11 Things That Will Definitely Happen During 2018 In Gaming (Maybe)
At the start of every year, the GameSpot staff gathers together and tries to figure out what's in store for the future. Sure, we hear more rumors and speculation than your average gaming buddy, but most of the predictions we share here are simply guesses. These are things that we hope might happen, or that the cyclical nature of the game's industry indicates are likely to occur. Or we just make something up and hope really hard that it comes true.
2017 rumbled along with what seemed like a never-ending cycle of surprises: Nintendo went from flailing in the market with the Wii U to having the fastest-selling console ever with the Switch. And at E3, the company revealed Metroid Prime 4 is in the works along with a new Pokemon game for Switch. Niantic confirmed the long-running rumors that its next game would be based on the Harry Potter franchise. Capcom revealed a console version of Monster Hunter at E3. And Bethesda announced and released two massive sequels--The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2--in the span of just a few months!
Even with high expectations, 2018 is probably going to have some surprises we're not even considering right now. But that's what makes trying to guess the twists and turns of the new year so fun! Here are our predictions for the announcements and reveals that are going to shape gaming in 2018. And if you'd like to take a look back at some of our past attempts, here are our predictions from 2014, 2016, and 2017 (we skipped 2015 for some reason).
What do you think will happen? Is there anything that we're way off-base on or that seems too far-fetched to actually occur? Let us know in the comments below!
Nintendo will announce Mother 3 for Switch
Yes, I predicted that the final chapter in the Earthbound trilogy would come out in the West in 2016. And then again in 2017. But finally, Nintendo has a strong reason to stop holding out: the Switch. I think my previous predictions never quite ended up coming true because Nintendo had already pivoted its primary focus to its new console, and it'll want to introduce the Virtual Console replacement with something ridiculously exciting.
An unofficial (but entirely excellent) patch makes Mother 3 playable in English, so the heavy lifting of bringing a story-heavy game like Mother 3 to West is already done. And the game works on Nintendo's current systems--Mother 3 came to the Wii U in Japan just a few years ago. Although Mother 3 was originally a GBA release in Japan, and we've had plenty of GBA ports to 3DS over the years, I have a feeling that this will be one of the tentpole titles for Nintendo's 2018 digital content service. | Justin Haywald
Nintendo will release a new Zelda game or expansion
After a stellar year of game releases and the successful Switch launch, Nintendo finds itself in an enviable position heading into 2018. One of the many impressive feathers in its cap is Breath of the Wild. It stands as one of the most inventive open-world games of all time and is poised to influence the future of the format. The Champions' Ballad DLC released in early December 2017 is supposed to be the final say on this chapter in Link's never-ending quest to protect Hyrule, but if you've explored the edges of the map, you know there's still room for the game to grow, with invisible walls preventing you from exploring clearly visible landmasses. What's there? Who knows! But it'd be great if Nintendo gave us an opportunity to find out.
Of course, Zelda games aren't limited to a single concept, and Nintendo could fan the flames by releasing something akin to a classic Zelda experience. This may come in the form of Switch ports of games like the 3DS remasters of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask--or Wii U's Twilight Princess and Wind Waker. Those are the most likely scenarios, but there's also a small chance we'll see a follow-up to A Link Between Worlds, the previous highly regarded original Zelda game. Should this come to pass, the only question that remains is whether or not Nintendo will dare to put it up against Breath of the Wild on Switch, or if it will grace the 3DS during its final stage of relevance. | Peter Brown
Bethesda Game Studios will announce its next game at E3 2018
After the launch of Fallout 4 in 2015, Bethesda Game Studios has kept its next big project a secret. While fans have been largely satiated with consistent updates to the developer's current games, including re-releases of Skyrim on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, these have been mostly appetizers for Bethesda's next game--which I believe will be revealed this year.
In recent years, Bethesda has been in the habit of announcing new games during its E3 showcase and releasing them later in the year--such as Fallout 4, Wolfenstein II, and The Evil Within 2. While I believe the publishing arm of the company will have plenty to offer this year, it'll likely take a less aggressive approach for its slate of games, which will include the upcoming title from its in-house dev team. So even with the announcement, I don't think a 2018 release is a guarantee. Of course, what type of game Bethesda will show is up for speculation--but there have been some indications of what it could be.
