Hey guys Rogo here to give my take on the past year in review for gaming. This will be an in-depth multi-part article touching on all of the things that made 2008 a wondrous year for gamers around the world, high expectations out of developers with new technology being created, the United States government itself with the election of a new President and the recession of the economy which in turn affect the gaming industry, a review of the best games of 2008 and your choice on what you feel was the best time consuming, controller addicted spectacle of the year, as well as taking a glance into what 2009 has to hold for the industry. Kick back, relax and enjoy this heartwarming article that I like to call 2008: A Year in Review.
The United States government took full force in 2008 with the upcoming election as well as the signs and symptoms of a recession that would vastly affect the mortgages of millions of homes and Americans along with the increasing of gas prices and the loss of jobs. Along with this losing of jobs the inevitable was to happen with the CGS closing with the loss of funding and sponsors due to the economic disturbance and downfall, the falling out of Counter Strike Teams across America. 2008 for the competitive Counter-Strike teams, players and managers was stressful; it was filled with the hopes of having CGS take off just like the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL as a household product through broadcasts from DirectTV. We saw deceiving back turnings of our very own former CS team that defected to a rival squad, we no longer have former rivals team3D together, many players split between teams and new squads, we lost Web2zone in New York which was the profound LanCenter on the East Coast, and of course the biggest bang of them all the support and dedication of our very own Jason “1” Lake to bring back the hopes and desires of all of the complexity fans and the very dreams of continuing bringing eSports into the homes of all Americans around the world, which of course he is doing just that. What this year has done for gaming is something more than we could have ever imagined in the competitive scene and that is rekindle an interest once again, it rekindled the interests, rumors and talks about how big 1.6 can finally become once again. With new teams being formed, this creates new fans, as I said before new rivalries, new tensions, new backings to reputations, new sponsors, new tournaments, basically everything will feel brand new once again just like in 2004 when coL took 5th in CPL Winter with a 27-28th seeding. It will bring back the days of the dramatic interest of CAL and CPL when everyone was into competitive online gaming.
As PC games and players went through a traumatic time due to economic turbulence the console gaming industry on the other hand boosted its revenue more than ever with more games being bought, companies falling out and being bought out by other top businesses, new consoles being brought to our interests, falling game system prices as well as the releasing of some of the most innovative games and most talked about sequels in the past couple of years. The Wii of course took full force of all during this economic downfall with more people worldwide purchasing the console, making Wii Sports the highest grossing and most purchased video game of all time, and causing parents to go stir crazy trying to find and buy Wii Fit getting themselves back into exercising but through videogames (Oxymoron right?). This boosted the revenue for Nintendo vastly more than any other company for these innovative ideas gaining more interest from the average consumer rather than games being geared to a certain demographic. This is not to say though that developers weren’t gaining profit from their games, not true at all, companies such as Epic, the creators of the 2nd most publicized game of Xbox history Gears of War 2, Konami and Kojima Productions who capped off the summer with the finale of a household series Metal Gear Solid, Valve of course bringing about the zombie apocalypse in Left 4 Dead and picking up more games with its incredible service Steam. These developers gained tons of money from the worldwide gaming consumers boosting revenues even more than expected and more than any other industry during these economic times.
Not to dwell off on a different topic but as well as discussing the economy we cannot forget that we now have a new President, a new leader of our country, one that we all have put hopes and dreams into for now we have our first Black President. If we look back on how previous Presidents have done to our economy, Bush absolutely destroyed the economic standing of our country and might about put us into another depression, Clinton actually brought the economy up to the standards of what the US should be, Bush Senior brought it down and before him same with Reagan. I am not disrespecting Republicans but it can be seen that Democrats are what did best for our country in terms of money and respect and what us as Americans, as citizens and dare I say as gamers is pray that this situation can only improve with the new President, new regime and hopefully the economic bailout which will be able to improve the stock market, thus giving Americans, American Businesses, Industries and Companies more money, no more declaring of chapter bankrupts and thus bringing new companies and developers to the gaming industry, giving us newer consoles, games, hardware and of course for the competitive scene more sponsors that will be able to support these hardworking teams with a newfound economic standing. So as we welcome in President Obama and yes I did support Obama for which I felt his views on the economic policies were more important that just electing the first black president, lets hope and pray that even though he is one man, he can bring about this “change” that he proclaims to us, to help our money situation, to help our future, and of course as gamers bring back the old competitive scene we were used to with headlining tournaments.
As many would say the economy is to blame for what has been going on with gaming prices BUT this hasn’t stopped you controller fiends from getting your hands on the newest and most hyped up games of the season. With businesses, corporations and retail taking huge losses and decreases in profits, the gaming industry actually boosted its revenue about 5%, more than any other industry in the world and this is due to the fact that people want their games. They want their release from reality and what better way to do that then grab the latest Gears of War sequel and just chainsaw your way through hundreds of locusts pretending each one was your accountant. People want that escape and developers capitalized on the craving, creating games that appealed to the masses, that offered that sense of escape as well as capitalizing on the wants of sequels to some of our most favorite series. Gears of War 2, a revamped Prince of Persia, Call of Duty World At War, Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid 4, Left 4 Dead, Grand Theft Auto 4, Wii Fit, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Resistance 2, Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero World Tour, and multiple other smash hit blockbusters that raised the standards of gaming and increased the profits of our favorite developers and companies.
So as we enter the year 2009 with high expectations on the gaming scene and what companies will be bringing us keeping us locked to our controllers and computers, we can’t help but look back at the year 2008 which brought us a vast amount of sequels, multiplayer originals featuring the zompocalypse, the return of nuclear war, a VERY BIG little planet, as well as the return of our favorite series to the next gen consoles. 2008 as you can say could possibly be the year of gaming, from the rise and fall of the CGS on the PC gaming scene to the rising and falling of prices of systems on the console front. We have seen the Xbox360 at prices ranging from 300$ for the console running down to now $199 with a gaming package. With the staggering economy Sony is taking a blow as well with their very highly priced PS3 being hit hard as prices decreased from $500 for the basic console to now $399 with bundles costing just as much as the system itself when its first released. We also look to see how the economic situation unfolds with a new president, a new outlook on our nation, and if all of our dreams and hopes placed into this new profound interest on our government will meet our expectations and guide us out of these troubles that we are out. When you look back at 2008 see it as a defining year for our country, us as citizens, as gamers and us becoming a united nation once more. Look at last year as the year that brought back a new interest into the competitive gaming scene, bringing us a new complexity, a new attitude for our very own Jason Lake, and new heart and devotion from you, the complexity faithful, the complexity fans, the complexity community and most of all the complexity family.
This has been part 1 of my multi-part review of the year 2008, Stay tuned for the next issue which will dwell on the best games of the past year, review each one, give my take on the game of the year and allow you the complexity faithful to decide on what you feel is worthy enough to be rated by the Complexity Syndicate Game of the Year 2008. Stay safe, Stay healthy, and enjoy the Inauguration.