Traditionally, I thought I would take a look at what I expect from the gaming year 2024, focusing mainly on the three console manufacturers. As we all know, 2023 has been a very impressive year, with many overdue titles finally released – but many also delayed. A year is forever long in the gaming world, and what is clear today may feel completely outdated 12 months from now, which means I will probably have to stand with a handful of embarrassment when 2024 is summed up.
Hopefully it can still be fun, and I hope many of you will be eager to share what will happen this year. As usual, I will do it in alphabetical order. But enough chatter, here we go – and happy New Year to you dear readers.
I firmly believe that this – Call of Duty 2024 will be the most popular game in the series to date. This is based on the assumption that it will be the first game in the series to be released on Game Pass from day one now that Microsoft owns Activision Blizzard. More titles from the publisher will likely be added to the subscription service over the course of the year, such as Diablo IV, World of Warcraft and the older Call of Dutry. But it will be in October/November, when the 2024 game arrives, that it will really take off. Normally the series sells incredibly well, but if even those who don’t want to pay full price for the campaign or streaming multiplayer can suddenly access it, it will break all records for the series.
This still seems reasonable – As you know, Microsoft has a huge development capacity these days, and in 2022 we began to discern what that will look like from their side. Among confirmed games we find Avowed, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II and Towerborne. But it seems reasonable to think that Microsoft has more in the pipeline, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Fable or South of Midnight is released as well. This should allow them to achieve their goal of having a big game every three months for a steady stream of exuberant entertainment.
Could really happen – Although Mirosoft currently has almost an unreasonable number of titles announced, such as Clockwork Revolution, Contraband, Everwild, OD, Perfect Dark, State of Decay 3 and The Outer Worlds 2 – I think they have new things to announce or show for the first time in 2024. Among other things, I think it’s time to present what MachineGames is working on besides Indiana Jones (which we should see in 2024). It’s probably a graphics-heavy Wolfenstein, and The Coalition should also present the next Gears of War (which I don’t think will be released this year). I also don’t rule out Certain Affinity showing their Battle Royale-inspired Halo, which I also imagine will be an action game late in the year.
Unlikely but possible – It does not seem entirely out of the question that Lara Croft could become an Xbox character in the future. Embracer is having financial problems and one of the studios they speculate to sell is Crystal Dynamics, which also has Tomb Raider. Microsoft has previously shown great interest in Tomb Raider and Crystal Dynamics is also working on the upcoming Perfect Dark. It feels like a perfect studio for Microsoft, and if given the chance to buy them, I think they’d go for it right away. But so far Embracer has not indicated that this would happen, and probably Gearbox (the Borderlands developers) is more likely to go under the hammer, and I don’t think Microsoft is that excited.
Incredible distance shot – The last generation was boosted by the fact that both Microsoft and Sony released updated consoles at halftime. Rumor has it that Sony is about to do it again this generation with a more powerful Playstation 5, but I’ve heard very little about Microsoft. Besides, it feels complicated to have consoles in three different performance levels. Most indications are that they will release a smaller and slightly updated version of the Xbox Series X with a redesigned controller, but I really don’t expect better hardware.
I firmly believe that this – The Switch continues to sell like hot cakes and is well on its way to becoming the best-selling gaming device of all time, taking over the crown from the Playstation 2. But Nintendo has learned that it can’t take that long for a console to cool down before the replacement arrives, so this time they are getting proactive. The Switch could have performed well for another year, but in 2024 it will be time for the Switch 2 with better performance, new gaming features and still a hybrid approach.
It still seems reasonable – Next year, Mario Kart 8 turns 10 years old, and it has now received its latest round of DLC for the Switch edition. The series is currently Nintendo’s best seller, and if they want to make sure Switch 2 becomes a must-have, a Mario Kart should be announced as an upcoming title. That way, the console will sell first because it is new, and then continue because people are waiting for a new Mario Kart. There will probably also be a new 3D Mario or Smash Bros, but we won’t see announcements of those until 2025 at the earliest.
Could really happen – I thought this last year too, but it’s been a few years now since Retro Studios regained responsibility for Samus Aran’s next adventure, which has technically been announced even though we haven’t seen an iota of it yet. I think a decent graphically heavy Metroid 4 would be the perfect first game for the Switch 2, since Metroid games don’t normally sell much. With less competition, they would fly off the shelves.
Unlikely but possible – Nintendo does what they want and generally ignores what the fans want. And maybe it’s just as well, because otherwise we would just get a lot of similar sequels. That’s why I think we should forget about getting a new Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, especially since Retro Studios is working on Metroid. But it’s not completely out of the question, and it feels like a perfect title to launch on both Switch and Switch 2.
Incredible long shot – Might it be time for a new desktop F-Zero next year, especially considering we got the Battle Royale title this year? The answer is clearly no, just forget about this series and enjoy the Battle Royale game instead.
I am firmly convinced – Even when it was clear that Microsoft was buying Activision Blizzard, it was reported that Sony had accumulated a substantial war chest. They did make a few acquisitions this year, but generally it has been quiet in that regard, but we all know how angry Sony was over the loss of Activision Blizzard. I am fully convinced that they have been biding their time and looking for a suitable company to buy, and this year I think it will be time, because there is a great danger of waiting and seeing what the consequences are and not acting until it might be a little too late. I realize it could be a publisher rather than a developer. Both Square Enix and Ubisoft seem like possible studios in the price range that I think Sony could handle in a good way. Square Enix especially to keep important series exclusive to PlayStation, while Ubisoft is cheap right now and offers really nice licenses that Sony can benefit from outside the gaming world.
It still seems reasonable – There are a lot of rumors that Sony is currently working on a Playstation 5 Pro, and some of them come from such good sources that I choose to believe it’s really true. Even if the console is comparable in performance to the Xbox Series X, there are increasing graphical comparisons from Digital Foundry in Microsoft’s favor, and if Microsoft can have two consoles with different performance, so can Sony. Having a true powder keg of a console for connoisseurs would be the way to go, in my opinion. & #10
Could really happen – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will be eight years old in 2024, and although Naughty Dog has said that they are done with the series, there are also indications that Sony is not so eager to say goodbye. Eight years is a long, long time and, to be honest, I would have thought we would have seen signs of life by now, but 2024 may finally be here, as there are a few potential developers who could be working on a new Nathan Drake adventure.
Unlikely but possible – As I wrote about Microsoft, Embracer is struggling financially and is rumored to be interested in selling Borderlands developer Gearbox. If that happens, I would expect Take-Two to buy it (since they own Borderlands and probably want the developer of the series as well), but it is not unlikely that Sony is interested as well. Gearbos has a lot of nice licenses and is a real powerhouse with high capacity. It would probably also enable Borderlands exclusives of some sort in an easier way.
Incredible long shot – Killzone always had a special place in the hearts of PlayStation gamers, but Guerrilla is now mostly associated with the Horizon series, which has become much bigger commercially. Even if there are rumors of a comeback for Killzone, I think it’s best to forget about a sequel, except possibly a remake of Bluepoint (which wouldn’t be the worst thing). Sin.