Shack Chat: What is your gaming prediction for 2021?

We put on our prediction caps and ponder what the video gaming landscape will look like in 2021.

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Shacknews is back, refreshed, and ready for another year of good gaming coverage. It was a good break we had to cap off 2020 and flush it down the drain, and many games were played. With that in mind, it seems only natural to keep things rolling with a discussion of what we expect to see in the industry during the year. What are the trends? What surprise game will be announced?


Question: What is your gaming prediction for 2021?

Pokemon starts teasing a real MMORPG - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Fortune Teller


Let's go all the way to the moon with this prediction. This year marks Pokemon's 25th anniversary. The Pokemon Company has been finding new and creative ways to keep Pikachu a part of everyone's daily lives for years. Heck, last year we got the release of Pokemon Teeth or whatever. We're about to get Pokemon Go the F*** to Sleep or whatever that's called. Oh, and we also got a new Pokemon Snap announcement. That last one should be awesome!

Anyway, what I'm getting at is, I think there are still some Pokemon projects that we don't know about. But whatever The Pokemon Company has in mind, it would surely have to be even more exciting than what they've already revealed. What would be more exciting than a genuine, honest-to-goodness Pokemon MMORPG that allows trainers to engage with each other and battle it out in real time?

The gaming world is about to learn how much they want a Pokemon MMORPG when competitor Temtem comes out of Early Access in just a few months. With a full anniversary year ahead of us, I think it ends with The Pokemon Company dropping this bombshell and ushering the franchise into a bold new future.


Breath of the Wild 2 releases Fall 2021 - Donovan Erskine, new year, same me


This march, it will have been four years since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released alongside the Nintendo Switch. It’s been nearly two years since Nintendo has announced that the game’s sequel was in development. We haven’t heard a single peep about the BOTW sequel since its announcement. 

My prediction is that Nintendo will finally break their silence on BOTW 2 within the next few months with a new trailer and details. Moreso, I’m betting that they’ll announce the game will release this Fall, most likely in October or November. We don’t know what Nintendo has planned for the Fall (outside of the inevitable Pokemon release), and this would fill that void tremendously. Besides, what better way to cap off the 35th anniversary of the Zelda franchise than with the release of a sequel to one its most beloved entries?


Indies will flourish more than ever - Blake Morse, Reviews Editor

To say the world and the way things have changed drastically in the last year and means a lot of adjustments for everyone. Big-time studios are finding ways to function remotely after spending a lifetime in cubicle clumps contained in large campuses. The new work-from-home standard has been rough for them. However, this is the kind of stuff that smaller dev teams working on indie titles have been dealing with forever and I think it puts a lot of them in a unique position this year to be more productive than any of the teams working on something triple-A. Obviously, this is not a hard and fast rule, but I really do think it positions a lot of titles made by fewer people to garner a larger audience in 2021, especially since people are going to be stuck at home and looking for more entertainment than usual. I feel like we even saw some of this concept already occur last year. Just look at the success of games like Hades and Bugsnax. 


Hardware availability will remain spotty - Chris Jarrard, Mad about not yet having a liquid-cooled 3090

Retail availability for the new consoles, desktop CPUs, and desktop GPUs was awful for most of 2020. I don’t really see things easing up in 2021 and believe that it will be into 2022 before we start to see these markets operating like they were in 2019. Between COVID-19 concerns and that damn cryptocurrency value spike, computer parts are coveted and expensive. 


Xbox announces more new IPs and reboots - Sam Chandler, Gaming together

Call it hopeful thinking, but we could very well see Xbox make some more announcements this year regarding new games, both new IPs and reboots of classic franchises. Do I just want a sequel to Blinx: The Time Sweeper? Maybe. Do I think more people need to play a Jet Set Radio Future game? Certainly. Does Xbox need more party games like Fuzion Frenzy? Absolutely.


Rockstar Games reveals their next title - Bill Lavoy, Agent 48

This might need to be filed more like a hope than a prediction, but since there’s nothing to lose I’ll go ahead and say that I think the next game from Rockstar Games will be revealed in 2021. Whether that’s Grand Theft Auto VI ,Bully 2, or even maybe L.A. Noire 2, I’m not sure, but I think we’ll hear something. And, if I’m wrong, I’ll just make the same prediction next year and eventually, it will pay off.


