2013 is almost over and it's time to reflect on this pretty amazing year. Today we bring Part 2 of our News of the Year awards (well, they not really awards, this is simply where we rank out top news stories of the year). If you haven't yet, check out Part 1 here and our NOTYs episode of the DarkCast.
3. Steam Machine, Steam Controller and SteamOS Announcement 2. Microsoft’s Xbox One DRM Reversal 1. Fez II Cancellation
The relationship between developers and press has always been a cyclical one. Developers look to print and online press to help get their game and message out in order to stay in the public eye. Print and online press sites are often scrounging for an exclusive reveal or a fresh batch of never before seen screenshots in order to drive up readership and ad revenue. Every relationship has its rough patches and the video game industry is no different. You’ll find no bigger blowup this year than that between Phil Fish and Marcus Beer. Beer’s arrogance and unprofessionalism in attacking both Fish and Jonathan Blow over indie development on next gen consoles turned ugly with Fish and Beer verbally attacking one another. The heated argument resulted in the cancellation of Fez II and Fish’s exodus from the industry. A genuinely ugly day for both parties.
1. Youtube/steaming fair use claims censoring content 2. #1 Reason why sparking a needed discussion that has not since ran out of fuel 3. Microsoft’s Xbox One DRM Reversal
I agree with Bryan that this has surely been the year of apologies; through EA’s several apologies, and Microsoft’s own backtracking on several policies and statements. This year has also seen more of the industry’s stance on sexism and tolerance being challenged more than we’ve ever seen. At every available chance, we’ve seen the call on marginalizing behavior - whether that be on the press or development side. The positive reception for PAR being shut down, the outrage at Dead Island Riptide’s viral marketing, comments and treatment at expos, in the press and within games’ representation. This year showed that chance was coming, and I think the first large push was #1 reason why.
3. Wii U crashes while 3DS rises 2. Playstation 4 Announcement 1. Ryan Davis passes away
Ryan Davis was someone I let into my life for a couple of hours every week. With one of the more prolific video game podcasts in the industry and unfaltering journalistic talent and integrity, Ryan Davis was someone that any young games journalist would be happy to look up to. I never met Ryan personally but for over four years I heard his voice every day and listened to days worth of their podcast and I felt like I knew him better than I knew some friends I went to school with. Just through our small interactions on Twitter it was clear he was always willing to take time out of his day for a fan. He was a great talent in the industry and will be greatly missed.
3. Game of Thrones Announcement 2. Nintendo Skip E3 Press Conference 1. Microsoft’s Xbox One DRM Reversal
Any year there are consoles releasing you know the video game news circuit will be bursting with stories. But 2013 may be remembered solely as the year Microsoft changed its tune quickly after its initial announcement, reversing policies that potentially could have changed the way a user interacts with his/her home console. The digital push that Microsoft initially pushed would greatly change the landscape and differentiate itself from the competitors. However after the initial turmoil, Microsoft changed its song, got rid of the “always on” mentality and released a box that outside of the Kinect is a far too similar box to its competitor the Playstation 4. What a last couple months it would have been had Microsoft held firm on its initial model.
3. The Closing of THQ 2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Announcement 1. Xbox One and PS4 Launch
Both PS4 and Xbox One sold over 1 million consoles on their first day. This is huge. For the last several years I’ve wondered how well the next generation would fair. Technology moves so incredible quickly these days that the consoles seem to be being left behind. With the rise of facebook games, not to mention iOS and Android games, it makes you wonder if there is a need in the world for a dedicated gaming machine. Considering “everyone” has a smartphone or tablet or both, it makes it hard to answer that question confidently. And while the future is never certain, according to buyers on November 15 and 22, the answer is yes, there is a need for consoles. Which is good news for us all.
Well, that does it for our 2013 News of the Year awards. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out our Games of the Awards (they'll be much more awardy, I promise).
Jonathan is the host of the DarkCast, DarkCast Interviews, and Gamers Read. He loves books, video games, and superheroes. If he had to pick favorites, they would be Welcome to the Monkey House, Mass Effect, and Superman respectively.