While most would assume that the next Elder Scrolls game is coming up, Pete Hines, Bethesda VP of Marketing and PR, stated that they aren't in a rush to follow up Skyrim--even going further to say that he didn't want BGS to fall into a pattern of making only two different games. There have also been rumblings about a new IP swirling around for quite some time. Named "Starfield," which ZeniMax filed a trademark for two years ago, this new game--judging by the title and studio pedigree--seems to be an open-world RPG game with a greater focus on sci-fi. There's still much to speculate over, but I'm confident in saying that the time is right for Bethesda Game Studios to reveal its next project this year at E3 2018. | Alessandro Fillari
Nintendo will announce (and release) Smash Bros. for Switch
Less than a year after launch, the Nintendo Switch already has a strong library of smaller games and big-name franchises alike. Between Zelda, Mario, and the knowledge that Pokemon and Metroid are on the horizon, there's one obvious thing Nintendo fans are missing: Smash Bros.
The problem with releasing a new Smash Bros. is its relatively long development cycle; there were six years between Smash 4 in 2014 and Brawl, and seven years between Brawl and Melee. Nintendo can get around that by upgrading Smash 4, similar to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe--which is the fastest-selling Mario Kart of all time--and adding new stages and a character or two to start. Despite the challenges of a small screen, Smash 4 was a hit on 3DS, selling nearly 9 million copies. Releasing a definitive version of Smash 4 with all its DLC, on an equally portable console with a bigger and better screen, is a no-brainer.
And if that wasn't enough of a reason, remember that Switch update in October 2017, the one that quietly made the Wii U GameCube adapter compatible with the Switch? Remember how the sole purpose of that adapter was to play Smash? I rest my case. | Kallie Plagge
Cyberpunk 2077 will be re-revealed at E3 2018
Cyberpunk 2077's first and only teaser was revealed four years ago. Yes, that's before The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt came out. Since then, Skyrim was re-released three times, Red Dead Redemption 2 was announced and given a release window, and both the Nintendo Switch and Super Mario Odyssey were announced and released.
Given how big Cyberpunk 2077 is rumored to be, it's no surprise it's taking so long. Based on leaks and job listings, it sounds like Cyberpunk 2077 will go beyond the Witcher 3's already massive scope in nearly every way--destructible environments, drivable vehicles, a bigger world, and a multiplayer component have all been hinted at.
We still don't know much about CD Projekt Red's next big game, but now that The Witcher 3 is a few years behind us, 2018 seems like the perfect time to pull back the curtain. I think it will be a while before we can actually get our hands on Cyberpunk 2077. But I'm willing to bet CDPR will release a trailer and show off some gameplay at E3 2018. | Jake Dekker
Mass Effect ain't dead; Trilogy HD Remaster will come this fall
Is the Mass Effect franchise dead? Not if the original trilogy gets remastered for all current-gen platforms! Andromeda soured a bunch of longtime fans (including myself), and the state of the franchise is in limbo, but cleaned-up versions of 1, 2, and 3 would be the best reminder of just how great the series can be. PC versions hold up well, but slight modern tweaks (revamped menus, HD textures) and a graphical boost for console versions (1080p/4K, 60 FPS) can make all the difference when juicing up the past games for a modern audience.
The series' world-building and depth of lore is still impressive. I often think about the history of its alien races, the bonds forged with my squadmates, and the critical decisions that were all woven through three 50+ hour action-RPGs. I also realize that the first game is 11 years old at this point. If I had to guess, there are a lot of people who love games today that haven't had the opportunity to experience the Mass Effect universe from its inception.
If we can get any good will out of the Mass Effect name, an HD remaster for the original trilogy would be the right start. There isn't any evidence that points to whether or not BioWare and EA would make this happen, but a second life for the biggest sci-fi franchise of the last generation sounds like a no-brainer. Here's to wishful thinking! | Michael Higham
From Software's project teased at the 2017 Game Awards is Tenchu
The 2017 Game Awards reveal of From Software's next project was an "effective" teaser in every sense of the word. It was brief, visually enthralling, and of course, fueled tremendous speculation on what the game is. It can be a challenge to discern anything from this cryptic, single-shot video, where the camera is closely focused on a mysterious device that seems to be tightening in a disturbing manner. But as someone familiar with From Software's games and who has read his fair share of Hidetaka Miyazaki interviews in recent years, I'm confident that the next game from the director of Dark Souls, Dark Souls III, and Bloodborne is the next installment in the stealth action Tenchu series.
