GamesRadar's predictions for gaming in 2009

More publishers and devs will focus on higher quality DLC to extend the life of their games

Anyone else hear about that pesky recession thing? It seems the games industry certainly has, with Microsoft and Sony already cutting jobs and major companies like Midway on the verge of bankruptcy. Unless developers are in the rarefied position of being backed by publishers with bottomless, recession-proof pockets, most simply won’t be allowed to take risks when making new games. In fact, making any new game - even if it is in an established franchise - in the current economic climate is risky, as many folk simply can’t justify spending their money on luxury purchases like games.

Above: During these tighter financial times, steaming bowls of DLC are the only way to survive the lean winter months

This could well lead to developers trying to prolong the life of existing titles. Not only is it cheaper for them to release new map packs or weapons for their existing software than make a sequel, but DLC is also much cheaper for the consumer. Extending the life of games you’re currently playing is good for your wallet and developer’s budgets, and that’s why we should expect lots of add-ons or GTA IV-style expansion packs this year. And, with the developers focusing more of their time and other resources on DLC, we can expect the quality of the content to be grander and more ambitious – Halo ODST, for example.

More notable studios will close

Above: Oh Monkey Chief, we barely knew thee

Devs were prophecising it at the beginning of this generation, and it finally seems to be coming true. The spiraling costs of HD development, huge staff requirements and an increasingly crowded marketplace dominated by super-publishers and first-party funded blockbusters are all putting a major financial squeeze on game studios, and with a recession on the way we can only see things getting worse. We've already lost Ensemble and Free Radical recently, and additions to that sad list now look to be a case of when rather than if.

Sony will give PSP a shot in the arm

At the last count Sony had shifted some 41 million PSPs worldwide. That may only be half of what the DS has sold but it's still a very respectable number. The problem for Sony, though, is that it's just not seeing any significant return in terms of game sales. After recently announcing some pretty drastic cost-cutting, Sony absolutely needs PSP to start making good on its massive money earning potential. So, we're anticipating plenty of PSP bang-drumming from Sony in 2009.

Above: LittleBigPlanet on a little big screen? We would say almost certainly 'yes'

And with all the lovehugs gamers - and not just PS3 owners - have given Sackboy, a portable jump for LittleBigPlanet and its stitched together star is surely the gift horse that Sony needs to straddle if it wants to get gamers - and a broader audience - excited about PSP as a gaming platform again. It's been rumoured for a while, so it's a pretty safe bet, but we fully expect to see an LBP PSP title to materialise in some form over the next 12 months.

Jade Raymond will return

Above: Jade Raymond. She's probably working on Assassin's Creed 2

Not so much a prediction as a longing wish, this one. 2008 was distressingly free of Raymond and the industry was a lot less lovely because of it. We don't care what game she's working on, we just want her to start promoting it in 2009. We miss her smile. And all the photos we've got of her are well over a year old now, so we're in desperate need of some new ones. If we close our eyes and rub the inside of our lucky pocket vigorously enough, we're pretty sure our dream will come true and Jade will come back to us.

15 big 2009 games you've probably forgotten about
Games that might do the business in the next 12 months

Killzone 2: What the reviews will say
The good and the bad bits that’ll determine the scores for Sony’s biggest shooter

The Top 7... Games you won’t get to until 2009
Last holiday, even awesome games were falling by the wayside. Here are a few we expect fell by yours

10 games that need the Mega Man 9 treatment
Throwback to the Future! These classics are begging for a 2-D retrofitting


  • Mackster-901 - January 11, 2009 12:24 p.m.

    haha i love pissin ppl off haha wankers
  • smallberry - January 11, 2009 8:41 a.m.

    Oh god how I hope casual gaming goes away.
  • mrclam - January 10, 2009 10:13 p.m.

    YAY!!! More nintendo bashing! Just what this site needs! But yet, not so much bashing of the other 2.. makes it kinda obvious where you're getting your advertising money from! I remember when this site used to be future gamer.. and it used to be.. you know.. good!
  • austinite04 - January 10, 2009 9:41 a.m.

