Game of the Year 2019
I think 2019 has been a really interesting year for video games. Thanks for taking a look at my list everyone, nothing more to see here! That's all she wrote!!
In all seriousness, I think this year certainly feels like a transitional year that's been setting the stage for the next generation of consoles. The crazy thing about it though, is just how bass-ackwards said stage looks for those that have been inside the video game industry for a while, whether as creators or consumers, and remember days of yesteryear.
Back when we were coming into the current generation of consoles, things really seemed par for the course in terms of marketing and messaging as had been the case for a decade plus change between Sony and Microsoft. Sure, Microsoft definitely had some rather pernicious growing pains in finally establishing a clear vision of what they would be offering, but there was a clear delineation, a separation of church and state one might say, between the two companies that suggested neither side would cede an inch. Not to mention Nintendo over in the corner doing their thing with the Wii U (a console yours truly only picked up about six months ago) with sales figures that left quite a bit to be desired.
Turn your pages to 2019, and those same companies are all in cahoots in one way or another. Take a look at where the industry currently is in terms of cross-play for a game like Rocket League. Players can go ahead and create a multi-system party across almost all physical platforms like PS4, Xbox One, PC (Steam), and Nintendo Switch. Microsoft has got Minecraft on near as many devices as Doom was released on in the 90-00's, Sony has put pen to paper on agreements regarding the use of Microsoft Azure Cloud technology for future gaming and content streaming solutions, Mario's on mobile, and just about every 3rd party game is released on every platform.
It's quite a turn for a young hombre like me who routinely watched E3 press conferences of years past, watching companies routinely going for the jugular (Sony doesn't even show up anymore!) I don't think that I can say I'm wanting for a return to those years as gaming is better than it ever has been, but the difference is no doubt night and day.
I think this year is going to certainly be remembered as the end of an era regarding how video games are developed and played, but as we've seen time and again throughout the console wars of the past, gaming charges forward at the speed of light and almost always ends up exactly as you'd like it too.
The games I have chosen to single out below are a testament to this notion. However many ways the industry changes (for both the better and worse) things always shake out in the end.