We the peephole

James Cottee offer his flawless predictions for the next year of PC gaming...

We the peephole

March. The Oculus Rift goes on sale. In an unexpected after-market side effect, sales of new motherboards skyrocket as gamers realise they don’t have nearly enough USB sockets to get the Rift working. Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen unveils a towering bronze statue of John Carmack in the heart of Taipei. “He’s not the hero Taiwan deserves,” she states. “But he’s the hero we need right now.”

April. After a string of delays, the Kickstarter-backed Homestuck game, Hiveswap, is finally released. The devs at What Pumpkin acknowledge that if they hadn’t downgraded the graphics from 3D to 2D, they never would’ve got the game finished. Chris Roberts praises their pragmatism, worrying Star Citizen Backers. 

May. In a team-building exercise for his new New Orleans Studio, Brian Fargo conducts a real-life ‘Auto Duel’ deep in the Durango badlands. Riding in DeLoreans armed with .50 cal machine guns and micro-missile launchers, inXile staff slaughter 47 cartel gunmen and a local mob boss. Fargo dismisses all criticism of his foreign adventure. “Hell, everything is legal in Mexico. It’s the American way!”

June. At E3 Reggie Fils-Aimé reveals the new Nintendo game console, due for release in time for Christmas 2016. When asked why the new machine won’t support a VR headset, Fils-Aimé adopts a more sombre tone: “We know that road, we know exactly where it ends. And we know that’s not where we want to be.”

July. Dean Hall sets a new record, having now blocked over 10,000 Twitter followers for asking what’s going on with DayZ Standalone. 

August. Objects in Space, a 2D space combat game, is released to some acclaim. The phone at Flat Earth Games rings off the hook, as panicked calls from Chris Roberts fill their answering machine. “Guys! I need your help! We gotta talk! Guys?” 

September. Tim Schafer teases fans with hints that another LucasArts HD remake is in the works, a puzzle game ‘cut from the whole cloth’ that will ‘weave its magic for a whole new generation!’ Weeks of Twitter trolling culminate with a Fig campaign to bring back Zak McKracken. 

October. Building on the success of Pac-Man 256, the devs at Hipster Whale announce a new title inspired by another famous video game glitch: the entire Version 1.0 release of Assassin’s Creed Unity. Matt Hall declares it will be the spookiest game they’ve ever made. “Eyeballs floating in mid-air, bodies without skeletons, it’s got the lot!

November. Donald Trump is elected president in the biggest landslide in U.S. history. Trump promises sweeping reforms to supercharge all sectors of the economy. At his victory speech, he welcomes to the stage his new ‘Tech Czar’: Gabe Newell. Behind the two of them a giant video screen activates, revealing an iconic logo: Half-Life 3. The crowd goes wild. America is exultant. The entire world unites in joy. Gabe declares: “We’re going to make PC gaming great again!”

December. As the stockpiles of cash held abroad by major corporations begin to flood back into the U.S., the business pages throng with news of ventures of previously unheard-of optimism. Richard Garriott unveils plans for the first ever space-based dev studio: The Origin Orbiter. When asked if its name could cause copyright problems, Garriott reminds the assembled press that objects dropped from orbit can strike the earth with the force of an atomic bomb.

“Nowhere is safe. Not even... EA headquarters” he says.

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