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This is a subjective list of course

Let's look forward to the 2014 world cup

This is a subjective list of course

For the last few months I’ve been joking that the end of FIFA Coins for 2014 will be more akin to writing an obituary for the games industry. But somehow things have managed to get even worse in the last few weeks, and there no longer seems any point waiting till December in order to confirm 2014 as a complete and utter disaster for video games.

The initial problem was simply that this year’s crop of games has been extremely disappointing. That’s not at all unusual for the first full year in a new console’s life, but the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, like the Wii U before them, have had an especially poor start.

None of their launch games have impressed and despite the PlayStation 4’s overwhelming sales success its line-up of exclusives this year has been shamefully uninteresting. This has culminated in just a single first party game for the whole of Christmas: Driveclub, which almost two weeks after launch still doesn’t work properly.

Opinions on their exact quality vary but major new franchises Watch Dogs and Destiny have both been disappointingly bland and unambitious, while the equally anticipated Titanfall has proven to have a half-life of mere weeks. Even FIFA 15 has been the worst reviewed entry in the series for years, while the much anticipated survival horror revival has already stalled thanks to the flawed Alien Isolation and The Evil Within.

This is a subjective list of course, but although everyone will have their own opinion on each individual game it’s impossible to argue that the cumulative effect is anything other than grossly disappointing. If you don’t own a Wii U or a PC, and especially if you don’t tend to like indie games, then the year’s harvest of great games is undeniably the worst in living memory.

And this at a time when all video games companies should have been making their best effort. The traditional games industry is currently under attack from all sides, with mainstream audiences increasingly happy to rely on smartphones and tablets for their gaming fix – rather than machines actually conducive to playing games on.

I’ve personally made this point to execs at both Sony and Microsoft but this new generation of consoles seems to be the worst prepared for, not the best. That’s despite having longer than ever to get ready (given how long the last generation lasted) and having the fumbled launches of the 3DS, PS Vita, and Wii U as case studies in how not to launch a new console.

But unfortunately 2014’s poor quality games aren’t even the half of it. If ordinary people, those that play the odd game of FIFA 15 Xbox Coins – or Candy Crush or Clash Of Clans – ever felt uncomfortable with being called a gamer before, then the term must now have been poisoned beyond all redemption. And the reason for that of course is GamerGate.


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The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th FIFA World Cup

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belledodd anna
belledodd anna
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