Unlike a lot of folks who make silly, end-of-year predictions, I don’t just “fire and forget.” Last year, I posted some predictions for F2P gaming in 2015 and now I’m revisiting them to see what I got right and what I got wrong. Actually, since the headline says “Our Predictions,” let’s just assume that any of the wrong ones came from Magicman, OK? Gee, I hope that last sentence survives his edit…EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ll talk later, Jason…

No major subscription-based MMO will go free-to-play – Wrong

I was right about Elder Scrolls Online not taking the plunge, though it did eliminate sub fees. WildStar, on the other hand, dropped off much more quickly than anyone expected, forcing its F2P switch.

Overwatch will be free-to-play – Wrong

As wrong as wrong could be. It still seems odd, and contrary to the trend Blizzard has followed with its recent games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it changes at some point in the future. Probably not 2016, but maybe 2017 or beyond.

EverQuest Next will not exist in a playable form – Right

“No matter how much anyone wants it to be otherwise” is my unofficial motto for all MMO hopes and dreams. Predict with your mind, not with your heart.

Dawngate 2013-06-07 17-18-59-23

The MOBA train will slow down – Right

I’m claiming victory on this one because I think it’s true. Even with Heroes of the Storm seeming to have a good launch, it felt like a quiet-ish year for MOBAs, at least compared to previous years. Superdata agreed that the genre flattened out considerably, starting in mid-2014, and it seems like the trend for competitive gaming is now the “arena shooter” games like Overwatch.

One long-running F2P MMO will shut down – Wrong

Looking over the list of F2P closures in 2015 yields me the likes of Dragon’s Prophet, Archlord 2, Dead Island: Epidemic, RaiderZ, Infinite Crisis, Dizzel, Transformers Universe… nothing that really strikes me as especially significant or likely to be mourned like City of Heroes or Star Wars: Galaxies does. It was looking a little dicey for Firefall and Red 5 Studios for the last week or so, but that still might not have qualified as a sufficiently storied game.

That’s 2/5 I’ll call correct. So what about predictions for 2016? Honestly, I’m having trouble coming up with tangible predictions I can make for the coming year, or at least ones that sound sufficiently different from last year’s. Apart from the Overwatch one, I could still get behind the other four, but that’s a boring column.

So instead, let’s turn it around: What are your predictions for F2P gaming in 2016? Let us know in the comments and then we’ll congratulate the best of them at this time next year – and make fun of the worst. Remember, predict with your mind, not with your heart. In other words, no matter how much you hate MOBAs, League of Legends won’t be shutting down next year.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


  1. Fak paladins ,overwatch clone, i dont care for any, i dont like brain less fps/mobas, all the time same over and over . Global agenda was good but died because of pay to play stuff ingame, like auction. Who play these brain dead countless mobas and cs like shi ts, these coming and going tonns every year, where is smart ppl, enough of degener ates.

  2. All my predicted crap games are down and more to come, scammers should be down, trying to lie ppl about games telling its free but its not, few still around like star wars or online, d and d online, konan and few more, fa king scammers , games with locked characters and content and pay to win items in all these games u hardly find any alive person, devs spending money for few players , no one like scamm ers, revive will never happen, dont waste ur cash.

  3. Hmm let’s see.

    1. Overwatch will be huge, as it is already, like many others have said. It will set the standard for the more current Arena Shooters.

    2. Hi-Rez’s Paladins will try too hard to emulate Overwatch, and while the addition of cards is unique and interesting, it will ultimately fail, leaving Hi-Rez to focus more highly on Smite or Global Agenda 2 (if that’s still in development anyway).

    • While the game will certainly be good, it won’t be game of the year. At least not from what I played in the beta, and I know there wasn’t a lot of content, but I just don’t see it happening. In all honestly I see Ghost Recon: Wildlands having a better shot (if it releases in 2016). There also plenty of other big time games releasing. Uncharted’s new entry, Quantum Break, Recore, Dishonored 2, Final Fantasy XV, Zelda for Wii U, Horizon Zero Dawn, and lastly let’s not forget No Man’s Sky, if that game can deliver I don’t see there being any competition even close for game of the year. You could be right though, The Division is going to be fun and exciting, especially with friends, who knows.

  4. I’m really sad Dawngate shut down. It was a really good Moba, probably not above LoL and Dota2, but i don’t think Heroes of the Storm is better than Dawngate. Maybe equal.

  5. blade and soul will go F2P in america black dessert online will still not be released 1 new mech game will come out star citizen will come under fire and mmorpg’s with a more combo fighting style will be popular.

      • They would be very smart to try and get it launched before Legion releases. If they can get people attached there is a good chance they will hold previous WoW players from going back for Legion. I for one am looking for something new and interesting like Black Desert Online, I just hope it has a good story and universe.

