50. Defying the economy
Andrew Brown, Activision UK MD says: “I hope that in-home entertainment - and of course video games – proves to be resistant to the economic down turn. As long as demand continues to grow, the market will eventually adjust to the bad news of retail closures.”
49: EA’s new IP
After the success of Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge and Spore, Electronic Arts will continue its commitment to new IP in 2009, including the release of the promising Dante’s Inferno.
48. The Beatles hit consoles
The Fab Four are set to enter the world of video games following a collaboration between MTV Networks, Harmonix and Apple Corp.
47: Tony Hawk revamp
Activision Blizzard’s Tony Hawk’s franchise returns this year with a brand new control system.
46: More music
2008 saw the worlds of music and games grow closer together, and expect that to continue this year, with Guitar Hero: Metallica and Disney’s Ultimate Band.
45: Increased awareness for games
Christoph Hartmann, 2K President says: “It’s important that the industry keeps growing in the public awareness. We should have worldwide recognition as a major industry that makes major money. We should have more respect. I still feel it’s not the case within the entertainment industry. When you walk into Hollywood, you still feel they think we’re the toy guys. They forget we’re dealing with budgets that are equally as large as theirs – and that we’re actually more successful.”
44: DSi Ware
Following in the footsteps of WiiWare comes its DS equivalent, which is set to launch alongside the DSi – providing new opportunities for developers.
43: More Layton?
Last year’s Professor Layton was a sell out at retail. So expect the second and third games (which are already out in Japan) to head to the UK soon.
42: Atari’s resurgence
Following the appointment of Phil Harrison and David Gardner, Atari has got a line-up worth getting excited about. Title due this year include: Eve Online, Tekken 6, Ghostbusters, Afro Samurai, Race Pro, Ready 2 Rumble, The Chronicles of Riddick, The Witcher: Rise Of The White Wolf and Family Ski.
41: More evenly spread releases
Lisa Morgan, GAME CEO says: “It would be good to see the launch of high quality releases spread throughout the year, alleviating some of the Q4 congestion.”
40: PS3 price cut?
Could SCEE bow to retail, consumer and economic pressure and cut the price of its PlayStation 3 console? Leading industry analysts seem to think so, potentially giving the format a boost during 2009.
39: Red Faction: Guerrilla
The third in the classic Red Faction franchise hits PS3, Xbox 360 and PC this quarter.
38: Sega’s first half extravaganza
Sega’s got a huge first half line-up, filled with new IP and core releases. Games include: The Conduit, Mad World, Empire: Total War, Football Manager Live, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Alpha Protocol, House of the Dead: Overkill, Stormrise, Sega Megadrive Collection and Sonic and the Black Knight.
37: Batman swoops in
Eidos’ Batman: Arkham Asylum is set to land on consoles later this year.
36: No more clutter
Martin Defries, MD and COO of Rising Star Games says: “I hope to see the clutter of ‘me too’ products vanish and make way for original DS and Wii games.”
35: Rise of the iPhone
With big name titles, such as Metal Gear Solid Touch, the iPhone could be a real contender to the DS’ crown in 2009.
34: Retail to benefit from MMO gaming...
A series of big MMO titles are scheduled for retail in 2009, including the release of Football Manager Live (due January 23rd), Eve Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Champions Online.
33: Star Wars: Old Republic
PC sector rejoice! A Star Wars MMO from the talented team at Bioware that could even give World of Warcraft a run for its money is due later in the year.
32: Biggest ever Q1?
The Sims 3, Resident Evil 5, GTA: Chinatown Wars, Halo Wars, and Sonic are all due over the next three months.
31: Assassin’s Creed 2
Rumours are already flying about one of 2007’s biggest new IPs, hinting at a possible 2009 Christmas release.
30: A decision to be made on age ratings
David Reeves, CEO and President SCEE says: “PEGI is the way to go. Byron was right – we must put forward the protection of children and, speaking with ISFE, I know they can do it.”
29: Gran Turismo 5 races in
The endlessly popular racer is set to be one of Sony’s big Christmas releases.
28: The not-so Final Fantasy
The legendary Square Enix RPG series lands on PS3 and Xbox 360 later this year.
27: Codemasters drives on
Codemasters’ off-road racer Colin Mcrae: Dirt 2 and its new F1 title are due this year, and both are certain to be big hits.
26: GameStop coming?
Many top industry personnel feel it’s just a matter of time before GameStop begins to make serious waves in the UK market. Could 2009 be the year?
Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of our 50 things to look out for in 2009.