The year of 2018 was very agitated for the games industry, with releases breaking sales records, such as Red Dead Redemption II, God of War and Pokémon Let’s Go. Also noteworthy were Sony’s departure from E3, the world’s largest gaming fair, Fallout 76’s fiasco, rated as the year’s worst AAA release of the year, and unflattering reception from fans to the Diablo Immortal announcement at BlizzCon.
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The Battle Royale games, such as Fortnite and PUBG, were the titles with the most articles published in 2018 in the world, according to ICO Partners, showing that the “all against all” genre will continue strong in 2019. Mobile games continue to lead with 47% of sales in the year, followed by console games (28%) and PC games (25%) – according to information from Newzoo.
Check out the main highlights of games in 2018. This special is part of the retrospectives of 2018 made by Teknologya!
E3, Gamescom and BlizzCon “in a nutshell”
E3, which takes place annually in Los Angeles, is (still) considered the largest gaming fair in the world. However, their latest editions have suffered from a number of major advertiser outputs, such as EA Games (you love or hate but a major publisher) and Microsoft – which have their own events, at the same time and region, but out of the box. calendar of the fair.
The latest company to announce its official departure from E3 was Sony. And since Nintendo no longer has live conferences, and only via Nintendo Direct, the show is no longer supported by major consoles developers. With that, it seems that the long-awaited announcement of the PlayStation 5 (or any other name it may have) will even be made at a Sony event such as the PlayStation Experience (PSX).
Despite the lows, it is worth mentioning some highlights of E3 2018, as the confirmation of the launch, on December 7, of the most anticipated Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (for Nintendo Switch), plus an incredible trailer for The Last of Us – Part II (you can check above), finally some gameplay for Cyberpunk 2077 (from the creators of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt ), the release date, for October 5, from the excellent Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and a Bethesda teaser showing that The Elder Scrolls VI is being developed, but with no prediction of anything yet.
Death Stranding, by Hideo Kojima, also won a new trailer … We still do not understand what the game is about.
Gamescom, the most important gaming event in Europe, is held every year in Cologne, Germany. This year, the highlight was the presentation of the Nvidia RTX 2080 video card. In games, Life is Strange 2 brought much more than it was shown in E3 and it was possible to know better the history of brothers Sean and Daniel. Visitors could also play a demo of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
In addition, the fair brought other versions (or the same thing) of what was seen in E3, as Elders Scrolls: Blades, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, in addition to the same gameplay of Cyberpunk 2077, also presented at the Los Angeles fair.
BlizzCon, the annual conference of Blizzard, which takes place in the city of Anaheim, California, this year had a return not too heated, it can be as it were, of the company’s fans – who always present massively with each new edition of event. Some “most anticipated” listings happened, like adding a unique and exclusive character to Heroes of the Storm, beyond the presentation of Ashe – new combatant Overwatch.
The high point of the opening ceremony should not have been this (I’ll explain later), but it was the announcement of Warcraft III: Reforged, remastered version of the classic real-time strategy game originally released in 2002. Hearthstone also had its place in the sun with the arrival of the Rastakhan Rumble expansion.
Remember that the event also served as a farewell to Mike Morhaime, CEO and President of Blizzard. Morhaime is a co-founder and has been a part of the company since 1991. Who takes his place now is J. Allen Brack, who served as executive producer of World of Warcraft and also served as senior vice president of the franchise.
Behold, then comes the moment of the last and most important announcement of the conference. By elimination, it only needed to say something about the Diablo series, to close the day with a golden key. And it was really Diablo, but not the franchise’s fourth game, as the overwhelming majority wanted, but a mobile version of the title, which earned the name Immortal Diablo. The negative reception from the audience was not quite what Blizzard had in mind, however.
The 2018 Game Awards: Winners and Top Ads
The 2018 Game Awards are known as the Oscars of Games, even though there are other awards such as the Golden Joystick Award and the Bafta Video Games Award. This year, the Game of the Year competition was fiercely contested with heavyweight titles such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Celeste, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Monster Hunter: World, Red Dead Redemption II and God of War.
These last two were, even, the most qualified to take the GOTY. It all pointed to a Rockstar western victory, which had already garnered four awards (best narrative, best soundtrack, best audio design and best performance), but the winner of the night was God of War, which in addition to the best game of the year, also took the trophy in categories: best action/adventure game and best direction.
