2011 has been a great year for gaming, with some exciting new hardware announcements, quality software gracing almost every calender month and the industry that spawns it clawing that little bit more cultural respect every day. It isn’t all sunshine and roses though, with some pretty embarrassing moments staining an otherwise enjoyable year. As a testament as to what not to do, and just because some of them are really funny, here are ten epic fails that have impacted upon the gaming industry over the past twelve months.
EA and Origin banning
EA have managed to get on the wrong side of consumers with many little things this year. Their continued use of online passes to circumvent used game sales, their support for the SOPA act (more on that one later) etc. These little things have managed to grab a lot of people’s bacon. The big thing that seems to be on everyone’s lips at the moment though is EA’s Origin service. The digital distribution service has already prompted hate on account of it holding the exclusive rights to distribute certain titles that have subsequently been removed from other similar services, but it really got some heat when people who had been banned from EA’s online forum found that they were locked out of their purchased games on Origin as well. Nothing makes people lose faith in a service quicker than widespread banning, so sort it out EA.
Duke Nukem Forever
Some might call it bullying to pick one game to represent the act of failing but, of all the games of 2011, Duke Nukem Forever was the most widely publicised farce. Having been stuck in development hell for well over a decade, the Duke sequel was never going to be able to slip by unnoticed, so when it released as a half baked and dated slice of mediocrity, the community was pretty let down. Our review was very quick to point out its flaws, but Duke Nukem Forever’s widespread critical back lash also caused another peculiar embarrassment that has become more prominent in 2011.
Industry reactions to the press
Following some very damning (though well justified) reviews of Duke Nukem Forever, the game’s PR department, the Redner Group, issued a twitter statement implying that journalists who gave Duke a low score would have future games handled by the company withheld from them. It was an immature lash at the press that cost the Redner Group a lot of credence within the industry and their affiliation with publisher 2K. A similar, though much less controversial, incident occurred when Cliff Bleszinski of Epic Games attacked critics who awarded Gears of War 3 any less than nine out of ten. Talk about demanding!