Gaming

2022 was a wild year for games and I’m still spinning | Kaser Focus


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We’re almost to the finish line of 2022, and it’s been one for the history books. This year we had, in no particular order, multiple acquisitions, major gaming and hardware launches, massive leaks — oh, and a war that still threatens the lives of several members of our community. This is the year we saw the birth of the Steam Deck and the death of Google Stadia. We’ve seen tragedy, drama, success and so much controversy. As we’re about to exit to the other side, let’s look back on how we did in 2022.

Microsoft got this year started off by announcing in January that it intended to acquire Activision Blizzard. An acquisition on that scale was unheard of, so that got our collective blood pumping early. This month, the FTC announced it was suing to block the acquisition pending further investigation. That makes the deal feel like a nice bookend on each side of 2022. Sony has involved itself in the process by pointing out all the ways that the deal will hurt “competition” (meaning Sony itself) should it go through. That’s become the source of some ongoing drama.

Activision was far from the only company snapped up this year. Embracer went on a buying spree, snatching up Eidos Montreal, Square Enix Montreal (later renamed Onoma, now defunct), Crystal Dynamics, Tuxedo Labs, Middle-earth Enterprises, Limited Run Games, Tripwire Interactive and others. It was far from the only company buying up studios — Sony acquired Bungie, Haven Studios and Savage Game Studios. But still, no one was as eager as Embracer.

Then, on what would otherwise have been a quiet week, someone out there leaked no less a game than Grand Theft Auto VI. The very early footage which was allegedly swiped from Rockstar’s Slack server showed that the new title will feature three playable characters and takes place in Vice City. The alleged hacker was later detained by the police. It’s not the only major game leak that happened in 2022, but it was certainly the biggest.

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Sadly, not all of the stories were as frivolous and easy to make light of as those above. Russia attacked the Ukraine in February. Ukraine is home to a large and thriving game development community (not that it would change the horror of the situation even if it weren’t), so this directly affected several beloved studios. Some games companies, such as GOG, Humble and Epic, have campaigned to raise money in support of Ukraine.

Here in America, we lost the protections granted to us by Roe v Wade, and game companies came out in (relatively) large numbers to express their support for the reproductive rights of their employees. Sure, it’s lip service, but that’s still a heckuva lot more than women like me have gotten in the past — and isn’t that a depressing thought.

As we move into 2023, let’s hope for a year that is equally exciting, but perhaps a bit less fraught. There’s a whole new group of games waiting for us. I wish all of you in the industry the best going into the new year.

What to play this week

What’s new:

  • Sports Story
  • Potion Craft
  • Coffee Shop Tycoon
  • Melatonin

New on subscription services:

  • Far Cry 5 (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Far Cry New Dawn (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Far Cry Primal (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Mortal Shell (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Judgment (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of War (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • The Pedestrian (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Evil Genius 2 (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Adventure Time Pirates of the Enchiridion (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Ben 10: Power Trip (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Gigantosaurus The Game (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Ultimate Edition (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Worms W.M.D (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • The Escapists 2 (PlayStation Plus Extra & Premium)
  • Ridge Racer 2 (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Heavenly Sword (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Pinball Heroes (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Dinkum (GeForce Now)

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