For those unaware, 2020 was the worst year in recorded history since… 2019. Why dwell on the past, though, when we have important things to talk about, like video games. With 2021 here to stay for a while, I figure why not try and force some positivity into existence. With that being said, it’s time to make a few video game predictions for 2021.
1.) Witchbrook Will be a Big Hit:
For many of you reading this, and since no one is reading this, it couldn’t be more accurate; you probably haven’t heard of Witchbrook. So what is it? Well, to put it most simply, it’s Stardew Valley meets Harry Potter. While there isn’t a lot of official information on the game, a healthy search through Youtube will allow for a discovery of content creators posting any and all updates about the game. Some videos even having 100 thousand views. My only guess is that with the controversial Just Kidding Rawling making it weird to be a Harry Potter fan, anything wizard-related that doesn’t have a connection to “she who shall not be named” is probably a breath of fresh air. On top of that, Chucklefish (Starbound and Wargroove) is the type of developer that always seems to deliver.
With the hellscape that was 2020 causing many studios to slow down development on upcoming titles, we haven’t heard much about Witchbrook since its announcement back in 2019, which is where my prediction comes in. Not only do I think we’re going to get more information, but I believe that by the end of this year, it’s going to be in people’s hands, and it will be a hit that a lot of people are not going to see coming.
2.) Gotham Knights: Most Divisive Game of The Year???
I believe it was famous philosopher Taylor Swift who said, “I knew you were trouble when you walked in,” and as far as I’m concerned, that phrase couldn’t be more true when it comes to Gotham Knights. Historically, any time a video game developer attempts to make something that’s multiplayer based for the first time, it’s met with mediocre reviews. Whether it’s Fallout 76, Destiny, Avengers, Anthem, or No Man’s Sky, the first 6 months to a year after release are always tough. That being said, most of the games I just listed still have fans and have proven that when you actually finish developing your video game, even if it is post-launch, it can be pretty good.
So what’s the deal with Gotham Knights? Well, much like was the case for me with the first Destiny and No Man’s Sky at launch, I’m fully expecting to love Gotham Knights. It’s a co-op Batman game… well, technically, Batman is “dead,” but it’s still a co-op game where my friend and I get to roam around Gotham and kick dudes in the face. As far as I’m concerned, what we’ve seen of the game so far looks great, but will it be enough to please everyone? Honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if this game is met with disappointment and middling reviews out of the gate. If given a chance, though, with an ever-growing list of post-launch content, it could find more and more of an audience while folks like myself shout from back alleys, surrounded by our dead parents, about how fun the game has been this entire time… that being said, if you have parents, DON’T bring them to Gotham. I’m pretty sure the only people safe there are orphans or older men with white mustaches.
3.) Nintendo: Thanks for Being You!
No need to drag this one out; last year, Nintendo had a Mario anniversary and sold some games for a limited time. This year, they’re having a Zelda anniversary, and you better believe Nintendo is opening up that imaginary vault for a limited time to sell you some old Zelda games that you probably already own for another console. So, what two Zelda games should we be expecting? My picks are Wind Waker and Ocarina. Personally, I’d rather Ocarina and Majora, but these aren’t wishes; they’re predictions. These games will have absolutely nothing new done to them. Ocarina will be the 3DS version, and Wind Waker will be the Wii U version, and in keeping up with the trends, both of these games will be sold for prices that they have no right even looking at, BUT we’re all going to buy them because it’s Ocarina. Also, from what I’ve been told, people like Wind Waker.
4.) Sims 5
Sims 5… That’s it, that’s the prediction. Seriously, Sims 4, an incredible game, once it got all the content needed for a Sims game to be fun, came out nearly 7 years ago. To say it’s time for Sims 5 would be an understatement. What exactly would a Sims 5 need to justify its release, though? For starters, it’s going to have to release with large portions of the content that Sims 4 already has. It doesn’t matter how popular this franchise is; EA can not get away with the kind of tactics they used to be famous for all those years ago. If Sims 5 launches with missing content such as toddlers or swimming pools, it will be a long road for the new title. Besides, how am I supposed to drown my Sims if the game doesn’t launch with swimming pools? With the obvious out of the way, what else can Sims 5 bring to the table? The short and easy answer is multiplayer. 7 years ago, maybe that idea sounded crazy, but in 2021, if Nintendo’s rusty servers are allowed to claim online play, then EA can undoubtedly get the job done.
5.) The Game Awards Nominations
With it looking like E3 may never return to the heights that it once lived at, The Game Awards has officially become my most anticipated video game event to look forward to. While I think it happens at the worst possible time imaginable, allowing for several great games that come out later in the year to miss being nominated, it’s still a really great representation of so many of the positive things that happen in the industry.
While I’d love to predict that Blink-182 is going to perform a song from the Ratchet and Clank soundtrack, for now, I’ll stick with the game of the year nominees. Resident Evil 8, Horizon Forbidden West, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Monster Hunter Rise, 12 Minutes, and Elden Ring are my 6 nominees. For those wondering where God of War Ragnarok and Breath of The Wild 2 are, allow me to explain. They’re not coming out this year. With that out of the way, why these 6? In particular, I think these 6 six games give off a great representation of what’s come out this year.
Reside Evil 8 = 3rd Party Developer
Horizon/Ratchet and Clank = 1st Party Developers
Monster Hunter Rise = Nintendo exclusive
12 Minutes = Indie/launches on Xbox first
Elden Ring = Every category needs a winner, right?
Well, these have been my 5 predictions for the video game industry in 2021. What do you think we’ll be seeing? Is Microsoft going to buy another studio? Is Halo ever coming out? Is this the year we finally learn what Bethesda’s Starfield is? So many possibilities!