Now that we're approaching the end of 2018, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at the predictions I made for PC gaming this year. It turns out I should have also bought a few lottery tickets.
This was a guaranteed success story since esports continues to grow at a staggering rate, and I don't see it slowing anytime soon. More developers, publishers, and organizations are getting together to host more expensive (and profitable) events, rivaling those of traditional sports. Just take a look at the opening ceremony for League of Legends Worlds 2018 in South Korea.
The production is off the charts and the excitement for the finals to see Europeans represented by FNATIC made it all that much more compelling to tune in. Overwatch continues to make strides, as does PUBG and other top PC games, and we're going to see many more hit the big stage soon.
More loot crates
I hoped that I would get this prediction wrong, but alas, that wasn't the case. Loot crates remain to be a cancer of the industry, and publishers aren't going to drop them anytime soon. In-game purchases and microtransactions will continue to be implemented into full priced games, too, like Assassin's Creed Oddyssey.
A FIFA player in the UK managed to work out that he spent $10,000 on such purchases in just two years. That's a crazy amount of money and a massive money maker for big publishers.
AAA is (sorta) dead — long live indies
AAA gaming isn't dead. Far from it. But big publishers are not helping themselves and continue to receive a backlash from the gaming community. Bethesda royally fudged up the launch of Fallout 76, releasing a buggy mess of a game, which had performance issues on all platforms, as well as strange design decisions and the use of an aging engine, which desperately requires an upgrade.
There was also the fact that the company essentially misled those who purchased the expensive Power Armor Edition. Ouch. Indie games, on the other hand, are doing well, especially on Nintendo Switch where they are featured right, left and center. I expect this trend to continue in 2019.
Still no Star Citizen
Yeah, we're all still waiting for Star Citizen. Progress continues to be made with new ships and other content being added to the game, but it's still a long way off. That's pretty much all I have, but you can keep up to date on Star Citizen by checking the official website and YouTube channel.
Battle Royale craze
The craze surrounding Battle Royale fails to subside, and even Activision is getting involved with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. The addictive gameplay provides a unique experience with each drop, and I don't believe players will cease falling out of planes anytime soon.
2018 was a rather tame year for PC gaming. Nothing huge happened, but that doesn't mean 2019 will follow suit. Stay tuned for my predictions for next year ...
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.