The TGA is also known for receiving trailers and unpublished ads, which interweave the awards. In 2018, the highlights were Far Cry: New Dawn (direct successor to events in Far Cry 5 ) that arrives on February 15, The Outer Worlds (from Obsidian Entertainment) RPG that drinks from the source of Fallout: New Vegas, from same developer.
Also worth mentioning is the announcement of Mortal kombat 11, with a bloodthirsty trailer showing a fight between Scorpion and Raiden, the seventh season of Fortnite and the arrival of the constructor mode, and finally a new Dragon Age, but BioWare has not made clear what will be the official title.
The high scores of the year
Whether you like it or not, the success of the Battle Royales is undeniable and this was the year that Fortnite consolidated at the top of the genre, taking PUBG off the throne. The game also won GOTY for the 2018 Golden Joystiq Awards. But the 2018 spotlight also pointed to two other giants: God of War and Red Dead Redemption II.
In principle, the repackaged and sentimental Kratos caused strangeness in the more orthodox fans of the God of War, but as judging the book by its cover was always the scourge of precipitous, the game surpassed the expectations and was consecrated as game of the year by The Game Awards.
Rockstar has once again shown that it has not come to the world for the ride and even with a controversy over a possible exploitation of its employees who would have worked insanely to complete RDRII in time, it is undeniable that the game is the best title, at least visually speaking, already released for the current generation of consoles. Like GoW, it also has its flaws, but the whole of the work delivers a rich environment, as never seen before in a game of the producer.
What could have gone very well, but …
We need to talk about Fallout 76 … The game had everything to be great, but it’s tedious, extremely bugged (by Bethesda standards) and, in my humble opinion, should not have even been released (not broken). Do not get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the show. I played Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 4 for months. Fallout 3 was two years of gaming!
However, the idea of a 100% game series focused on online multiplayer seemed to me a little bold for the developer, without much experience in that area ( The Elder Scrolls Online is only published by Bethesda but not developed by Bethesda).
I believe the company could have followed Rockstar’s example, in that case: both GTA Vand RDRII have their online multiplayers created in universes similar to the main game. This model is different from the “arena” format, as some singleplayer action games usually do ( Uncharted, The Last of Us, Mass Effect 3 and so on).
A “normal” Fallout 76, offline, or story mode, singleplayer, whatever, could have been done – with NPCs that were actually present in the gameplay – and an online mode could have been developed apart. Whoever played GTA Online, as soon as he left, should remember the bizarre bugs he had. Rockstar, at the time, even gave money (in game currency, of course) to compensate players for the problems.
But the cat’s catch from the GTA creator was that it had the singleplayer mode so players would not abandon the title while waiting for the tweaks on the online. You had to play, minimally, what you paid for. Online was the “plus”. In Fallout 76, online is exactly what should be the second mode of play, but in fact, it was what you paid as an official and did not work as promised.
I do not think Bethesda will throw in the towel so soon, but surely something very extraordinary will need to be done to re-attract the players who bought the game (and did not ask for the money back) and possibly get some more. Even because the post-apocalyptic world of this game has never been so empty.
2018 in numbers: successful games, best selling and curiosities
Despite the success of Red Dead Redemption II, God of War, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Fortnite and Monster Hunter: World, for example, 2018 was the year of mobile games. That is if we take into account the amount of sales per platform. According to a survey by Newzoo, 47% of game sales in the year were in smartphones and tablets (37% and 10%, respectively), followed by console games (28%) and PC games (25%).
Among the mobile games with the highest downloads in the world are Helix Jump (328 million), Subway Surfers (231 million), PUBG Mobile (166 million), Rise Up (162 million) and Candy Crush Saga (151 million). This information is from Apptopia. Candy Crush is included in the top 5 games for the most profitable smartphones and tablets of the year with $541 million in revenue. There’s explosive brigadier!
Some curiosities this year…
1. Fortnite, PUBG, Overwatch, Red Dead Redemption II and God of War were the games with more articles in 2018. Only Fortnite had almost 70,000 articles published;
2. The most commented games on Twitter were (in descending order): Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Red Dead Redemption II, Fallout 76, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Grand Theft Auto V, God of War and Splatoon 2;
3. The game with the best overall rating on Metacritc was Red Dead Redemption II (note: 97). The worst overall rating was for Wild West Online (note: 29);
4. Including, Red Dead Redemption II was the game that more invoiced in just three days after its launch: 725 million dollars! These first three days were enough for RDRII to sell more than the eight years of its predecessor title;
5. The number of players registered in Fortnite (until November 27, 2018) hit the 200 million mark. More than the population of many countries.