The Year in Review (2016) - Video Game News
2016 has come and gone. This was a great year for great, good and really bad games. That could probably be said for every year since 1987! Let us look at the big stories that made 2016 memorable.
GameTrailers Website is Closed
On February 8th, 2016, it was announced that GameTrailers was shutting their doors and that the website would be offline. This had come to a surprise to the employees as the parent company made a quick decision. From one moment to the next many employees were out of work.
However it was not all gloom and doom. In May, the extensive library rights were bought off by IGN. They will keep the videos and make sure that they are kept for historical purposes. In addition, they will add new trailers to the GameTrailers YouTube page.
The gang from GameTrailers started their own brand called Easy Allies. I was always a fan of GameTrailers and their videogame reviews. I am glad to say that the quality of the reviews have been maintained by the new group.
GameTrailers and IGN Announcement
Easy Allies Patreon Announcement
Blizzard Entertainment 25th Anniversary (Activision Blizzard)
This year signalled the 25th Anniversary of one of the biggest gaming companies in the world. They are the creators of such legendary games as Warcraft, Starcraft and this year Overwatch. It is one of the game companies that does not throw games at the public every chance they get. They make sure that games are good prior to their release. You cannot deny that they have had a few bumps in the road, but in general they always come out with quality games.
Overwatch Cinematic Trailer
Lionhead Studios Closed
On April 28th, 2016, Microsoft officially closed Lionhead Studios. They are the creator of the famous Fable franchise. This angered some people, however others saw this coming. In March, Microsoft was toying with the idea of closing the studio. At the time, they said that it was not a done deal. They were still evaluating. A month later the studio was closed.
The last few games from the studio were not exactly hits. They did not score big with fans. Fans had hoped that Fable: Legends would be a return to their glory. It seems that it was too little too late and the project never materialized.
Nintendo Switch Announced
Nintendo announced in 2016 their next console that would be released in March 2017. Like the Wii U, it has a lot of promise. Time will tell if it will suffer the same fate as the Wii U. The part which is the most interesting and what Nintendo is banging on, is the portable part of the Switch. A player will be able to take the game on the go from their console. Not much information has been released, but it has gotten people talking about it. More information is supposed to be released in January 2017.
Nintendo Switch Trailer
NES Classic Mini
Nintendo was in the news for another reason in 2016. They released a NES Classic Mini. for 60$ (USD) or 69.99$ (CAD). This is a miniature version of the Original Nintendo Entertainment System. It comes preloaded with 30 original Nintendo games. The console includes games such as Punch Out!, Mario Brothers 1,2 & 3 and Castlevania.
This was not the reason why it made the news. The console made the news because of the shortages of the console. Some people lined up for hours to get their hands on the console and left empty handed. I have heard that some stores had received as little as 4 or 5 consoles and the bigger chains had received about 10 per store. That is really not much. Nintendo has been known for this in the past and they keep doing it today. I guess the thought process is that by creating lines, you get people interested and wanting the product. It must have worked as many people have this on their wish list this year.
Hideo Kojima Leaving Konami
This was talked about for weeks. Kojima, which is considered a genius in gaming circles, left Konami after a very ugly split. Kojima is known for his great work on the Metal Gear Solid games. Many gamers do not like how Komani had treated Kojima. At the 2015 Video Game Awards, Kojima won the Best Action Game award. He could not accept the award as Konami had requested that he did not attend.
Shortly after leaving officially Konami, Kojima reopened his Kojima Productions Studio. He advised that his studio's first game would be a Playstation 4 exclusive.
The split has really harmed Konami. Most of the internet did side with Hideo Kojima. I am not sure that they will be able to regain popularity again. Let us see what 2017 brings for both Konami and Kojima to see will come out on top.
There was some new hardware this year. Lets start with the VR (Virtual Reality) world. 2016 saw the release of the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Playstation VR. Seems that in the first part of the year, this was something that was advertised a lot. It appeared that the future of games was Virtual Reality. In the second half of the year, it seemed to have lost some steam. I have not seen much advertising for VR sets for the Holiday Season.
In addition, Microsoft and Playstation released their next elite consoles. Playstation released their Playstation 4 Pro and Microsoft released their XBOX One S. The Pro is the more powerful of the machines as it needs to support Playstation VR. We will have a good idea in the new year which ones of these machines made the better Christmas present.
The Playstation 4 Slim was also released ,but it was a pretty quiet launch.
So there ya have it. These are the stories that caught my eye this year and that lead to many hours of debate. What story did I miss? Let me know at the coordinates below.
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