7 of 2018's Top Gaming Highlights and EventsJan 2, 2019 | 1 Votes by Mikhail 10 rate The year 2018 was a great year for the gaming industry. It had its fair share of highlights as well as controversies. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest highlights, events, and controversies.
Gaming had a great 2018. We, the gamers, have been treated to a lot of great games and ton of groundbreaking events that may change the future of the industry. There are countless highs and lows, like crossplay actually becoming a thing and the death of a well-known studio.
Let’s take a look back at some of the biggest stories that dominated the wires this 2018.
A banner year for singleplayer games
Singleplayer games are not dead, and no, people do not prefer the online “games as a service” model. Solo experiences are still - and will forever be - a large part of gaming. It is enriching and engaging, more so than multiplayer experiences.
The games that received universal acclaim this year were mostly singleplayer experiences. The biggest names are God of War, which is considered the Game of the Year by several outlets, Red Dead Redemption 2 (which released as a singleplayer game), and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Not to be outdone is 2D platformer Celeste which gave a powerful message of hope, and Marvel’s Spiderman. Even Monster Hunter: World, which is essentially a multiplayer game, can be played alone from start to end.
In 2019, there will be more singleplayer games like The Last of Us, Kingdom Hearts III, and Days Gone. Solo experiences will continue to amaze and immerse, and no gaming trend will ever change this.
Actual crossplay could become a thing in the future
The picture (left to right) above shows Shawn Layden, Phil Spencer, and Reggie Fils-Aime. If you’re not familiar with these names, they’re actually the top bosses of PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo respectively. This would have been a perfect time to announce crossplay, but it didn’t happen.
Sony recently allowed crossplay on Fortnite enabling PlayStation 4 players can squad up with their Switch and Xbox One friends.
Other multiplatform multiplayer games, like Rocket League, are prepping up. Paladins already supports Xbox One and Switch crossplay, and PS4 support could come in 2019.
Battle royale bonanza
Battle royale continued becoming a major gaming trend in 2018. Fortnite grew farther apart from its peers, while PUBG finally landed on the PS4. Meanwhile, H1Z1 had its full release on the PS4. On mobile, Fortnite, PUBG, and ROS still dominate the two app stores’ gaming charts.
Mobile market continues to grow
Speaking of mobile, the mobile market continued its steady growth. This isn’t a surprise due to it being more accessible than PC and consoles, and developers are taking note. Blizzard even announced a mobile-only Diablo game, but it didn’t well with fans of the franchise.
Another big event is the Huawei Mate 20, introduced recently by the Chinese telecommunications giant. It was compared to the Nintendo Switch, and the company even boasted that it had better specs than Nintendo’s hybrid console. Still, it’s still a wild and farfetched claim that it’s “superior” to the Switch. Maybe in terms of processing power, but in terms of games first-party support, Nintendo will never lose.
Bethesda and EA flop
Fallout 76 and Battlefield V were some of the most anticipated games in 2018. Unfortunately, both games failed miserably on all fronts. Fallout 76 is hounded by countless in-game issues and Bethesda is accused of misleading its players. Meanwhile, Battlefield V failed to hit its target sales and was released without its battle royale mode.
Thank you, Telltale
This year saw the closure of Telltale Games, the studio that brought us Clementine’s story in The Walking Dead. In addition, they’ve made Batman: The Telltale Series, Game of Thrones, and even Tales from the Borderlands. Unfortunately, the company had to shut down due to financial reasons in the middle of Walking Dead: The Final Season’s production. Fortunately, Skybound Entertainment picked it up and will finish it.
A united stand vs loot boxes
Loot boxes have always stirred controversy in gaming. In a nutshell, they’re virtual items which, when redeemed, give users a random item. You receive these in-game rewards and you can also purchase them. Almost every game today has them around, favoring them over the typical “buy what you see”, which is a travesty. This encourages players to spend on loot boxes just to get a rare item. Since everything is randomly-generated, it’s like gambling. People have spoken out against it on social platforms, affecting games like Star Wars Battlefront II, the FIFA series, and even Overwatch.
This is why even lawmakers in Europe want to regulate loot boxes. The way we see it, it’s definitely gambling. Why can’t we just buy the item that we want to? Why do we have to buy loot boxes? It’s absurd and this needs to change soon.
So, what is the biggest gaming highlight that affected you this 2018? Granted, they’ve affected all of us whether it’s for the better or for worse. There’s a lot to look forward to in 2019 and we can’t wait for what it holds.