One of the pitfalls of being news editor of a two-man news team is that, well, news never sleeps. And I suppose Matt and I aren’t expected to, either. As such, the closest thing we get to a winter break are half-days. This is not me publicly bemoaning my job. I love my job. The problem with working half days, however, is that you’re required to be a lot more selective about what stories you run. Naturally, interesting stuff goes unreported when measured against something arguably more newsworthy (as defined by our site’s parameters).
With that in mind, and burdened by the guilt that I can’t get to everything, I got Eric’s blessing to give 2013 one last hard look by compiling a list of what is now last year’s last stories.
10 Interesting News Stories from the End of 2013
GLAAD—the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation—named The Last of Us
’ Bill as one of 2013’s most intriguing new LGBT characters, calling him “as deeply flawed by wholly unique a character found in any storytelling medium this year.” Agreed. The subtly with which Naughty Dog’s writers laid out Bill’s sexuality is admirable. Understated, but not absence.
In a press release, Amazon listed Call of Duty: Ghosts
for Xbox 360 as their bestselling videogame for the holiday season. Following that is Just Dance 2014
for Wii and Grand Theft Auto V
for Xbox 360. According to a statement issued by Amazon, these games and many others were among more than 36.8 million items ordered worldwide on Cyber Monday.
Speaking to IGN, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells revealed that Uncharted
almost wasn’t called Uncharted
. According to Wells, just shy of their E3 2006 announcement, the company still hadn’t settled on a name, but needed something to append to their E3 trailer. The team went with the name we all know today, but when then PlayStation vice-president (now Microsoft coroproate VP) Phil Harrison heard the name, he vetoed it, citing that “uncharted” in the U.K. means it didn’t break the top 10 sales charts. Eventually, however, Harrison buckled.
According to Chinese news outlets such as China.com and QQ, the country’s Ministry of Culture declared Battlefield 4
illegal, saying that its content “endangers national security” and the game itself “is an aggressive attack on our culture.” The ban followed Chinese editorials protesting Battlefield 4
’s China Rising
DLC, which Chinese critics said—of Battlefield 4
in its entirety—“discredit one country’s image in the eyes of other countries” in “a new form of cultural penetration and aggression.”
Michael Thomasson, a 31-year-old Buffalo resident, is now the Guinness World Record holder for largest videogame collection. The previous record holder, Richard Lecce, was recognized by Guinness in 2010 for having 8,616 games. Interestingly, this is the third time Thomasson has amassed his collection. Twice previously he sold every last one of his games—once in 1989, all for a Sega Genesis, and again in 1998 to fund his wedding. Thomasson estimates his collection is worth between $700,000 and $800,000.
via The Escapist
In a special report documenting the history and success of Resident Evil
across 17 years, Capcom acknowledged that the series’ long life, and in turn the age of its “main user group”—considered now to be in their late 30s and 40s—requires that Capcom cultivate “new users.” Part of their concern is that a percentage of these RE
fans will “outgrow games altogether. To combat this, one of Capcom’s tactics is to gain exposure through fashion magazines by collaborating with fashion brands popular with young’uns.
Depending on the success of Sega’s first free-to-play game for Nintendo 3DS, Initial D: Perfect Drift Online
, the company might pursue more F2P projects for the super-popular handheld console, project lead and Yakuza
series lead Toshihiro Nagoshi told Famitsu
in a recent interview. The game, of course, is based on the anime series Initial D
. No word yet on whether the racer will see release outside of Japan, though.
Heavy rains and high winds that hit the U.K. leading up to Christmas day caused a great deal of flooding, which in turn pretty much wiped out Hello Games’ studio, the developer announced in a series of tweets on Christmas Eve. “Hello Games has been totally flooded,” reads the first of several tweets. “Everything in the office has pretty much been lost.” Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, and despite the mess, the team at Hello Games kept their spirits high, saying they “know we’ll come back stronger.”
In a post on the official Game Freak blog, Pokémon X
director Junichi Masuda revealed that the two games took three and a half years and, including localization teams for each language Pokémon X
was released for, over 500 people to develop. Game Freak, however, only employees 85 people itself, and some of those employees were hired for
development of Pokémon X
. The other hundreds and hundreds? Presumably on loan from Nintendo and The Pokémon Company.
Club Nintendo members cast their votes for 2013’s best Wii U and 3DS games, listing The Legend of Zelda
, Super Mario 3D World
, Rayman Legends
, Pikmin 3
, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
, Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
, The Wonderful 101
, LEGO City: Undercover
, and DuckTales: Remastered
as their favorite games for Wii U in 2013. On the 3DS side, Club Nintendo members loved them some Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
, Fire Emblem: Awakening
, Animal Crossing: New Leaf
, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies
, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
, Rune Factory 4
, and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team