2014 In Gaming: Five Predictions

There isn’t a lot we know yet about 2014 in gaming. We don’t even have a firm release schedule for most of the year. But there are some larger trends and ideas that will come to define gaming for this year… and quite possibly the entire generation. Here’s a look at where gaming in 2014 is going.

There are many games that you can argue “defined” gaming over the last few years, but there’s no denying one of the most successful games of the last few years was Minecraft. Month in and month out, it’s one of the most commonly played games on Xbox Live, and it seems likely to have similar dominance on the PS3.

One of the problems of AAA console development is as budgets bloat, the quality of the experience tends to head downward. That means more and more games fail, or “underperform”, meaning more and more money goes to fewer and fewer franchises, and said franchises become more and more conservative.

What this means is that the breakout hit, the game that does something new and fresh and different, is going to be from an indie. Sony in particular has pretty clearly stated that indie games are not only welcome, but actively encouraged, which is likely due to Minecraft‘s success.

It’s probably being coded as we speak. Heck, it might be on Steam Greenlight right now. But don’t be surprised if the biggest game of the year is something that isn’t even notable on Wikipedia yet.

This isn’t a prediction that multiplayer games like Call of Duty are going to die, mind you. They’re still going to sell lots of copies and be huge hits. But increasingly, developers seem more interested in creating more complex multiplayer experiences.