Of course, it wouldn't be the end of the year without endless speculation regarding what's to come for gaming in 2009. With the sound and fury that was 2008 in gaming, we all anxiously wait to see what 2009 holds. Fortunately, I was able to gaze into my palantir and reveal the following, guaranteed-to-be-accurate, incredibly serious predictions for our hobby in the year to come:
January 10: Wizards of the Coast releases the revised Gaming Support License (GSL), which appears to be much less restrictive and prohibitionary than their initial effort. Critics, however, are unsettled by the insistence that prospective adherents sign in blood and the disappearance of the document immediately afterward in a puff of smoke and brimstone.
January 17: Professor Ron Edwards announces that his new distribution model he left Indie Press Revolution for is "too corporate", in a long, verbose post at the Forge that denounces many of the folks he was working with on it. He then announces his new model will follow selling his games door-to-door, in tandem with Kirby Vacuum Cleaners.
February 5: Israeli missile attacks in the Gaza Strip flare up yet again. When queried, the Israelis somewhat sheepishly furnish by way of explanation multiple blog posts critical of D&D 4th Edition by several high-profile Hamas members.
February 10: Wizards of the Coast is forced to issue a 10,000-unit recall when thousands of people direct-ordering the incorrectly-titled Manuel of the Planes instead are delivered a bewildered aircraft mechanic from outside Guadalajara who speaks no English.
March 3: WotC's Digital Initiative takes another blow to its already-bruised reputation when savvy subscribers note that its "Virtual Tabletop" is no more than a screenshot from Gauntlet.
March 14: Professor Ron Edwards announces that his new distribution model of selling games and vacuum cleaners door-to-door is entirely "too corporate", in a long, verbose post at the Forge that denounces many of his fellow Kirby sales personnel. He then announces his new plan to publish, sell, and distribute his games exclusively on a tiny atoll in the South Pacific, fashioning them entirely out of coral.
March 28: Wizards of the Coast announces the next 3 scheduled 4th Edition Campaign Settings to general fan approval: Dark Sun, Ravenloft, and Dragonball Z.
April 2: The Old School Renaissance reaches it's apex when Goblinoid Games releases an open-source, OGL version of Braunstein.
April 12: Mr. Mark Randolph of Zanesville, Ohio, distracted by the presence of a new female gamer at the table, sets a RPG record by rolling twenty-seven 1s in a row and consequently killing his prized 20th-level Paladin, Blackleafus Maximus.
May 1: The already-massive Starblazer Adventures begins to quietly devour the other gaming books on my shelf, gaining in strength and size until it is over 4500 pages in length and unstoppable. Sadly, it expires from severe indigestion after eating one too many Salvatore novels.
May 24: Mr. Stuart Woongon of Camrose, Alberta, (aka DarkeMooneWolfe4e) wins the Pultizer Prize for Literature for his ENWorld post "Why I Love 4e And Everyone Who Doesn't Is A Fat Stupid Retard". Bitterly disappointed is his rival Samuel Forza of the Paizo boards (aka SFPFinder), who loses out despite his brilliant analytical piece "4e sux lol".
June 3: Archaeologists announce they now believe that the Rosetta Stone was an early attempt to decipher Nobilis author Rebecca Borgstrom's prose.
June 11: A runaway chain reaction from 280 pages' worth of self-important, ill-considered short stories being fit into a 160-page Vampire product gives scientist important breakthrough insights on the feasibility of cold fusion.
July 2: RPG Pundit reaches a milestone, pissing off his 15,000th reader online.
July 28: ENnies Nominations are announced, and shockingly, no 4th Edition D&D products make the cut. "We really wanted to, but there were just too many angry, incredibly persuasive anti-4e threads on ENWorld", says a unnamed ENnies judge sadly.
August 1: The pre-Gen Con excitement is dampened by reports that several well-known old-school gamers are arrested for attempting to bring Von Clausewitz's badly decomposed corpse back to life.
August 13 (Gen Con Indy): It is revealed that part of Gen Con's resolving of their debt with Lucasfilm includes Peter Adkison standing outside the Gen Con Indy dealer hall in a Jar-Jar Binks costume.
August 14 (Gen Con Indy): It is revealed that part of Gen Con's resolving of their debt with Lucasfilm also includes Peter Adkison ghost-writing Chewbacca's autobiography, Wookie of the Year.
August 15 (Gen Con Indy): It is revealed that part of Gen Con's resolving of their debt with Lucasfilm also includes Peter Adkison making a deal that will keep the lawyers out of Cloud City--er--the Convention Center--forever.
August 16 (Gen Con Indy): It is revealed that part of Gen Con's resolving of their debt with Lucasfilm also includes Peter Adkison re-releasing video archives of Gen Cons past with unnecessary, distracting CGI imagery.
August 19: The RPG 3:16 becomes a runaway nationwide phenomenon after a clever marketing scheme of having it advertised by fan-held signs at various sporting events across the U.S.A.
September 14: An emaciated, unkempt Professor Ron Edwards denounces a tiny scuttling crab on his lonely atoll as being entirely "too corporate", before eating his coral copy of Sorcerer Redux out of desperation.
September 17: Tom Brady of the New England Patriots announces that the reason he is so far behind on his knee injury rehab and has yet to play in 2009 is that he's been really, really busy working on his homebrew campaign setting.
October 15: Blogger goes down for 6 hours of emergency maintenance after Jamie Mal of Grognardia posts the 120,000-word Part VIII of his epic dissertation on the Thief Screwing Up The Creative Direction of D&D. More people are upset about having to wait to read the next installment of his post than the near-destruction of Blogger.
October 30: Mongoose Publishing announces they have won the rights to publish the remainder of Gary Gygax's Castle Zagyg. They attempt to allay fears regarding their editing and proofreading methods with a press release that states "Mongoose Pubelishing is comited to the uttmost in quality in in regaards to Cassel Gygaz (see page XX)".
November 4: After a tragic, senseless incident referred to in the national media as the Chicago Gameday Massacre, both d4s and d30s are considered lethal weapons by law enforcement agencies nationwide.
November 11: After an amazing 11 month-long surge, the re-release of Bunnies & Burrows finally passes D&D 4e and Pathfinder on the Amazon Bestseller list.
December 1: Wizards of the Coast continues its cheery tradition of holiday layoffs by firing everyone but Mike Mearls and Enis the janitor. Mearls and Enis immediately begin work on Player's Handbook 4. After its completion, Enis gets the word to give Mearls the axe.
December 10: A geographical survey team on an expedition to a tiny South Pacific atoll discovers an apparently abandoned cave with bits of coral scattered everywhere on the rocky floor. However, carved into the cave walls is the groundwork for an RPG so incredible it is destined to bring about both Story Now and world peace. It looks suspiciously like Risus.
December 31: The creative minds behind SenZar and Rifts agree to collaborate on a gaming product of such awesomeness, such rune sword swingin', laser eyebeam shootin', head-explodin', supreme kitchen sink over-the-top action that it will only be ready for 2012. Conspiracy theorists everywhere point to this as vindication of the Doomsday Mayan Calendar scenarios.
I hope there's time to play it.