6. Will anyone finally start developing games for the Mac?
Apple made a big splash earlier this year when they announced deals with Electronic Arts and a few other game developers to bring games to the Mac. Those games have come and gone and there really hasn't been a lot of movement on the Mac front since the announcement. Apple still represents a small (but vocal) part of the computing world but the lack of modern games for the platform is holding a lot of people back from moving to the platform (at least on the gaming side).
I still don’t see a lot of developers developing exclusive or day and date launches for a platform that represents less than 8% of the PC market and Apple doesn’t really seem to consider this to be that high of a priority.
7. Can EA recover from a bad 2007?
In 2007 EA changed direction a bit. Instead of cranking out sequels and unleashing crappy games based on licensed properties they went back to work on creating new franchises. Sure there were the usual collection of annual sports games but we also got a lot of new games like Boogie and Crysis. These games weren't huge hits but with Army of 2, Dead Space, and Spore scheduled for release in 2008 there's a chance that EA could turn the ship around and actually come up with some new and innovative games.
8. Will Activision remain the #1 company in 2008?
Activision that took over the reigns as the #1 game publisher in the country passing long time rival Electronic Arts. The irony is that they did it using the old EA practice of sequels and licensed games. It doesn't look like that practice is going to change in 2008 as “Activizzard” is going to be cranking out more sequels (Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero) and more licensed games (the new James Bond game) with nary a new property in sight.
9. Will GTA IV be enough to lift Take Two?
Take Two desperately needs Grand Theft Auto IV to be a smash hit to help right the company’s balance book. The game should see a larger release than previous games as the game is coming out for the 360 and the PS3 and Take Two should be able to earn some money with the DLC episodes they are releasing exclusively for the Xbox 360 version.
I do hope somebody is going through the game with a fine tooth comb and making sure that any additional content is expunged from the game before it reaches store shelves as the company can ill afford another “Hot Coffee” scandal.
Of course that might be a moot point as the company could be bought out before the game ships to stores.
10. What will Jack Thompson do next?
The industry boogieman was certainly busy in 2007 and 2008 will certainly keep Mr. Thompson busy. With Grand Theft Auto IV due out in 2008 you can expect Mr. Thompson to be getting a lot press as he tries to get the game pulled from shelves. There’s also the matter of him trying to prove collusion between the game industry and the Department of Defense and I’m sure he’ll be tilting at a few other windmills while he’s at it.
Of course the year won't be all roses for Jack as we should find out if he's going to be disbarred in Florida in the early part of the year. I'm not sure how much impact this will really have on his activities but I do worry that if he is disbarred he's going to have a lot more free time to go after the industry.
11. Who buys who?
2007 saw a lot of mergers and acquisitions. With EA buying Bioware/Pandemic and Vivendi bought Activision there seems to be some consolidation activity brewing in the industry. Sega, Ubisoft, and Take Two are all potential buyers and sellers and it will be interesting to see how much the industry changes by the end of the year.
12. What will the new/old E3 bring?
With E3 returning to the LA Convention Center this year I'm wondering how the event is going to play out. Will it be held strictly in the private suites in the convention center with a play area in one of the halls? Will the ESA loosen the entry requirements in order to boost attendance? What will the guys at Gamecock come up with this year? I’m already planning the trip out there but I’m not sure what to expect right now. Hopefully it’s the best of the old E3 (one central place) with the best of the new E3 (quiet, civilized, and booth babe free)
13. How bad will PAX kick E for All's ass this year?
For some reason the ESA booked the 2008 of E for the same weekend as the Penny Arcade Expo. I'm not sure why you would try and force gamers to choose between an event that was sparsely attended last year and one that that's been getting bigger and bigger for years. Not only are they forcing gamers to chose between events but publishers are also going to have to pick which event to go to and I have a feeling they are going to go where the gamers are…and it’s not going to be in sunny Los Angeles.
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