When you think of bad years for videogames, there can be quite a few that come to mind. 2017 was a contender, with the loot box controversy, the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, and many other moments really bringing down the spirits of gamers everywhere; but it wasn’t as horrific as the launch of the eighth generation of consoles. That’s right, I’m talking about 2013.
The beginning of 2013 saw releases like Dead Space 3, that weird Devil May Cry thing, and the reboot of Tomb Raider. An important thing to note; all three of those examples were not new IPs, which kind of showed the state of things before the year even fully got rolling. Games weren’t doing too well, no one was interested, and everyone was bored. Not to say that good games didn’t exist in 2013, because that was the year we experienced the beautiful narrative of The Last Of Us while exploring the incredible world of Grand Theft Auto V; we just had to slog through some not-too-good games to get to them.
During the middle of the year, we bore witness to the release of the anticipated “Ouya”, which did about as well as you’d expect a console shaped like a dreidel to do. This obviously hurt the gaming industry more, after releasing less than two weeks after the previously mentioned The Last Of Us. Imagine finally being able to see just for the doctor to accidentally remove both retinas, because that’s what it felt like.
That year was also very important for new hardware, as we mainly saw the release of the Xbox One and the PS4. Most people can vaguely remember what the PS4 looked like when it was revealed as it was quite a standard launch that did what it needed to do, but what about the other side of console war? I think a lot of people try their hardest to forget that Xbox conference, the big show to advertise a flawed accessory (Kinect anyone?), media apps, physical games you couldn’t lend to anyone and a whole host of other problems.
The release of new consoles brought the release of a range of first party games, and these really didn’t hold up either, especially on Xbox’s side. Anyone remember Ryse: Son Of Rome and Zoo Tycoon? Yeah, me neither. The release window of the new consoles was also right after one of the greatest games of this generation, Grand Theft Auto V. No one really knows why it decided to launch on a generation that was just a few months from ending, and why it took so long to get to new platforms, but it really did cause a bit of an annoyance for a lot of people.
2013 was a strange year, it brought so much to the table, both good and bad. The year introduced so many things like new consoles, new ways to play games, new games themselves, and it all was most likely a bit too much so suddenly. Even after such an abysmal year, I think we are all kinda glad to have it in our memories. Cheers to all the people that helped make that year (and every year) so amazing for videogames.