2022's Biggest Gaming News: Huge GTA 6 Leak, PS5 Price Hike … – GameSpot

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2022 is coming to a close, and it was another whirlwind, unpredictable, and exciting year in the video game industry. A lot happened this year, so much so that anyone could be forgiven for forgetting some of the year’s biggest gaming news. In this gallery we’re looking back at 2022’s biggest news stories, including Microsoft’s proposed bid to buy Activision Blizzard, E3 being canceled (and then resurrected), developers pushing to form labor unions, and more.
And the news isn’t stopping just yet! The big-time The Game Awards showcase takes place on December 8, and we’re expecting a good amount of big news to come out of that show.
2022 was also a year marked by a series of major gaming acquisitions, and you can read more in GameSpot’s rundown of 2022’s biggest gaming buyouts in the days ahead.

2022 was a year dominated by mergers and acquisitions in the video game industry. In fact, some estimates and projections said 2022 was on pace to become the biggest year on record for major buyouts, with deals totalling more than $150 billion in 2022. Some of the biggest deals in 2022 included Take-Two buying Zynga for $12.7 billion, Microsoft announcing a bid to purchase Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, Sony buying Bungie for $3.6 billion, and The New York Times buying the viral word game Wordle for a seven-figure fee.
Embracer also made a series of buyouts in 2022, including Dark House, Square Enix franchises like Deus Ex and Tomb Raider, The Lord of the Rings series, and more. More recently, however, Embracer acknowledged that the world is facing tough economic times of late and might need to spin off some of its companies and take advantage of certain tax rules to help weather the storm.
There were so many big gaming buyouts in 2022 that we’re collecting them for a separate gallery that you can read the days ahead.
A global tragedy kicked off the year in February when Russia invaded Ukraine, sparking a war that has left hundreds of thousands dead, according to experts.
In response to the invasion by Putin and his military forces, companies like EA, CD Projekt, Epic, Activision Blizzard, and more stopped selling their games in Russia, while many game studios donated funds and contributed to charitable causes to support those affected by the war.
One major developer based in Ukraine, GSC Game World, delayed Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl, due to the impact of the war on its developers. At least one developer at GSC Game World fought against Russian forces and was killed. This terrible tragedy is ongoing.

Valve’s handheld gaming device, the Steam Deck, was officially released in February. We said in our review that the Steam Deck is a “wonderfully constructed and powerful portable PC…” The system excels at being a mobile hub for your Steam games, and if you’re looking to make the most out of your PC catalog on the go, Steam Deck is the best option right now.

Elden Ring, the latest game from Bloodborne and Dark Souls studio From Software, arrived at the end of February and quickly became a critical and commercial success. The game was adored by critics and sold like hot cakes, pacing up to 18 million and counting so far.
In fact, Elden Ring is expected to be 2022’s best-selling game in the US, even outpacing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. Despite Elden Ring’s massive success, From Software and publisher Bandai Namco have not announced any expansion or sequel plans, at least not yet.

In March, the Entertainment Software Association officially canceled E3 2022. There would be no in-person or virtual event this year. The ESA previously said E3 would not have an in-person component in 2022 due to the pandemic, but this announcement meant there would be no digital element either. The ESA did, however, confirm that E3 would return to Los Angeles in 2023 for its first in-person event since 2019.
Good news for fans of E3 came in September when it was announced that PAX organizer ReedPop would be taking over E3 and bringing the show back in June 2023. ReedPop is planning to resurrect the show at the same site, the Los Angeles Convention Center, with a digital component as well for people who aren’t looking to attend in person. It’s still early days, but E3 2023 is now officially on the books for June 13-16, 2023, so buckle up.

