Everything changes, and so does game development. This year was a turning point for many studios: someone broke their traditional principles and surprised us, someone strengthened their position, and someone became an outcast that everyone hates. We decided to remember how some studios have changed at the end of 2019, what they achieved and what they lost.
This year was hard for Blizzard. For starters, they were still disliked at last year's Blizzcon. In 2019, the studio decided to slowly regain its reputation. Blizzard's president first revealed in an interview with IGN that PC was and will be the main platform the company is targeting. Allegedly during the heyday of the PC, the company put down roots in this platform, which have grown and now they simply cannot help but make games for this platform.
This was followed by the announced last year WoW Classic, which surprisingly turns out to be a good game to return to and feel nostalgic for the days of Vanilla WoW. And rumors began to fly in the air that Diablo IV will be waiting for us at Blizzcon 2019. But chance decided everything.
For a whole year, mass rallies against China were held in Hong Kong. And so, during the Hearthstone Grandmasters broadcast, one of the competitors named Chun Ng Wai criticized the PRC and supported the rallies. For the bliz, China is a very important monetary audience that they do not want to lose. Therefore, immediately after the broadcast, the player was disqualified, banned from participating in the tournament for a whole year and did not pay him the winnings. Ridiculously, Blizzard even fired the commentators who were broadcasting that day. As a result, the Internet again hated the company, people began to support the esports player and refuse the studio's subscriptions.
At Blizzcone 2019, the studio nevertheless announced Diablo 4 and apologized, although it did not correct the situation in the least. So it turns out that over the course of this year, Blizzard has finally become like some toxic partner who apologizes, says that he will not be anymore, and then again takes up his own.
In 2019, Besezda has turned from the once-beloved gaming company into a shameful clown, a dummy and just a pathetic parody of the past. And the worst thing is that this year was completely unsuccessful for her, and she did not even take a step towards correction.
The problem, so to speak, is already eternal - Fallout 76. A game that simply should not have existed. One big mistake, comparable to a snowball that continues to roll down the mountain and has grown to the extent that it cannot be stopped.
Todd Howard himself admitted in an interview that the game was not the best [that's putting it mildly], but the main thing is not what the game is, but what it will become. Moreover, it does not get better, and all good things that can be added to the game, Bethesda stupidly sells. For example, players have long wanted to get a refrigerator that would prevent food from spoiling and would become a complex craft item. He was introduced. For donations. And in general, the studio unexpectedly admitted that they are abandoning only cosmetic donations and now there will be time savers in the game. Let's not forget about the moldy helmet, which went on sale and was later safely removed. It all ended with Bethesda announcing the start of a paid subscription to the game for 9K rubles.
As already mentioned, the studio has just turned into some kind of clown from a circus of freaks, forever losing its face.
This year Capcom has taken the path of the righteous even more. In 2019, they released two excellent singleplayer games - Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry 5. Now they just continued on their way and already announced a remake of Resident Evil 3. Before that, we were all confused by Project Resistance, which appeared for some reason and why, but as it turned out, it was a brilliant prank. Project Resistance is just a third part multiplayer mode, now called Resident Evil Resistance.
The studio is successfully regaining its reputation as one of the main players in the market and does not think to stop.
You may ask, "how could a studio that doesn't exist have changed?" The fact is, Telltale has been resurrected. Its assets were bought by LCG Entertainment. The new studio is headed by Jamie Ottili and Brian Waddle. They also hired former studio employees. And although they did not take them fully to work, but only signed a contract with the prospect of further development, this is already good. They also retained the license for Batman and The Wolf Among Us.
Now we are even seeing their first successes. So, the studio's games returned to Steam again, and The Wolf Among Us 2 was announced at The Game Awards 2019, which is being developed in collaboration with AdHoc Studio and WB Games.
There is nothing to say about EA. They, as always, bend their own line and are not very popular among the people. For example, this summer, their vice-president, Kerry Hopkins, speaking in the British parliament on accusations that loot boxes are gambling, called them a surprise mechanic. Allegedly, you do not prohibit kinder surprises, and this is the same as loot boxes.
But the point is different. Suddenly, at the end of the year, the company suddenly released: a single AAA level game without donation. Namely Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. EA is the studio that canceled another Star Wars game at the beginning of the year, and last year generally claimed that no one needed single players. And then a single player came out without donation, and very good. These are pretty strong changes, and hopefully it will continue this way. In the end, let them be guided by Sony, which in the future will focus specifically on big story games.
Sega well done, I'll tell you right away. We have been waiting for years for the snazzy Japanese to throw at least a bone from their rich table, to us dirty Western barbarians, and release many of their games in Europe and America. And it happened, and on such a scale that you can go off the rails. In one year we received 4 games at once.
In 2018, Sega finally released the English version of Yakuza 0 and was very pleased with the sales. So much so that in 2019 we got Western versions: Yakuza Kiwami, Yakuza Kiwami 2, Judgment and the controversial Fist Of The North Star Legends. Moreover, the company made a statement that next year it will focus more on the Western market and has already announced the release of remakes of Yakuza 3 and Yakuza 4.
Sega realized that it turns out people play there too. Bravo.
For Obsidian, 2019 has become a cult year for the reason that they are back on top. Once they were only the heirs of Black Isle, but managed to get out of its shadow. They created a cool Fallout: New Vegas for us, although they later lost the bonuses that Bethesda did not want to give them, since the game did not get 1 point on Metacritic.
Pioneered Kickstarter and eventually came under the wing of Microsoft, which gave them creative freedom. And so they released The Outer Worlds. Obsidian has confirmed its status as an adored studio that knows how to make good games.
This year, Riot Games' reputation has deteriorated as studio employees filed lawsuits for sexism in the studio. They talked about unequal pay, discrimination and sexual harassment. Riot Games tried to get out and drag the employees to the arbitration court, referring to the fact that they cannot sue the studio, because this clause is spelled out in the contract.
And now, recently it became known that Riot Games will pay its employee $ 10 million. They will be received by about 1,000 women who have worked in the studio since 2014.
But at the same time, the studio has announced a huge number of LoL projects, which cannot but please the fans. And here on the question of how Riot Games has changed the situation is twofold, on the one hand, there was a conflict in the studio that hit its reputation and the fact that there was a problem - the court proved. On the other hand, the company stopped being a multiplayer recluse and started expanding its franchise. Let's hope that the toxic atmosphere will eventually pass, and the female part of the team will feel more confident at work.
There is no story sadder in the world than the story of the fall of BioWare. This year has been fatal for the studio. Their Andromeda last year was terrible. Anthem came out this year and also turned out to be a poor project that didn't live up to expectations. The production hell didn't benefit the game or the developers. Many said Anthem was BioWare's last chance and what would happen to one of the once-best studios of our time is unknown. We know only one thing, as of 2019, she is not in the best position for her.
The Topic of Article: Fear and Loathing in Game Development: How Game Studios Changed in 2019.