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2012 in news: December sees THQ sold, Phantom Pain

Friday, 4th January 2013 11:38 GMT By Patrick Garratt

December wrapped up last year with THQ’s sale, the VGAs and a ton of Wii U dates. Head below for the twelfth and final part of our round-up of last year’s news.

We ended 2012 with rabbiting about potential PS4 features from PSM3′s final issue and a rumour that Xbox 720 is codenamed “Kryptos.” A fitting finale.

For every month in our 2012 retrospective, hit this.

Nintendo generated a lot of headlines in the first part of December. A pair of Nintendo Direct conferences in the first week confirmed dates for Pikmin 3 and Animal Crossing for Wii U, and dropped a ton of video. Nintendo Europe then released a large amount of dates for both 3DS and Wii U, which released in Japan the following day.

Over 300,000 Wii U units were sold in Japan in the machine’s launch weekend, compared to 40,000 in the UK.

December’s other main event was the VGAs in LA. Kojima used the show to announce Phantom Pain (which is pretty obviously Metal Gear Solid 5), and several others took advantage; Tomb Raider and Lords of Shadow got new trailers, Dark Souls 2 was announced and The Last of Us was confirmed for May release. Catherine Cai was on hand to wrap up proceedings.

Releases were practically non-existent in December. Hawken came out, as did Dishonored’s Dunwall City Trials. Medal of Honor’s Zero Dark Thirty DLC shipped. Steam’s Big Picture service made it out of beta. That really was kind of it.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate and Crysis 3 both got confirmed release dates. 2K used the quietness to push on BioShock Infinite and release the shooter’s box art.

Kickstarter’s biggest story of the month was Project Eternity, which ended a funding round on a nose-bleeding $4.3 million.

Stalking horse

THQ threw a spanner into the year’s works by finally filing for bankruptcy protection and forging a sale deal with Clearlake Capital Group. Humble bundling before the announcement and some high sales figures for Saints Row: The Third pushed stock higher, but no one was under any illusion at this point: this was “it”. President Jason Rubin assured the moves were the first in a “new start” for THQ and it was assured that dev teams and current IP would remain unscathed. We’ll see.

THQ’s last hurrah was the only negative in December. Square was forced to remove a Hitman Facebook promo app which encourage people to tell their friends they were planning to kill them because they had small breasts, and Black Ops 2′s reduced sales over Modern Warfare 3 were confirmed. G4 sort of went missing and is to return as Esquire. Gamesmaster Patrick Moore added insult to injury by dying. Some people are incredibly selfish.

More positively, Mike Capps retired as president of Epic after a hugely successful career, and George Osborne confirmed tax relief for the British dev industry. MCV publisher Intent Media sold out.

We ended 2012 with rabbiting about potential PS4 features from PSM3′s final issue and a rumour that Xbox 720 is codenamed “Kryptos.” A fitting finale.

For every month in our 2012 retrospective, hit this.

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