Another big story in 2022 was EA and FIFA ending their decades-long relationship for soccer video games. FIFA was reportedly asking for a massive fee of $1 billion for EA to continue using the FIFA name, and the gaming publisher opted to simply walk away.
The series will continue, of course, but it will be called EA Sports FC beginning in 2023. EA already holds separate licensing agreements with thousands of players, teams, leagues, and more, so EA claims losing the FIFA name won’t be all that important in terms of representation for The Beautiful Game. Time will tell.
Unlike other major entertainment businesses like TV and film, the video game industry is largely not unionized. In 2022, a number of developer groups pushed for collective bargaining, including Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty studio Raven Software.
A team of BioWare QA developers also took steps to unionize. Workers at Nintendo also attempted to unionize, and this led to a lot of drama and one developer claiming union-busting from Nintendo. It remains to be seen if these unions will be officially recognized, and if so, what impact that could have on the labor market in the video game industry.
The United States Supreme Court handed down a major decision in June when it announced it would overturn the landmark federal Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing a constitutional right to abortion, and in turn leaving it up to the states to decide.
Members of the video game industry responded, with studios like Bungie, Sony, Insomniac, Media Molecule, Activision, Microsoft, and more putting out statements in support of reproductive rights and in some cases making charitable donations to causes that support a woman’s right to choose.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan drew criticism with his email to staff asking workers to “respect differences of opinion” about abortion rights in a note that also included updates on his cat’s birthday party.
In September, Rockstar Games suffered an unprecedented breach that saw early images and video footage of the next Grand Theft Auto game leak into the wild.
Rockstar is historically known for running a tight ship with few leaks, but that was not the case here. A trove of files emerged into the wild, providing a look at an early, in-development version of GTA 6. The leaked footage appeared to corroborate rumors that the title is set in Vice City and will feature a playable female lead character for the first time in the series.
It’s believed that GTA 6, or whatever the game is officially called, will be a heist-themed game featuring a Bonnie and Clyde-type story. Whatever the case, Rockstar Games and parent company Take-Two reacted to the leak, expressing their disappointment but assuring fans that development remains ongoing. A suspect believed to be responsible for the hack was detained and was reportedly held in a youth detention center awaiting further processing.
Netflix got into video games in a big way in 2022. The company had been laying the groundwork for some time, and it reached new levels in 2022 with the launch of Netflix Games for mobile. Subscribers have access to a growing catalog of mobile titles they can download and launch from directly within the Netflix app.
And in a nice, welcome change from the wider mobile games market, Netflix’s video games have no microtransactions or ads. Not only is Netflix hosting mobile games, it’s now developing them, too. Netflix has six internal game development studios currently, one of which is staffing up to create what sounds like a big-budget PC AAA game. It remains to be seen if Netflix will eventually get into streaming games, but it seems like a natural step for the company that dominates the wider streaming media landscape.
In 2022, the market for new consoles–namely, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S–improved significantly. Shoppers were more reliably able to walk into a store or place an order online for a new-generation console compared to 2021, which was marked with serious shortages that caused a lot of frustration.
Microsoft and Sony have been able to better keep up with demand for their newest Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and Nintendo continued to keep pace as its Switch console outperforms both of them in terms of total sales.
While the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles were relatively easier to find in 2022, the good news was balanced out by some less-than-ideal news this year when Sony announced it was raising the price of the PlayStation 5 in dozens of regions around the world.
The US was spared from a price hike, but shoppers in Canada, Europe, the UK, Australia, and other places are now paying more due to the global economic environment that is driving up production costs.
Microsoft will follow suit with its own Xbox price hikes in 2023, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said, though the executive has yet to say if it will be hardware, software, subscriptions, or another element of the Xbox business that will see price increases next year. Nintendo, for its part, has said it will not raise the price of the Switch, though it is decreasing the size of its packaging somewhat to help smooth out shipping and other logistics issues.
September 2022 also brought the news that Google would be shutting down its ambitious cloud game-streaming service, Stadia, and issuing refunds. Stadia launched publicly in November 2019 and was led by former PlayStation and Xbox boss Phil Harrison, with Google setting up teams of studios to help build games for it.
But all of that came to an end in September when Google announced it would shut down Stadia due to a lack of interest from the community. The service ambitiously billed as a console replacement will officially go offline on January 18, 2023.
The gamer-focused TV network G4 had a promising run in the mid-2000s but was ultimately taken off the air. Comcast resurrected the network in late 2021 for both traditional linear TV and online, but the new version of G4 didn’t last long.
Less than a year after it re-launched, Comcast abruptly announced that the new G4TV would close down in October 2022, effective immediately. Simply put, the network did not get enough traction to warrant staying online, Comcast said. “Viewership is low and the network has not achieved sustainable financial results. This is certainly not what we hoped for, and, as a result, we have made the very difficult decision to discontinue G4’s operations, effective immediately,” the company said.
Behind the scenes, a piece from The Washington Post reported that “constant pivots, high costs, and controversy bedeviled the directionless network” before it shut down again.
One of the last big gaming stories of 2022 came about in late October when Bayonetta voice actor Hellena Taylor uploaded a series of Twitter videos in which she claimed she was offered an “insulting” amount of money–$4,000–to come back for Bayonetta 3. She didn’t take the deal, and the role of Bayonetta went to prolific voice actor Jennifer Hale. Taylor quoted the Bible and called Nintendo and Platinum “fat cats” in her video essays.
A subsequent report from Bloomberg said Taylor didn’t tell the whole story in her original Twitter videos and was actually offered more money and made additional payment requests to appear in the game. The controversy and back-and-forth created a good amount of drama and led to a renewed discussion about voice actor pay and how information is disseminated in the social media age.


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