bandwagon this year, it sure would be interesting to see what happens.
Online Passes- This is actually something I hope we see less of. Ever since the first online pass came out, I’ve had a sour feeling in my stomach. I assured myself that this would be the only title to implement it. Boy was I wrong! It seems more and more companies are taking advantage of this $10 online pass trend. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why these companies are using it, to combat used game sales, but I honestly believe there has to be a better way to do so. Most of the games that are utilizing an online pass have paid DLC that they periodically release. I’m sure a fraction of those DLC sales more than make up for lost used game sales.
Season Passes- This is almost similar to my last argument, however, I believe this is a great gaming trend. A “Season Pass” allows you to pay an initial fee, which in return will give you access to a certain game’s DLC for that whole year. I was a bit hesitant at first, but when you calculate how much you’ll be saving, it really is a no brainer.
Digital Distribution- I was always the one to say “physical media will never die!” As much as I hope that it doesn’t, I do feel that digital distribution is a great way for developers and publishers to market their games. If these companies would offer some sort of discount for purchasing the “digital” version of the game, I’m sure a ton of gamers would jump ship. The PS Vita looks like it’s going to go this route, and I sure hope it succeeds. Digital distribution also eliminates the costs of printing and shipping, theoretically making the game “cheaper” to buy.
These are some of the trends that I hope really take off in 2012. If you have any trends that you would like to see, please leave a comment and let us know.