        • Black Desert Online gets a lot of shit but honestly i think they can go in a good way. Its very grindy, but if its a 10 dollar price to get in, you buy it, grind ur way, have fun while doing it and enjoy the rest of the content,eventually get bored and move on till the next update or wtv. For 10 dollars, its pretty good. It also allows them to take out p2w stuff.

    • Star Citizen has been under fire for a while now, though. They’ve taken in tens of millions in donations, and not much to show for it besides trailers and alphas.

  6. 1) Competitive arena-shooters will take off lightning fast and Overwatch will be one of the most popular games of all time.

    2) The MOBA scene will take a crash dive

    3) WoW goes f2p from dwindling subscriptions after the movie flops big time.

    4) Most f2p games will include a shop ONLY FOR COSMETICS, finally toppling the f2p vs p2w debate.

    5) Many companies will have scandals for lesser known games causing them to be bought out or bankrupted.

    6) New restrictions and ratings will come about or be revised due to a certain religion.

    7) E-sports gains tremendous popularity becoming a multi-million (billion?) dollar business.

    8) New technology comes out that takes gaming to a whole new level that no one ever thought possible.

    • 2) and 7) are kinda agaisnt each other arent they? MOBAs right now are the biggest driving force in E-Sports. If the scene goes down, so does e-sports.

      • I got a chance to play the stress test and it was the most fun in a game I had since the day WoW launched. I wouldn’t call myself a fanboy since a lot of their games do suck.

        and @KKAI I would say something like LoL and Overwatch are different genres. It’s like saying mmorpgs and arpgs are the same in your view.

        • OW and LoL are both considered MOBA, one a shooter and the other is an isometric kind of game but they are still fundamentally mutiplayer online battle arena games hence not an MMO.

          • You guys are stretching MOBA for all other genre that involves any battle arena. Leave it with games like DOTA2 and LoL. There are, however, shooters with MOBA elements, which are considered MOBA but, do not slap this term in every game. You might as well put COD online in the mix if you place overwatch in there.

    • The movie will cause WoW to go free to play? Really? The movie and the money is cost to make had 0 to do with Blizzard and everything to do with Universal Studios and Legendary Pictures. I don’t see WoW EVER going free to play to be honest, the sub is 14.99 if you pay monthly, if anything they would just reduce the monthly cost and that alone would gain them subs. Personally I don’t think the WoW movie will flop, then again if a movie isn’t as big as Avengers or Star Wars, it’s considered a flop by some people.

  7. Do you mean free to play limitation like Elsword for a example? there are couple of games that have the free to play limitation which why it was a big let down plus waste of money down the drain everyday.

  8. 1. Firefall shuts down, or will be sold.
    2. Still no chance for EQN.
    3. Multiple less popular MOBAs shut down.
    4. Multiple hack and slash MMO’s shutting down, while new ones take their places.
    5. Dungeons and Dragons Online having financial problems, but LOTRO still making enough money for Turbine to keep both games running.
    6. With the appearance of new arena shooters, multiple MMOFPS games having financial problems due to player base loss or shutting down.
    7. Almost every less known old generation sandbox MMORPG converting to F2P or B2P model from subscription.
    8. Multiple new, unsuccessful zombie and card games come out.
    9. No new top grade sandbox game will come out, and the increase of the lesser ones will slow down.
    10. Multiple old anime style MMOs are replaced by newcomers.

  9. I predict. I will remain happy in my f2p titles for 3rd year in row now. Tera. Never a dull moment. Armorrd warfare, FUN based in skill. Not wallet.
    BnS and BdO my next rials. The rest are for blind, dumb, n derped.

    • God me too, I miss it soo much, it had so much potentiel, could’ve been the Lore Based MOBA where the community had a hand on the destiny of DG characters and story.
      But EA had to be the usual prick….

  10. More milking, more stripped content, more locked content, more premium, more founder’s packs, more payed betas.
    People will blindly throw money at anything, and reply with the old “get a job” comments.

  11. I predict that monstrously overpriced cash shops will continue to dominate the F2P industry and keep these games impenetrable to the Average Joe.

    • yea something really new, so i can’t tell what it is, i don’t know, but everyone is fed up survival, moba,zombie, fps,etc, so there is lot of space for new stuff.

      i do believe it will be hardware based too (occulus rift, new type of controller) but actually they struggle to seel anything in video game industry, so it has to change, it s clear ! also public is bery wide (rich/poor young/olg) so we may see emerge anything, as long as it s really new.

      • they can keep going on same way, of course, but as
        video games have better impact on culture than movies, it is sad if they keep doing cheap repetitive…, the tip of the lance should be edgy…. we will see,

        But people spend when it s interesting, simple as that .
        anyway sorry for poor english, not my language.


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