The 5 events that marked 2021 in video games

The 5 events that marked 2021 in video games

2021 is about to end and all fans are starting to look back and rethink how they have been all these months, spent playing their favorite video games and reading about the latest news on the gaming market. Memories mix, we know, and some effort has to be made to draw conclusions. However, we have created a list of the 5 most important videogame events of 2021, the most iconic ones, which will probably be remembered even in the years to come. Are you ready to rediscover them with us?

The constant references of the games

Aloy from Horizon Forbidden West in front of an elephant machine 2021 has been able to give us many interesting games on all platforms, whether they are console, PC, mobile or cloud gaming platforms. At the same time, it has been a year full of postponements and delays. We have had to repeatedly see developers who, "in order to give players the experience they deserve", have decided to take a few more months, often having to move the release date to 2022.

Making examples is surprisingly simple. Think Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, Digimon Survive, Resident Evil Re: Verse, Hogwarts Legacy, Gran Turismo 7, Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok, Gotham Knights, Advance Wars 1 + 2: Re-boot Camp , Ghostwire: Tokyo, King of Fighters XV, Sifu, Dying Light 2: Stay Human, Rainbow Six Extraction. And in all of this we are mentioning only the biggest and best known.

Even 2022 has already seen a number of cross-references, with titles like Elden Ring taking an additional month, Saints Row having passed since February in August and Marvel's Midnight Suns which dropped the March 2022 release date in favor of a generic "second half of 2022".

Referrals have been a trusted companion to video games for years, but 2021 was a busy year for publishers, who seemed to be spending more energy recalculating release dates than presenting their titles.

Let's be clear, recent history (Cyberpunk 2077 in the negative, Halo Infinite in the positive) has shown us that it is always better to give your development teams the time they need to optimize a game and "give players the experience they need. they deserve". Let's just hope that in most cases the bulk of the blame lies with Covid and not the poor management of the producers.

Supply problems

Xbox Series X and PS5 Over the course of the year are fewer games released than we hoped for? Well, if you don't have a console or a gaming PC it makes little difference. We do not want to turn the knife in the sore, mind you, but it is impossible to talk about 2021 and not to bring up the problems of supplying videogame hardware.

For many gamers, the whole year was full of frustration, in a continuous search for consoles or graphics cards (but more generally PC components). It's been a long fight against sudden drops in electronics chains, a race against time against touts and their bots trying to grab every available unit in an instant.

It's been a year of hardware referrals, with Steam Deck which had to abandon the release scheduled for December 2021 for a safer 2022, precisely due to the lack of components.

Only Nintendo - with Switch OLED - has been able to put more and more consoles into circulation, thus continuing its dominance on the sales charts. The Japanese hybrid platform has been the best-selling console for 35 of the last 36 months in the USA, for example.

A bittersweet domain: as Daniel Ahmad - Niko Partners analyst - reveals, sales in November 2021 of Switch fell short of those of 2020, and PS5 + Xbox Series X | S sold just under the Switch. In November 2014, PS4, Xbox One and Wii U (that's right, Nintendo's "total flop" WiiU) sold more than Switch, PS5 and Xbox Series X | S in November 2021. One year after the current generation started, therefore, the situation is worse than in the last generation.

The only positive note is that the interest of the public does not wane and that many games are still cross-gen, that is, they are not limited to the PS5 and Xbox versions Series X | S, including Microsoft titles such as Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5, and Sony video games such as the upcoming Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarok and Gran Turismo 7. The hope, however, is that with the arrival of the latter the hardware situation better.


Activision Blizzard Few games and few consoles don't make anyone happy, but sometimes the world of video games has many other, much more serious problems. 2021 was (another?) Year full of front-page scandals.

One of the most recent and loudest is Activision Blizzard. In the US, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued the company that created World of Warcraft and Call of Duty for toxic culture and, above all, for outright sexual assaults. One of the allegations revolves around the suicide of one of the company's employees, which occurred years ago during a business trip.

This is a situation still in development, which has seen the removal of various known Activision figures Blizzard. Everything is also linked to Jesse McCree, a well-known lead level designer at Blizzard, whose name has often been used for the creation of characters in the company's games (such as McCree, the hero of Overwatch): the lawsuit therefore prompted Blizzard has review their rules and from now on no characters will be inspired by employees.

The situation is still far from resolution, with more than 1,300 employees calling for the resignation of CEO Bobby Kotick, accused himself to have perpetrated harassment and to have turned a blind eye to various situations known internally.

But we don't stop at the Activision Blizzard case. A recent report revealed the dark side of Roblox, the game-platform that now has 150 million users, many of whom are very young. One of the crudest cases is related to a 12-year-old girl who, starting to collaborate in the creation of a Sonic-themed game owned by a 24-year-old, received messages of a sexual nature. Only after years did the girl understand that what was happening was not correct and revealed it publicly.

There are also discussions related to child exploitation, given that the very young create the internal games in Roblox on which she then company earns. Even the moderation tools are considered ineffective, since the bans are easily circumvented by creating a new account and sometimes do not even take away the control over the games created and the earnings guaranteed by them.

