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June 24, 2024

Record-Breaking Year for Video Games Ends with Blockbuster Releases

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Dec 30, 2023

2022 has been a monumental year for video games, breaking revenue records across console, PC, and mobile platforms. As the year comes to an end, some of the most anticipated games are being released just in time for the holidays.

Huge Success for Major Franchises

Several of gaming’s biggest franchises saw new iterations this year that garnered critical and commercial acclaim.

God of War Ragnarök

Sony Santa Monica’s God of War Ragnarök arrived in November as one of the year’s most hyped sequels. The action-adventure game continues the story of Kratos and Atreus on a mythic journey across the Nine Realms.

Reviews have praised Ragnarök’s epic scope, emotional narrative, and refined combat. It’s the fastest-selling first-party Sony game to date, selling 5.1 million copies in its first week. This makes it a strong contender for game of the year across many outlets.

Elden Ring

Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin’s Elden Ring took the gaming world by storm when it launched in February. The expansive open world action RPG challenged players with its punishing yet rewarding combat and cryptic, engrossing lore.

It’s the best-reviewed game in developer FromSoftware’s history and has remained at the top of sales charts all year. Elden Ring is considered a game of the generation due to its enormous critical success and influence on gaming trends.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

The Pokémon series saw its first mainline open world entry with Pokémon Scarlet and Violet in November. The Nintendo Switch games garner critical praise for their freedom of exploration, charming new region, and quality-of-life improvements.

Scarlet and Violet posted staggering sales numbers, selling over 10 million copies in its first 3 days to become the fastest selling Pokémon games ever. It continues to dominate sales charts as fans dive into the Paldea region over their holiday breaks.

Highly-Anticipated Sequels Finally Arrive

Some games have endured lengthy development cycles of 5+ years before seeing the light of day. 2022 marks monumental milestones for these ambitious titles.

Starfield

Bethesda Game Studios, the creators of Skyrim and Fallout, unveiled their new spacefaring RPG Starfield in June 2021. After over 25 years of exclusively fantasy and post-apocalyptic open worlds, Starfield represents the studio’s first foray into science fiction.

Slated to release November 11, 2022, the game saw several delays that pushed it back an entire year much to fans’ dismay. But with the extended development, hopes are high that Starfield can meet the pedigree of Bethesda’s previous successes.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The sequel to 2017’s beloved Breath of the Wild was first teased in 2019 and finally received an official name and release date (May 12, 2023) in September 2022. Details remain scarce, but fans eagerly anticipate where Link and Zelda’s story goes following the events of Breath of the Wild.

As one of Nintendo’s most acclaimed games ever that fundamentally influenced open world design, the sequel has profound shoes to fill.

Indies Continue to Impress

While massive AAA games capture headlines, indie studios deliver some of the most creative gaming experiences that push the medium forward.

Game Description
Neon White A stylish speedrunning FPS set in heaven/hell
Pentiment An illustrated narrative adventure set in 16th century Bavaria
Citizen Sleeper A dystopian cyberpunk RPG focused on choice and consequence
Norco A Southern gothic point-and-click adventure steeped in surrealism

Neon White, a slick arcade-style FPS wrapped in an anime aesthetic, deserves special commendation. The speedrunning platformer produced by developer Ben Esposito and publisher Annapurna Interactive has earned widespread critical acclaim, including winning Best Indie Game and Best Action Game at The Game Awards 2022.

Cloud Gaming and Subscriptions Expand Access

Cloud gaming services allow users to stream games without needing expensive hardware. This technology has improved vastly in recent years, with Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Nvidia GeForce Now allowing more gamers to access top titles.

Xbox and PlayStation also offer their own subscription services (Game Pass and PS Plus) that for a monthly fee provide an extensive library of downloadable games. These services lower barriers to entry and let players experience more games for less money.

The ease of access cloud gaming and subscriptions provide helps bring gaming to broader audiences. Major publishers like Sony, Xbox, and Nintendo have taken note by bolstering their own subscription catalogs.

The Future is Bright

While 2022 represented a landmark year for gaming, developers are already lining up a staggering lineup of enticing games for 2023 and beyond.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Next year finally brings the long-awaited Breath of the Wild sequel. As one of Nintendo’s most important franchises and a prior game of the year winner, hopes couldn’t be higher for Link’s next epic adventure.

Resident Evil 4

Capcom remakes classic survival horror game Resident Evil 4 from the ground up for modern platforms. Updated visuals and tuning promise to make an already hugely influential title feel fresh for both newcomers and veterans.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage

The Assassin’s Creed series goes back to its stealth roots with this intimate take on the franchise set in 9th century Baghdad. Ubisoft listens to fan feedback by focusing less on RPG elements and delivering the cloak-and-dagger fantasy fans originally fell in love with.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Respawn Entertainment follows up its sleeper hit Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order with this direct sequel. Set 5 years later, Jedi Cal Kestis continues his fight against the Empire in this action-adventure expected out March 2023.

And those only scratch the surface of upcoming games both announced and rumored entering development. 2023 promises no slowdown in huge gaming releases across the industry’s biggest franchises.

Breaking Records with Room Still to Grow

2022 concludes an unprecedented year for gaming. All metrics – sales, revenue, engagement – indicate the industry’s tremendous growth.

Experts predict by 2030 the games market could reach nearly $400 billion annually as gaming permeates mainstream entertainment. So the future remains exceedingly bright for interactive medium advancing both technologically and artistically.

With hotly anticipated sequels, remakes, and new IPs on the horizon, 2023 looks to continue pushing gaming to new heights. The rapid evolution of AAA blockbusters and indie darlings make this an incredibly exciting time to play video games. 2022 raised the bar, but developers continuously find ways to leap over it.

AiBot

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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