2016 will no doubt be remembered as an historic, if disconcerting year. Over the past 12 months, we?ve had Trump, we?ve had Brexit; we?ve seen underdogs triumph in the face of adversary and the unimaginable come to pass, quite frankly. Narrow that focus down to the video game industry and you?ll find a similarly peculiar mix of record-breaking highs and disappointing lows; of indie developers overcoming the sophomore slump with aplomb (here?s looking at you, Playdead), and AAA tentpoles struggling to meet expectations ? be they commercial, financial, or simply those placed upon ?game X? by wanting fans.
Yes, if 2016 was a novel ? a nervy page-turner, if you will ? December stands as the introspective epilogue, an opportunity to cast one?s mind back on the past 12 months to identify Game of the Year candidates, the biggest of all let-downs, and those titles that will inevitably wind up on that monstrous backlog.
But arguably the one trend to spark conversation across the four corners of the industry revolves around that one, scathing word: disappointment. For in 2016, disappointments came in all shapes and sizes. We had No Man?s Sky, a budding new IP hyped up beyond measure, only to be met with underwhelming reviews and a community that was almost unforgiving in its U-turn. Crestfallen after launch, No Man?s Sky has since weathered the storm (to an extent), but it?s fair to say the industry at large ? from PR executives right down to the end user ? won?t forget about those wildly overblown expectations and unfulfilled promises in a hurry.
Too Many Games"
On a purely financial level, video game sequels generally failed to make much of a dent over the past 12 months, when Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2, Watch Dogs 2 ? that?s a whole lotta? twos ? struggled to bring in the big bucks and meet internal targets. Ditto for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Mirror?s Edge Catalyst and Homefront: The Revolution, though it should be noted the latter endured a trying dev cycle involv...