First, there's Miyazaki's assertion that his time with the Dark Souls series as a director is over, which is partly motivated by his desire to focus on From Software properties that haven't had game releases in recent years, Tenchu being one of them. Moreover, the kanji calligraphy in the video's background implies either a Chinese or Japanese setting. Further inspection of the center of the video reveals a kunai, a multipurpose farming tool that is generally associated in video games as a ninja weapon. This narrows down the location to Japan. While you can argue that these clues don't rule out Otogi--another series owned by From Software--it's the title card at the end that reads, "Shadows Die Twice" that affirms the video's connection to Tenchu. The line is a reference to a quote in Tenchu 3 by main antagonist Onikage, who says, "Shadows can die twice."
Even as a Miyazaki fan who is eager for any credible hints of the existence of a Bloodborne sequel, no amount of wishful thinking can dissuade my confidence that this next project is a new Tenchu game. Whether it's a sequel, a reimagining, or both, I'm sure we'll find out in 2018. | Miguel Concepcion
Nintendo will release the N64 Classic
Considering we got the NES classic in 2016 and the SNES Classic in 2017, it stands to reason that we'll get an N64 Classic in 2018. The N64 had dozens of notable standouts that include Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Mario Kart 64. This means that it would make for an excellent miniaturized Nintendo compilation.
The N64's hardware wasn't always up to the task of running games smoothly. Nintendo would really hit it out of the park if the Classic variant ironed out all the performance issues and allowed games to run at a consistent 60 frames per second. The console should also support four controller ports to maintain the N64's cred as a local co-op party machine.
My final prediction here is that if Nintendo releases the N64 Classic, GoldenEye 64 will not come with it, as the rights to the old James Bond game have significantly changed since it came out in 1997. | Jimmy Thang
Blizzard will announce Diablo 4
As a developer, Blizzard is not one to make hasty announcements. Diablo debuted in 1996 followed by Diablo 2 in 2000--then there was a twelve year gap before Diablo III arrived in 2012. D3 has regular updates, and the Darkening of Tristram event made a return this January, but the next logical step is for Blizzard to release the next full chapter in this series.
Last year's Necromancer expansion announcement at Blizzcon felt more like a way to fill time while Diablo 4 went through some internal refinement. And at 2017's convention, there was no mention of Diablo on the main stage at all. But that delay makes it feel even more like a major Diablo announcement is imminent.
While I'm speculating, I'll say there's a good chance we'll finally hear something about a Diablo II remaster soon as well. Blizzcon 2018 has the potential to be very, very exciting for Diablo fans. | Justin Haywald
Phantasy Star Online 2 will finally come to the West
As the first online RPG I ever played, the original Phantasy Star Online holds a special place in my heart. The announcement of a proper sequel, first released in Japan in 2012, was exciting news, and yet more than five years later, here we are without any official means for playing the game in the West.
It's not for lack of interest. Sega's regular earnings reports routinely declare that PSO2 is "perform[ing] strongly" in Japan, which each and every time feels like a personal attack on me and my wishes. The company even collaborated with Sony to release PSO2-themed gear for Gravity Rush 2, despite the fact that PSO2 is unavailable here, just to pour salt on the wound.
While I wouldn't expect to ever see the Vita version localized, PSO2 is available on both PC and PS4, which are perfectly viable platforms in the West. A Switch version has been announced for Japan, and that presents Sega with the perfect opportunity to finally introduce the game to new markets. Zelda: Breath of the Wild and, more recently, Skyrim have shown what a delight it is to have a great RPG on a hybrid console. But with there being no indication that Monster Hunter XX will release for Switch in the West, PSO2 would perfectly fill the niche of online multiplayer-oriented RPG for the system.
With 2018 potentially shaping up to be an even bigger year for Switch than its record-breaking 2017, now's the time for Sega to finally pull the trigger. | Chris Pereira
Spyro trilogy remaster announced
After years of fans calling for a Crash Bandicoot remaster trilogy, Activision finally caved in and remade the classic platformers for PS4. Spyro is similarly beloved by platforming fans who grew up with a DualShock in their hands, so a reworked bundle of Spyro the Dragon, Ripto's Rage (Gateway to Glimmer in Europe and Australia), and Year of the Dragon would surely do similarly well--and seeing the purple dragon's flames flickering in HD would ignite my nostalgia glands perhaps even more than Crash did. Moreover, the N. Sane Trilogy's developer, Vicarious Visions, has previously worked on the Spyro series--albeit on spin-offs rather than mainline games.
A fan-pleasing announcement like this seems perfect for an E3 or PSX, and who knows--it could even serve as a testbed for a brand new mainline entry in the franchise. | Oscar Dayus