Here Are the Most Talked-About Gaming Stories of the Year
2018 was a massive year in gaming, with the release of some instant classic titles, some big game flops, and even the closure of a few beloved studios. But with all of the many gaming stories we read — and talked — about this year, a few stood out from the pack and dominated our attention more than the others. Come along with COGconnected as we take a walk back through 2018 and the Top 5 Biggest Gaming Stories of the year.
Telltale Games Closes
In 2018, the gaming world lost one of its most celebrated studios when Telltale Games closed its doors forever. The first signs of trouble appeared in September, when word spread that the company would be shutting down. Then the studio issued a press release via Twitter which confirmed the rumors. Initially, company spokespeople assured fans that a small group of employees would stick around to finish the final season of The Walking Dead, but those hopes were dashed when that plan, too, was cancelled. While another studio, Skybound Games, eventually stepped in to make sure The Walking Dead will get a proper send-off, it was still a sad final chapter for Telltale, one of gaming’s most respected studios.
Loot Box Backlash
Loot boxes, a growing cash-cow for gaming companies, have always been controversial among fans but 2018 saw the backlash go global – and even legal. In fact, a host of governments stepped in to crack down on what they often saw as a form of gambling. This feeling stemmed from studies, such as one in Australia, that found loot boxes to share a lot of similarities with more traditional forms of gambling, including the tendency for players to become addicted and spend inordinate amounts of money for them. In Belgium, games like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts fell victim to government action, And in November, the FTC began investigating loot boxes in the United States. Time will tell how this ongoing battle will play out.
Bethesda’s Fallout 76 Fallout
Things just didn’t feel right for Fallout 76 from the start. Back at E3, Todd Howard got a lukewarm reception to his announcement of the upcoming online-only Fallout title. Then, a first look at the game’s Beta didn’t help – it seemed an empty wasteland, lacking in content. It turned out those initial qualms were right on the money – reviews for Fallout 76 at launch were dismal, and the price was slashed after just a few days – not a good sign. Bethesda seemed to make things worse with their response to players of the game, which felt arrogant and even tone-deaf at times — at one point, making players write essays to get un-banned. It has all felt surreal to watch one of gaming’s most celebrated franchises sink so low in such a short time. Bethesda would surely love to forget the annus horribilis that was 2018.