It’s nearly the end of the year, so it’s time to take a look back at some of the biggest gaming news stories in 2022. This includes Microsoft trying to buy Activision, Tears of the Kingdom delayed into 2023, EA and Fifa break up plus the GTA6 leak was one of the biggest leaks in gaming.
Microsoft tries to buy Activision
The games industry saw a lot of mergers this year including Take-Two buying Zynga for $12.7b, which at the time we thought was a lot of money, only to be trumped a few days later by Microsoft kicking off the acquisition process with Activision, which could see a huge catalogue of games come to Xbox Game Pass including Call of Duty, plus Blizzard’s stable of games like Overwatch, Diablo and World of Warcraft. Embracer group did some buying of their own this year inclusing Dark House, Square Enix’s Deus Ex and Tomb Raider, plus the Lord of the Rings. The wildly popular Wordle was also purchased by the New York Times.
Tears of the Kingdom, known then as The Sequel to Breath of the Wild was delayed in March 2022 until sometime in 2023. Nintendo kept their cards very close to their chest all throughout 2022, finally revealing the title and release date of 12th May 2023 in September. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess were also heavily rumored to release in 2022 as Switch ports, although they never materialized.
Valve released their new handheld console to much fanfare this year and it’s gone on to become a smashing success. It’s comparable to having something as powerful as a PS4 in your hands. It’s comfortable, albeit a little bit large. While it’s great to play Dark Souls, Spider-man and Elden Ring on a handheld device, many people simple couldn’t take they eyes of Vampire Survivors.
E3’s ups and downs
Early in the year E3 2022 was canceled, much to the surprise of no one, which also make Geoff Keighley very happy. Later in the year the ESA was back to say that E3 would return in 2023 with in-person events, which will be run by Reed Pop, who run some of the best in-person gaming events in the US. How E3 will interact with Gummer Games Fest is yet to be seen, and it’ll be an interesting story to keep our eyes on next year. Many big companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft run their own events now, and it remains to be seen if they will be involved in E3’s return, or what exactly E3 is going to be.
EA and FIFA split
EA and FIFA ended their relationship this year with FIFA 23 being the last FIFA branded game from EA. EA will continue to make football games, they are simply the best in the business. EA announced their own brand EA Sports FC will take over from FIFA games, although it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. It’s gameplay that matters though, although official licensing for the games will be interesting, as EA Sports FC doesn’t want to go the same way as Pro Evo.
GTA 6 leak
Rockstar Games were subject to the biggest leak in gaming in September this year, when hours of footage was stolen from them and immediately posted online. GTA 6 is going to be set in Vice City, plus it has a female lead. Take-Two came out and said it wasn’t going to affect their plans, but it was a huge leak of vast proportions, the likes we haven’t seen before. Sometimes you might get one or two images, or shaky cam footage filmed from a mobile phone. This was hours of gameplay in dev kits, which appears to have been stolen from Rockstar’s internal slack. The person who stole the footage then posted it online, saying he wanted to talk to Rockstar to sell the data back to them, and expressed surprise that it had all gone viral. They ended up in a detention centre, and held until further notice. Personally I wouldn’t mess with Rockstar level lawyers, and I think this person is about to find out why.
Netflix gets into gaming
Netflix made some surprising great decisions when it came to gaming in 2022 including adding playable games to their library. You might think these would be terrible games, but they included hits like Into The Breach, Poinpy, Before Your Eyes, Oxenfree and Moonlighter. Netflix games are part of their wider subscription, meaning no ads or micro transactions, they are simply another benefit for Netflix subscribers.
RIP Google Stadia
In a surprise to no one, Google pulled the plug on Stadia this year. It was launched in November 2019, but didn’t get enough customers or support from fans, so is shutting down for good in 18th January 2023. Google did say they would refund all their customers, although it puts developers in a terrible position, given it was a useful revenue share for them.
PlayStation raised their prices of consoles in Canada, Europe, UK and Australia, but not the US (yet). This reflects the global inflation going up and prices of everything rising. Microsoft intend to follow early in 2023, having said they wanted to get the holiday season out of the way first because they are ‘for the gamers’. Meta Quest raised their prices by $100 for a Meta Quest 2, and Sony’s PSVR2 has an eye watering price tag of $599. Nintendo are the only outlier by not raising their prices, yet. If they release their Super Switch in 2023 then I would imagine a price rise at the same time.
Bayonetta Voice Acting Drama
Just before Bayonetta 3 released, original voice actor Hellena Taylor took to Twitter to claim she was offered an insulting amount of money to voice Bayonetta in the third instalment of the game, only $4000. She decided not to go ahead, and the role was given to Jennifer Hale. Bloomberg then did some investigating into the matter, and found out she was offered more than she originally claimed. The whole thing was messy and Hellena Taylor didn’t come out of it looking very good. Bayonetta 3 was also a bit of a let down.