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2012 in news: Sony’s gamescom lights up August

Monday, 31st December 2012 11:57 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Gamescom led August’s headlines, but highs (Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes) and lows (the closure of Studio Liverpool) vied for attention. Head below for the eighth part of our 2012 news retrospective.

Despite a refocusing on Vita in Sony’s gamescom press conference, Shuhei Yoshida warned not to expect a price-cut in 2012, and shrugged off constant calls for an update on The Last Guardian.

For every month in our 2012 retrospective, hit this.

August’s main event was gamescom in Cologne. Pre-show news, aside from the odd splash on quirky games like Munch’s Oddysee, was taken up with anticipation of fresh BLOPS2 content. Multiplayer was revealed just before gamescom opened.

The theme of social interaction ran through EA’s press conference, which focused on Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, Crysis 3 and FIFA. Sony’s conference proved to be spectacular in its experimentation, hosting the announcement of fresh IPs like Media Molecule’s Tearaway, Puppeteer, Rain and Until Dawn. We also saw the first gameplay footage of Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified. It was a good showing.

General gamescom news was steady. Command and Conquer: Generals 2 went F2P, much to the shock of fans, and dropped its single-player campaign for launch. Blizzard said Heart of the Swarm was nearly done (it’s since been confirmed it’ll release next March) and Shuhei Yoshida told us to expect the first information about the next Gran Turismo “soon“. We’re still waiting.

Despite a refocusing on Vita in the Sony press conference, Yoshida warned not to expect a price-cut in 2012, and shrugged off constant calls for an update on The Last Guardian.

The show’s major software included Metal Gear Rising, Company of Heroes 2 and DmC. Capcom used gamescom to announce Remember Me.

Eurogamer launched Outside Xbox and announced Simon Maxwell’s appointment from Future. David Cage told everyone to grow up and EA canned the Medal of Honor tomahawk. It was that sort of show.

Over 275,000 people visited gamescom 2012.

Numbers were a running theme in August. Sony hid the amount of Vita’s sold in its Q1 earnings, presumably because it wasn’t selling many of them, and Michael Pachter claimed SWTOR could hit an upside of 50 million users. Over 1 million people registered to play DayZ, and Sony said more than 7 million LittleBigPlanet levels had been created in four years. Minecraft 360 sold 3.6 million units. Over 12 million signed up for Call of Duty Elite. Game Informer’s circulation hit 8.2 million, making it the third-largest magazine in the US.

Ground Zeroes

Kojima used the end of August to announce Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, and everyone had a little moment. It was all shiny, and featured a wet helicopter. The real next-gen, and all that.

August also saw a quickening of releases as autumn loomed. Borderlands 2 PR went into overdrive ahead of a September ship, but Darksiders 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Sleeping Dogs, Guild Wars 2 and New Super Mario Bros 2 finally broke the summer drought. Phew.

Next-gen rumours were go in August, thanks to the nearing of Wii U’s launch. Gamestop apparently leaked the console’s release titles, and we got a first look at Wii U’s game box design. Epic’s Mike Capps called for more efficient development in the next generation, and Microsoft weirdly confirmed that the next Xbox would support Windows 8. EA said it had seen both the next Xbox and PlayStation, and both Gearbox and Team Bondi starting talking about next-gen projects. Was this an Xbox 720 dev kit on eBay? Was this Kinect 2? We still don’t know.

While the next-generation swirled in the ether, August saw Guillermo del Toro’s inSANE trilogy shelved and the first indications that the doctors were about to leave BioWare’s building. OnLive went bust and Sony closed Studio Liverpool.

Not the best way to round off anything, really. Next: September.

For every month in our 2012 retrospective, hit this.

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