The gaming industry remains one of the fastest evolving industries in the world, one that constantly adapts, and one that is increasingly expanding its reach and grasp on the citizens of the world’s free time. As such, there’s rarely a month go by which can be called a bad month in the industry, especially not when we look at it as players rather than puppet-masters and suits.
To wave out the old, and welcome in the new we’ll be going through some of the defining factors of each of the months of the year. We’ll be listing some of the games that launched, discussing some of the events that happened, and discussing some of the implications that they had throughout the year, or might have going into the next.
So, without further ado,
Much like the rest of the year, March was dominated with already successful titles launching onto other platforms; Broforce, Kholat, and Catlateral Damage reached PS4. There was also a decent splattering of remasters for the new generation; Resident Evil 6, Heavy Rain, Shadow Complex, and Unepic all launched on new platforms.
In a bumper month, Republique (PC, Mobile), Hitman (Xbox One, PS4, PC), and The Division (Xbox One, PS4, PC) dominated conversation; the latter two due to their business models. HItman’s seasons and drip-drop of updates; and The Division’s almost MMO style gameplay and mechanics, yet absence of microtransactions or subscription model.
The month also marked the release of the Oculus Rift, the first of the big-box VR devices.
- Phil Spencer, speaking at the Xbox Spring Showcase, mentioned iterative console hardware for the first time; eluding to a leap-frogging/transitional hardware set-up which we are now -at the end of the year- already the second step into.
- Game Atelier and FDG announced that Flying Hamster 2 would be going forward in development as Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, and that it would be launching in Q2 on PC, PS4 & Xbox One. The game however, is still in development, with a 2017 launch expected now.2016 has been a good year to be a fan of the Wonder Boy series, as LizardCube and DotEmu announced later in the year that they would be remaking and remastering Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap for modern systems. Just like Monster Boy, it is anticipated to launch in 2017.
- On the 7th of March Hanno Lemke, General Manager at Microsoft Studios Europe, took to the Xbox blog and announced the cancellation of Fable Legends and Project Knoxville. The studios which were developing the titles, Lionhead Studios and Press Play Studios respectively, were also shuttered.
- Deep Silver confirmed that Sumo Digital would be taking over the development of Dead Island 2; having moved Yager off of the project in late 2015. (MCV) Until the removal of Yager from the project the game was set to release in the Spring of this year.Yager were set to disappear following their removal from the project, however managed to find funding for their next project, Dreadnought, an impressive battleship vs battleship multiplayer title coming to PS4 & PC in 2017.
- Microsoft confirmed that cross-play between Xbox One & PC was available, starting with Rocket League. However, when approached initially Sony only rebuked that they had been-there and done-that previously and would be willing to do so in future. (Gamespot)A later interview with Sony Worldwide Studios’ Shuhei Yoshida put technical differences between the consoles forward as the main issue between cross-console play. (Eurogamer)
As for Big Boss Battle? We weren’t here yet. In March both Ben and I were still writing and creating for a different website, in fact the site -as you see it- only formally launched in May of this year.