2019 has been full of amazing gaming moments, from the release of Resident Evil 2 Remake, the official release date announced for Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the $30 million Fortnite World Cup, Apex Legends, Halo coming to Steam and so much more. But 2019 was not without its share of gaming disasters. For this list, I will be adding some dishonorable mentions at the bottom. These will be disasters that I don’t necessarily agree with, but many have seen as gaming disasters. I can’t be completely biased here can I? So here are the biggest gaming disasters of 2019.
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Fallout 1st (Fallout 76)
Let’s be honest, Bethesda couldn’t pay most of us to play Fallout 76, never mind pay an extra £99 a year on top of the entry fee. Earlier this year, Bethesda announced Fallout 1st, a premium membership that would provide access to private servers, unlimited storage, and some in-game currency, among other things. Considering a lot of similar games offer private servers, its a bit of a con to charge £99.99 a year for private servers. The rest of the items aren’t really worth it, so this seems to be its main selling point.
This is without a doubt the one of the biggest gaming disasters of 2019. Bethesda took one of the most beloved franchises in gaming and turned it into a laughing stock that I’m not sure it will be able to easily recover from.
Mario Kart Tour
I love the Mario Kart series. I would put Mario Kart 8 in my top 10 games of the last decade, but Mario Kart Tour completely tarnishes everything about the Mario Kart series. We’re not heartless; we know that free to play games aren’t truly free and need to make money somehow, but Nintendo does EVERYTHING wrong when it comes to micro-transactions, such as having the majority of characters and carts locked behind a paywall. But to top it all off, they’ve also locked the best characters behind a monthly subscription paywall. Locking things behind a paywall has fallen out of favor with consumers in recent years, largely thanks to the cosmetic-only form of micro-transactions that a lot of games such as Fortnite have adopted. With this method of monetization, the entire game is 100% free, but you’ve got the option to buy more without being at any more of an advantage or disadvantage by doing so.
Fortnite’s 2 Day Blackout
It is hard to deny that Fortnite is potentially the biggest game in the world. This can also go against them, because when something happens, the whole world is watching it unfold. In fact, millions of us spent 2 days watching absolutely nothing happen. Back in October of 2019, we got the final live event at the end of Season X which saw the Zero Point explode and essentially suck the map into a sort of black hole void, starting the beginning of Chapter 2. Except Chapter 2 never began. Chapter 2 didn’t end up happening for another 2 days, making this the longest downtime in the game’s history. It has never been confirmed or denied that this was intentional. The general belief in the community is that something catastrophic happened with the update when they tried to implement the new map. After all, trying to load a brand new map, graphic style, basically overhauling every aspect of the game in real time would be a huge gamble. Fortnite has pulled off many amazing things so far, but maybe this was too much. Over those 2 days, tens of millions of players sat and waited for something to happen. This even hit the world’s media with national TV stations and newspapers reporting on it around the world. If this was an accident, it was perhaps the biggest gaming disaster of 2019. If it was intentional, then it was perhaps the greatest marketing strategy of 2019, because the whole world was glued to this black hole.
I don’t really know what to say about this one except that WWE 2K20 is an absolute mess. Since launch, we have seen so many glitches reported, some of them game breaking and some of them just being absolutely hilarious. Everything from character models being messed up, animations being scuffed, the game just breaking and even some characters ending up in…compromising positions. Since everyone’s experience is different, there isn’t a comprehensive list of glitches, but just search for them on YouTube, or click the link here and have a good laugh.
These disasters are just a couple that aren’t really disasters but have caused huge controversy on the internet this year.
Epic Games Store
In December 2018, Epic released the Epic Games Store, serving as a launcher for its own games such as Fortnite as well as being a store for other games, much like Steam. In fact, it spent 2019 competing with Steam. I have used EGS since launch and personally have no issues with, but a vocal minority in the community seem to. Shortly after the launch of EGS, Epic made it clear they wanted to become a force in the PC gaming market and implemented many things such as signing games to exclusivity deals which upset a part of the community. But Epic have done many great things with their launcher. Epic offers a 88/12 revenue split with developers, even less if the game is developed using UE4, unlike Steam which is a 70/30 split. They also guarantee a game will break even when they sign it exclusively to their store. Meaning if a game would need $2 million in sales to break even, Epic will guarantee the developers will make $2 million for their game, even if it sold 0 copies. They also give away many free games every week. My Epic library has 68 games in it, and apart from V-Bucks in Fortnite, I haven’t spent a penny on EGS, but I have amazing games in my library such as Metro Exodus, Celeste, the Batman Arkham series, Rayman Legends & many more.
This is just a small fraction of what Epic does for both gamers and developers, but as long as Steam has a competitor, the vocal minority will complain about it. So that is why its on the list (got to be fair after all).
Pokemon Sword/Shield N64 Textures & No National Dex
Finally we have the terrible tree texture in Pokemon Sword & Shield that made the game not worth buying…apparently. Once again, the vocal minority of the internet decided this game should be boycotted on the basis of a tree texture being pretty terrible (I can’t deny that though, as it looks like an N64 game) and also the fact the Pokedex has been cut by over half to just 400 Pokemon. The whole internet was a mess with people arguing and hating on each other because they either were or weren’t buying the games. And then the game was released and became the fastest selling Switch game, selling over 6 million copies in its first week, and no-one seems to complain anymore because the game is actually good. This is why I don’t pay much attention to the opinions of people on Twitter or Facebook groups.
What are some gaming disasters that happened in 2019 that we may have left off? Let us know in the comments!
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