New Nintendo Switch - Josh Hawkins, Guides Editor

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 4 years since the Nintendo Switch released. While rumors have swirled for some time, I think 2021 is when will finally see a new variation of the Nintendo Switch. Whether this comes in the form of a Nintendo Switch Pro or something like a Nintendo Switch XL remains to be seen, but I think it’s the perfect time for Nintendo to introduce a new Switch with better internals and an updated screen.

Four years isn’t nearly long enough to be a standard console’s lifespan (the PS4 and Xbox One saw roughly 7 years or so before next-gen consoles arrived) but the Switch is already fairly underpowered compared to the other major players in the market. An updated Switch would mean better graphical capability and a chance to fix the issues that the Switch has had since its initial launch—like that cheap feeling dock.


Year of the Metroid - TJ Denzer, Samus Newsman


There are a lot of different Nintendo milestone anniversaries in 2021, but one of my favorites, in particular, is actually turning 35 this year. Yes, come August, it will have been more than three and a half decades since we first ported down to the tunnels of Zebes to give the Mother Brain a pinch. 35 years since Samus Aran took off the helmet to reveal that our hero was, in fact, a mighty heroine.

I don’t expect Metroid to get anywhere near the pomp and circumstance of Super Mario’s 35th birthday, but I do have some wants. For one, I sure do hope we see Metroid Prime 4 this year. That feels like the safest bet as we’ve heard it’s been in development for some time already. That said, I can also see Nintendo doing some smaller scale cool things as well. It’d be neat to see them put together a port of the 3DS Metroid: Samus Returns remake of Metroid 2 for the Nintendo Switch, and it seems a very feasible thing to do. Lastly, we saw Mario get a limited edition Game & Watch in 2020 featuring full-length games and an animated clock. I’d be delighted if Metroid received similar treatment. 

There’s a lot of big anniversaries for Nintendo in 2021, not the least of which is Zelda, but I still think there’s plenty of time for Nintendo’s star sci-fi leading lady to shine through.


Mario, Pokemon, and Zelda oh my!-Steve Tyminski, Contributing Editor

With the year 2020 in the rearview mirror, it gets you thinking how much better 2021 could be. It also gets you starting to think about what games will come out during the year, too. I’d like to see one more Mario surprise that no one saw coming before the 35th anniversary comes to a close. Announcing a new mainline Mario game would be a perfect way to close out the celebration. That being said, it’s also the anniversary years for Pokémon and the Legend of Zelda. It would be great to see Breath of the Wild 2 as well as several other Zelda games come to the Switch like the Oracle series. It would be interesting to see new mainline Pokémon games during their 25th anniversary, as well. However, the Pokémon Company brings their older games to the Switch so I can get a Totodile again is welcomed. One other game that I know won’t happen but would love to see is a new Snow Brothers game. I have great memories playing the NES game and want to see a comeback for the series.


Microsoft starts fighting the exclusive war, for real this time. - Bryan Lefler, Contributing Editor


Out of all of the gaming surprises in 2020, Microsoft’s rampant shopping spree of AAA developers and entire publishers is one that the company needed to show that they have a plan for Xbox exclusives. The hardware and software juggernaut shouldn’t be so many steps behind the competition when it comes to delivering anticipated and exciting mega-releases. The acquisition of Bethesda alone gives Microsoft another huge talent pool to produce the blockbusters the platform desperately needs.

With the recently announced Indiana Jones project, Starfield, Elder Scrolls, and who knows what else; Bethesda is one answer to the software side of Microsoft’s problems. Any or all of these could become a tent-pole franchise for the Xbox brand. The Xbox Series generation already has an uphill battle against Sony and the established PlayStation market base. I think the serious shots are being prepared for fire in the upcoming year.


Microsoft acquires Discord - Asif Khan, CEO

Discord gets acquired. After Slack got gobbled up, it seems likely like a big tech behemoth will buy the VOIP IRC platform. Microsoft has Teams already, and being able to shoehorn in all of Discord’s users seems like a Mr. Softy thing to do. If not them, someone else will come knocking on Discord’s door.


Those are our bold predictions, but what about you, Shackers? What did you play over the holidays? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty comment section below!

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 15, 2021 5:30 PM

    Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Shack Chat: What is your gaming prediction for 2021?

