The pandemic kept me locked down for months, nearly screwed Christmas again, and shattered my crystal ball.
Probably because I was doped up on some heavy antibiotics at this time last year and had a lot of free time on my hands, I decided to try my hand at the prediction game this past year. And the fates, apparently having had enough of me trying to do this, decided to throw a massive wrench into everything.
So how bad did it go? Well, let’s run back the predictions from 2020 and see where I went wrong. Remember, they can be found (along with my initial justifications) here.
The only multigame Directs this year will be January, June, and September
Nintendo dramatically overhauled the Direct format this year, largely due to the pandemic - but they haven’t had a 40-minute monster Direct since September of 2019. The first Direct Mini of the year was at the end of March, and by the end of June they had shifted to the Mini + Partner Showcase format when they weren’t doing Twitter Directs. And then of course, there was the Bakugan Incident. But the Direct format as y’all obsessed over it may be a thing of the last decade.
There will be a Mario game released in North America for the 33rd straight year. To Donald’s irritation, it’ll be Super Mario Party 2.
I ended up blowing this five straight months between July and November: Origami King, no Super Mario Party 2, Mario 3D All-Stars, Mario Kart Live, and the Game & Watch. Nintendo also loved to shove multiple Mario games into sales in Q4, so you couldn’t escape the plumber this year.
The voucher program will come back, but North America will get shafted again.
It would be nice to see the vouchers make their triumphant return, but a light year compared to the absolute feast that was the second half of 2019 when the vouchers were available probably would’ve caused them to underperform. Oh well, hopefully next year.
Final Fantasy 2/4 and 3/6 will come to the SNES library for Switch Online, killing any chance of remakes.
Square has apparently decided to act like their old North American distributor EA and act like Final Fantasy started on the PS1 - which is why Sephiroth is now in Smash and not, I dunno, Kefka. But the only Final Fantasy re-releases we got this year were the Final Fantasy Legend games, better known as “SaGa” or “Kawazu’s Pictures Of The Square Goat Orgy”.
Bayonetta 3 will launch in October.
“Next week in gaming magazines” turned out to be anything but. But I should remind you that Platinum took to crowdfunding a rescue of The Wonderful 101 this year, and now Bayonetta’s playable in it.
Bravely Default “II” will avoid the biggest sin of the original by launching its lecherous character into outer space. (Also there won’t be a time loop.)
There are millions of reasons why this one wasn’t answerable in 2020, but I’m moving this to a hope.
Xenoblade Chronicles DE will include an extra scene in the ending that ties into another Xeno- game.
Although Future Connected was a thing, it had no discernable tie-ins to X or 2 nor did it seem to drop hints to any future projects from Monolith. Hell, I would’ve taken a KOS-MOS cameo. But they did record new Jenna Coleman dialogue so it’s got that going for it.
Three Houses’s final DLC will include a “golden ending”, and fans will rightfully riot over key story content being sold separately.
It wasn’t until after I made this prediction that I re-read the translation of the Famitsu interview where IS said there would BE no golden ending. And thank heavens they learned that lesson from Fates. But the story ended up being completely unconnected to the main plot in that you could use prime female axe wielders Edelgard and Hilda on the same team for the first time, which probably counts as a golden ending for someone.
The Switch version of Doom Eternal will hit in November.
I knew it would take a while for Panic Button to get Doom Eternal up and running on Switch, I just didn’t expect other companies to themselves slam the Panic Button for their own ports (Microsoft bringing Forza Horizon 4 to the Series is all them). Still, I almost made it until it ended up coming in so thermonuclear hot that they had to push it to December AND make it digital only.
The obligatory Pokémon game is going back to Sinnoh.
The closest we came was dealing with all of the land’s legends in the Crown Tundra (the pixies, Dialga, Palkia, Garchomp, etc). Though Pokemon did shatter precedent with going the Expansion Pass route and yet kept it going by having a game ready for the series’s anniversary.
The second wave of Smash DLC will be first party focused, starting with Edelgard and Rillaboom.
So they brought the fourth good character of Fighters Pass 1 out in January with Byleth (joining Joker, Hero, and Terry), and the first fighter of pass 2 was Min-Min… but then Minecraft and friggin’ Sephiroth? I’ve seen enough.
The next Nintendo/indie collaboration will be a Shin’en Multimedia developed F-Zero.
This would require Nintendo to acknowledge F-Zero’s existence, and the most they did that in 2020 was by having Captain Falcon eating ramen at Min-Min’s after she settled it in Smash. File it under “maybe in my dreams”.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions Encore will outsell the Wii U version by at least 5-1.
The problem with Nintendo is that they only publicize the sales figures for games in their financials if they crack a million copies shipped in a reasonable length of time. In TMS’s case… barring a miracle caused by being one of the most attractive items in the Black Friday sales, we’re probably not going to find out if it made 500k or not. But at least they bothered to promote it this time - then again, Fire Emblem Heroes wasn’t a thing in 2015-16.
NWR’s 2020 Game of the Year is not currently announced.
Well, it turns out we didn’t end up naming one. I suppose technically I could claim Hades being my own personal GOTY but I seem to recall it being announced for Switch when its early access was announced - and this was a site-specific prediction, not mine.
Preordering No More Heroes 3 will get buyers a code for Travis Strikes Again.
One of the year’s best running gags was Suda 51 going out of his way to hide gameplay footage of No More Heroes 3, and now it’s been delayed to 2021 as well. Given that the predecessors came out on Switch, it seems like one (or both) is more likely to be the preorder incentive (or if you already bought them, enjoy your discount?)
Breath of the Wild 2 will not release in 2020, but it will be Nintendo’s sole public E3 game.
Breath of the Wild 2 certainly didn’t release in 2020 - at least, not under that name or game style. (And it was better for it, pass it on.) But the lack of an E3 show at all prevents me from claiming full credit here.
Not only will there not be a new mobile project from Nintendo, Dr. Mario World will stop updating.
Nintendo kept going in maintenance mode on all their mobile projects, and against all hope, logic, and sanity Dr. Mario World seems to still be updating. Who wants Dr. Sumo Brother? He’s probably coming soon.
Actual Correct Predictions
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will outsell New Leaf, even at the higher price point.
Of course, Joe West could’ve seen this coming. Though I would never have guessed that New Horizons would outsell New Leaf in its opening MONTH.
Metroid Prime 4 will still be radio silent.
Betting against the existence of Metroid Prime 4 is the easiest money in the business. Not a peep this year, and even SMT friggin’ V showed proof of life.
Although new Joy-Con and Lite colors will come out, there won’t be a “Switch Pro”.
Really, when you sell like chocolate covered crack from about March on because you represent an actual way to interact with other people and NOT put your life in danger, you don’t need a Pro.
So in total, that’s the three most obvious ones right, two half points, and three unknown/TBD items. That’s about a .200 batting average, and it’s not like this hit for power either. It’s sub-replacement level predicting, and though everyone looks bad in a year as messed up as 2020 was, I’m probably still going to retire from this game.
And yet, I still have a better record of predictions than a certain “analyst” who suggested Nintendo ditch the dockable Switch. You know, the thing you couldn’t FIND for most of 2020. Maybe in 2021 I’ll get a job offer from Wedbush Morgan; lord knows I come cheaper.