Based on what I can pick up from my mooching around the internet, a lot of gamers do not have a set game at the moment. They’re killing time until the next big thing comes along. They may be playing WoW, but they are still essentially killing time, waiting to see what great new MMO hope will spring from the ashes of Cataclysm. Some are playing Minefield, some are coming to the realisation that all free2play games are essentially the same model with a different skin, some are delving into the world of tabletops, and some are actually getting outside or reading books, heaven forbid.
In other words, the gaming community is lying on its back with its legs wide open waiting for some company to give it to them in the form of the next huge game which they can all lose themselves in. So if you’re a gaming company with a big release coming up, you could be in for the ride of your life. And if you’re a person who likes to invest in game companies, now would be a good time to work out who is going to hit the jackpot.
The big question is, will the next big hit be a game that plays it safe and caters to what the market already thinks it wants, or will it reinvent the genre, or at the very least take it in a new direction? If the market wants to play it safe and have the same old, same old, then the Star Wars MMO will most probably be the one to put your money on. Perhaps it could be Guild Wars 2, or even the next WoW expansion. But one needs to only look at Rift and its failure as a long term commodity to realise that perhaps gamers do not want the same old stuff rehashed in a different playing world.
Whatever you think the next hit game will be they need to make their move soon. Because the market is ready for it right now. Which is why Blizzard’s new MMO, Titan, may miss the boat. In this sort of scenario it’s all about the timing.