    • reply
      January 15, 2021 6:01 PM

      Silksong finally comes out and has really bad cop AI and runs poorly on the base PS1

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      January 15, 2021 6:08 PM

      Discord prediction sounds on target to me.

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        January 16, 2021 2:50 AM

        I hope it won't happen. Discord is good the way it is. I don't want some greedy investors to take over and fill it with all kinds of bloat features and ads.

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      January 15, 2021 6:14 PM

      Elden Ring will be fully revealed, dated and quite possibly also released.

      PS5 will be the top selling console worldwide of 2021.

      Little Devil Inside will be the sleeper indie hit of the year.

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      January 15, 2021 6:17 PM

      Far Cry 6 is going to be totally awesome

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      January 15, 2021 6:31 PM

      Discord prediction is the first thing I thought when they started offering Game Pass trials through Discord and Discord trials through Game Pass about a year ago. If they end up selling its gotta be to MS

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      January 15, 2021 6:39 PM

      new Sneak King game

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      January 15, 2021 6:40 PM

      Delays

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      January 15, 2021 7:31 PM

      The next Far Cry will be in post apocalypse DC, fighting with q anon cultists

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        January 15, 2021 8:11 PM

        Ubisoft doesn't have those kinds of balls.

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        January 15, 2021 9:08 PM

        I don’t know if I can play Freedom Fighters the same way ever again.

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      January 15, 2021 8:09 PM

      Cyberpunk 2077 will become really good.

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      January 15, 2021 9:13 PM

      Lots of Cyberpunk updates for a game I finished last month and have started to forget

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      January 15, 2021 9:15 PM

      Please God GTA6.

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        January 15, 2021 11:37 PM

        I suspect the next one will be their first disappointment.

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          January 16, 2021 8:09 AM

          I’d like to think Rockstar wouldn’t release their flagship title unless they know it’s a classic :(

          They haven’t let me down yet. Surely they’ve been working on it. The little bits of content they’ve been pooping out to print them money in GTA online must be developed by tiny tiger teams.

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        January 16, 2021 5:35 AM

        Online only probably.

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      January 15, 2021 11:15 PM

      People will play games, loot crates will continue to struggle, there will be debate about gfx vs gameplay with a next gen title, there will be a great single player game released and a great coop Multiplayer game.

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      January 16, 2021 1:29 AM

      Shin Megami Tensei V is delayed into 2022 :( :( :(

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      January 16, 2021 3:24 AM

      We see the first breakout social VR title.

      On the multiplayer front you have stuff like Pavlov and Population One, along with a few smaller titles, that hold a dedicated crowd but you don't have anything like an Among Us* that has become the MP game everyone is talking about and playing. For better or worse it would have to be an Oculus lead SKU title given their market share (or Sony with a dark horse title for PSVR2), but I think the hardware adoption is at the point where it'll happen this year.

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        January 16, 2021 5:28 AM

        You know what, for me that title is Phasmophobia.

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          January 16, 2021 6:11 AM

          I hesitated before posting this because of that game specifically, as well as VR Chat to an extent. I think Phasmophobia is definitely the closest we've come to having a multiplayer VR title go mainstream enough to become part of the zeitgeist, but it's still limited by the the barriers of entry of being PC-only and being a horror game. With VR Chat, as much as I find it fascinating (and weird) and it definitely has a huge community, the "weirdness" of it is a huge barrier of entry that'll keep it from ever going truly mainstream even as events, conferences, etc. will continue to use it more.

          The more that I think about it, and as much as it pains me to say it, I think Facebook Horizon might be what I'm describing simply due to the pick up and play nature of what they've shown. Like I said in my OP, though, I wouldn't put it past Sony to put out something that lets them keep their existing lead as far as pure hardware sales and potentially be the game that pushes VR into the mainstream in a bigger way than even the Quest.

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      January 16, 2021 5:27 AM

      Metroid Prime Trilogy for Switch.

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      January 16, 2021 5:45 AM

      an ubisoft open world game

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      January 16, 2021 5:54 AM

      most people keep playing games that are 10 years old

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        January 16, 2021 7:41 AM

        I'm finally almost done with Tomb Raider 2013.

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        January 16, 2021 9:31 AM

        10?! I need at least 20 year old games.

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        January 16, 2021 9:34 AM

        With more and more new games that cost $70, I can't really blame people for playing older stuff.

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      January 16, 2021 9:37 AM

      Wreckfest 2

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