Unfortunately the videogame market is not just a big mix of celebrations and fun, but it's also a place full of pitfalls. The hope is that scandal after scandal companies and public opinion will push for a clear change.

Metaversi and NFT: the new videogame “fads”

Meta, the new Facebook Video games they are an ever-changing form of entertainment closely linked to technology. If once we were limited to a few bits inside large cabinets, nowadays we look to the future with digital worlds in which we can live, but above all spend.

The most fashionable words for some months are metaverse and NFT. Almost all large companies have, in one form or another, confirmed their commitment in this direction. The most emblematic case is Facebook, now known as Meta. Even the Oculus brand has been abandoned and replaced by the name of the entire company: no more Oculus Quest, now only Meta Quest is played.

The metaverse promises a world in which people can interact, work and play , all in VR. The problem, for now, is that it's not exactly clear why we should spend our time with a headset on. However, it is a long-term project that this year has only taken a first timid step.

More solid and clear (for companies, at least) instead is the NFT, the non-fungible token that has been around for years but that during 2021 it has become more and more famous and above all more and more interesting for videogame companies. Simply put, an NFT is a digital object that we can prove ownership of and which, in its uniqueness, can be sold and bought.

Recently, we saw Ubisoft launch its own dedicated platform, Quartz, through which it puts into circulation the Digit, NFT linked (at the moment) to Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Immediately, Ubisoft does not get any income from these cosmetic items, but through dedicated sites, players will be able to start selling and buying Digits, setting prices freely: at that point the company will get their share.

However, the neighbors from beyond the Alps are not the only ones who have decided to opt for this type of approach. Square Enix created the Million Arthur game, an NFT-related proof of concept that has given excellent results. Peter Molyneux is developing Legacy, arriving in 2022, which has however already prompted many to buy NFTs (in this case, virtual land within the video game) for a total value of 52 million dollars.

Beyond to the pure possession of a digital collectible, the idea is that NFT games are "play to earn" and can also be approached as a source of income, not just as a source of entertainment. But are we sure that, at this point, they are really still video games?

Acquisitions after acquisitions

PlayStation Studios 2021 was also a year of great investments, although perhaps less noisy than the previous year. Difficult to beat the acquisition of Bethesda (& co.) By Microsoft, but the choices of Sony PlayStation, Nintendo and many other companies should not be underestimated.

Starting with the biggest name, we remember that the PlayStation Studios welcomed various teams throughout the year: Housemarque, Bluepoint, Firesprite (which in turn bought Fabrik Games), Nixxes Software and Valkyrie Entertainment. Several of these names sound new to the public and may seem like minor moves, but they make it clear what Sony's strategy is: targeted acquisitions, the result of organic growth following a long-running business relationship.

Housemarque and Bluepoint have worked alongside Sony PlayStation for years, exclusively, but only in 2021 did they officially become a team of the company. Perhaps to the surprise of some, however, these are not the most interesting acquisitions.

Nixxes Software, for example, is one of the most important moves: the team is in fact known for its PC ports and therefore goes to strengthen the expansion of the PlayStation business outside the PlayStation consoles. In addition to being an additional source of income, Sony's PC games become standard bearers of what PS4 and PS5 can offer and - hopefully for Sony - will push more players to expand their gaming station by adding a PlayStation console to the PC. br>
Firesprite, author of VR title The Persistence, could represent one of the most important teams for PS VR 2. The new virtual reality headset will need a lot of support in terms of software, with exclusive games at the forefront: a team first-party dedicated to it could be one of the best moves by Sony. Firesprite is also not a small studio, as it has 250 employees.

Valkyrie Entertainment, in addition to having some original projects in production, is best known as a support team. He helped in the development of God of War (2018) and is now again supporting SIE Santa Monica with God of War Ragnarok. In addition, he has also frequently collaborated with Microsoft for Halo Infinite, State of Decay 2, Forza Motorsport 7 and other large companies around the world. It is therefore a team that could support the production pace of the most important Sony games, so as to guarantee quality and development in an acceptable time frame.

Sony PlayStation, as mentioned, is not the only one to have put its hand to the wallets. In 2021 Nintendo bought Next Level Games (Luigi's Mansion 3, Metroid Prime: Federation Force). Embracer Group (that of THQ Nordic) has acquired Gearbox Software, Aspyr Media and various other teams. Electronic Arts has acquired Codemasters. Epic Games bought Harmonix and Tonic Games Group, including the authors of Fall Guys (Mediatonic). Sony also bought Evolution Championship Series along with Endeavor, for an ongoing effort in the esports arena.

Netflix has bought Night School Studio, which represents the streaming giant's growing desire to get its hands on the gaming market as well. Let's not forget that the company has started distributing mobile games through its subscription.

A year of transition

Netflix In conclusion, 2021 seems to be above all a year of transition. There have been twelve months of waiting, months of postponements of games, of hardware that cannot be found, of investments for the future, both for new technologies and new teams. This, however, looking only at the general picture. Do not forget that 2021 was also "our 2021", a videogame year spent in the name of great games, old or new, it doesn't matter, maybe a year spent with your friends in headphones or with a company of adventures at your keyboard. . Tell us, how was your 2021?

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