Console sales, online abuse, exclusives, broken games and buyouts. What were the biggest news stories of 2014?
Since VG47’s inception in January 2008, there have been 89,885 news and feature submissions posted on the site. In 2014 alone, as of December 11, there have been 11,591 news and feature articles posted on the front page.
With such a vast number of articles, it was a rather onerous task trying to whittle down just 10 stand-out stories of the year, so while your mileage may vary when it comes to what was a big deal and what was small potatoes in your eyes, these are the stories which were at the forefront of our collective minds in 2014.
That being said, below are the 10 of biggest news stories to hit the site in 2014, and in no particular order.
Rise of the Tomb Raider announced as an Xbox exclusive
It was indeed a surprising announcement considering the core Tomb Raider series had never been released as exclusive to any one format, excluding games developed specifically for handhelds.
Luckily, the game will eventually be released at some point for formats other than Xbox. While Microsoft was recently announced as both publisher and development partner for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions, Square Enix reiterated the deal was a timed-exclusive, reassuring PlayStation and PC fans that eventually they too will be able to play Rise of the Tomb Raider at some point beyond holiday 2015.
New-gen consoles plagued with broken AAA games
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have only been on the market for a year, so it’s easy enough to assume developers aren’t 100% familiar with the hardware just yet. However, it doesn’t excuse the absolute rubbish being released onto the market just to adhere to a release date predetermined by suit-wearing bosses sitting in leather chairs in their top floor offices.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection, DriveClub and Assassin’s Creed: Unity are just three of the most high profile and anticipated games for both consoles to have been released in 2014; and each released with major issues instead of being left in the oven a bit longer to cook.
While there were quite a few things wrong with the big Halo release of the year, the biggest issue which plagued The Master Chief Collection was severe matchmaking issues, causing 343 Industries to temporarily trim down the playlists. Various patches have been released to combat the issues, with the most recent released on December 8.
The ambitious racer DriveClub also experienced issues with the online components, causing Sony to delay the PS Plus Edition due to a myriad of server problems. Various updates seem to have quelled the majority of issues getting online, and to make amends, Sony handed out free content to all users of the game. Sony took the scolding over the server issues in-stride, admitting fault yet stating it’s hard to “effectively test [having] 50,000 – 200,000 users” hitting your online servers despite pre-release testing. Its probably right, but still, more stress testing could have helped matters.
A month post release, Ubisoft is still releasing patches to fix the sheer number of issues surrounding Assassin’s Creed: Unity. The game’s launch would have been considered borderline comical if not for such a vast number of ridiculous bugs and glitches found within all formats – things which more testing would likely have eliminated. Between various crashing issues, framerate drops, bugs, and that crazy-ass “no face” glitch, Unity’s release was a laughing stock despite the decent review scores. Even the market was dumbfounded by such ineptitude: shares in Ubisoft fell 9.12% the day after the game released. Luckily, Ubisoft learned a valuable lesson with Unity and will give its studio in Montreal “more time” to develop future games in the series.