    Playstation Home will not die anytime soon,. As some of you say. SCEA/I has poured MILLIONS of Dollars into this pet project of theirs. Saying HOME will fail is like saying no one will be in Warcraft online... NOT BLOODY likely.Home is so good even the computer division of Microsoft is using it for confrence's that would otherwise cost plane tickets, jet lag and hotel and rental expenses. Yes i think HOME needs a wake up call and release WAY more spaces, the red bull space is fine but lacks anything other than the fine airplanes you race BY YOUR SELF. I think if sony does listen to my closed beta request we should see more things that are multiplayer style like say paintball or even go karts or golf. I really think Home is going to be the future of The Universities that are online based I.E., Uni. of Phoenix Online. It will allow instructors if need be RENT a ps3 out to a down in the gutter student to use the ps3 and Home to get real time education. My uncle is a online Prof. he would only love to use Home for this purpose. AND not to mention it would be a solid reason to invest in that over priced clubhouse. I think if Sony really wants to maximize their overall presence they would whole heartedly agree with my logic. It would serve for those student who are in Grammer school to be taught while they are sick at they're real home. NO MORE Make up tests or home work EVER again!! Sony needs to allow streaming video in home and music to really get me excited about it again. I did like being in the closed beta but I had to keep mum about that fact until dec 11th. I just hope that Barack Obama makes a visit to Home and makes about 15 million new friends. This Home thing is waaaay bigger than any of us could have imagined. This is a tool for future ways of making really close bonds with people. I can'tgo see any of my buddies in the UK so I just wait till they are in home and have them invite me to their home. I must say this but Im not a fanboy okay, PS3 WILL DOMINATE 2009 AND B3YOND. I have all the consoles and I must say that the ps3 offers much better content. Yes netflix on my box is cool but I like a virtual world way better.
  • mprose - January 10, 2009 3:05 a.m.

    Ohhh Jade! I want to play your game too! Uwwaaaaahhh
  • CandiedJester - January 10, 2009 3:01 a.m.

    ..okay. On a lighter note. ^^; Great article GR. <3
  • Defguru7777 - January 9, 2009 3:25 a.m.

    When I saw this article, I thought you'd hired a fortune teller like you did last year. :( Still, good article.
  • Jbo87 - January 9, 2009 1:37 a.m.

    I hope, hope , hope that the financal problems result in casual 'gamers', (they are not gamers), abandoning Nintendo and the big N dies on it's feet. Ideally it would hit them so hard that the workers have to actually start eating wach other in order to get by. Alternatively to pull themselves back form the brink they could stage a Battle Royale style tournament amongst the employees to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Obviously the people who were responsible for Nintendo making good consoles and games would butcher those nonces who suggested casual gaming was the future and Nintendo might once more gain my respect. Although that is highly unlikely.
  • dandubya - January 9, 2009 12:20 a.m.

    Very good article. That pic you used for Home sh!tting the bed is some of the after effects Chernobyl disatster. It's right next to the famous Farris Wheel. Just thought I'd point that out.
  • Tochy - January 8, 2009 10:44 p.m.

    jade ftw
  • RandyChimp - January 8, 2009 10:27 p.m.

    i pretty much agree on everything there. Sony should make the sackboy their mascot, release LBP on PSP, really fix Home (PROPERLY!!!) and the wii will slowly fall. It's harsh of me to say, but the only reason its WAAAAAAAY ahead is casual gamers and gamers dragged into a fad. once that falls apart, it'll be in the same league as the ps3 and 360, in terms of monthly sales. I wouldn't mind fair sales actually, i like the idea of all the machines selling well. of course, that won't stop people being assholes online.
  • TrIp13G - January 8, 2009 9:27 p.m.

    Jade Raymond = meh. The rest is dead-on for me, though.
  • Synster - January 8, 2009 8:42 p.m.

    I have yet to experience the greatness I have heard that is LittleBigPlanet, and I await to, but, I think Sony has enough logic to not burn Sackboy out to utter Death, like Nintendo has Mario and Link(Though the Legend of Zelda games have been properly diversed throughout Handhelds and Consoles, amazingly).
  • Mackster-901 - January 8, 2009 8:36 p.m.

    how does the ds have good games..........ther sh*t psp r betta add me 4 ps3 Mackster-901
  • sixboxes - January 8, 2009 6:58 p.m.

    Smart of you to put Jade Raymond at the end of the article. I wouldn't have remembered a single word had you put her photo at the beginning.
  • Bored6666 - January 8, 2009 5:34 p.m.

    yes 2009: the year well all be rubbing the inside of lucky pocket about jade raymond. "cough" hope the wii comes back to ther hard core and the psp comes back into focus, hopefull with other titles like resistance psp.
  • Z-man427 - January 8, 2009 5:13 p.m.

    I doubt Jade will be back until 2010. I hope you're right though. she's pretty hot
  • Jordo141 - January 8, 2009 4:56 p.m.

    Brillant article
  • brandonfilms - February 24, 2009 9:04 p.m.

    yo makster you just wish you had a 360 i bet you dont even have a ps3 so shut the F*** up and stop talking like a baby! LAMO FREAKIN NOOB!!!!!!!!!
  • brandonfilms - February 24, 2009 9 p.m.

    i dont cair what the hell happens in 2009 i will find a job no materr how hard it takes and be one of the first to buy both new halo games so screw the economy it wont mess with my 14 year old fun

Showing 1-20 of 47 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000