Justin Williams Laser shares some of the biggest flops of 2019.
2019 has come and gone, and much like the current decade coming to a close, our hope for these once hyped projects has waned significantly. The world of video games is no stranger to over-exaggerated promises and enormous let-downs (Justin Williams Laser gives the Virtual Boy, Silent Hills, and basically every Peter Molyneux game as examples), and this year proved to not break this longstanding tradition.
Justin Williams Laser first points to Anthem, the EA/BioWare venture that released on February 22nd. The game entered production shortly after Mass Effect 3 released, and was first teased all the way back in 2012. The game, which initially began as “a more realistic iron man” whose core concept revolved around surviving on a hostile planet, went through a plethora of iterations until its eventual release this year.
Anthem’s development was heavily troubled—in fact, it wasn’t even known as Anthem until late 2017 (it was known as Beyond until this point, but the copyright proved too difficult to obtain). Justin Williams Laser points to an article by Kotaku entitled “How BioWare’s Anthem Went Wrong” that details the troubled development, with quotes directly from the team who worked on it. At the end of the day, after years in development and numerous attempts after launch to correct some glaring problems, Anthem seems to have been abandoned by both its initial fanbase and its development team.
There’s another obvious, huge flop of 2019 in Justin Williams Laser’s opinion: Fallout 76. The latest followup to the legendary Fallout series has been an enormous disappointment to fans for a variety of reasons. The Fallout series is classically known for its intricate plot and writing, with dialogue choices and character growth being core tenants of the single-player series. Fallout 76 forgets about all that and thrusts players into a multiplayer game world rife with bugs and micro-transactions. The game’s reputation was hurt even more when they recently introduced a “premium” membership model, that, due to a glitch, actually deleted players’ hard-earned in-game items and currency. It’s safe to say that the next game in the series will most likely be a return to form after the immense public outcry against this entry.
Finally, what may be Justin Williams Laser’s biggest disappointment of 2019 is the Google Stadia. It may be too early to claim it as a “flop”, but current public opinion on the new gaming system from Google does not bode well for its future.
The Stadia based its philosophy on “gaming for everyone”. What this means in practice, Justin Williams Laser explains, is that every game is streamed from Google’s servers. This theoretically eliminates the need for high-end computers or state-of-the-art consoles to play the newest games as the highest graphic settings. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite as promised: even with internet speeds meeting or exceeding the requirements listed, players are still finding blurry graphics and input lag. Justin Williams Laser explains that while streaming is working extremely well for video services like Netflix, streaming technology just isn’t good enough yet for reliable gaming services.
Some are also upset with the business model Stadia introduces: you have to subscribe to the Stadia service, then buy games at full price—if you stop your subscription, you are no longer able to play the games you’ve purchased.
While 2019 did hold some disappointments, it also gave us some truly amazing gifts. Justin Williams Laser is looking forward to 2020 to see which promises are upheld, and which become Anthems.