We're barely a month into the new year and the gaming industry has already suffered through some pretty significant catastrophes. Last week, actually, was one of the most depressing weeks in video game history, and the industry will never be the same. If you haven't been paying attention, here are a few of the lowlights:
Atari Files for Bankruptcy
Atari had been having financial problems for quite a while, but their bankruptcy announcement still came as quite a shock to many industry experts. And even though they're not shuttering their windows any time soon, it still could have major impact on video games.
To be fair, though, the modern-day Atari brand isn't the same one that brought us classics like Marble Madness and Gauntlet. Atari's logo has passed around more than the Stanley Cup (see? that joke doesn't have to be dirty). Actually, the current Atari logo finds it way onto more T-shirts and cell phone cases than video games. So, perhaps the bankruptcy isn't all bad.
PlayStation 2 Officially dies
When Sony announced that they were planning to pull the plug on PlayStation 2 production, I was surprised that it actually bummed me out a little. I don't plan on buying another PlayStation 2, but there's just something about the knowledge that I'll never be able to unbox a crisp, new PS2 that makes me a little sad.
Elementary School Shootings and Government Investigations
Ever since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, politicians have been clamoring to pin the blame on the video game industry. No one seems to care that this phenomenon has been repeatedly studied, and no connection has ever been found.
THQ Files for Bankruptcy and Closes Its Doors
THQ was never the biggest name in game development, but they had carved out a good-sized niche in the industry. So, when the company filed for bankruptcy in December and was subsequently auctioned off last week, the games industry lost something unique.
Many of THQs original IPs are still in limbo after no buyer was found, which means that franchises like Homeworld and Darksiders could be lost to history. Plus, even if they are resurrected, they'll never be quite the same.
Hopefully, February will be a bit less depressing than January. All of this upheaval makes it really easy to be a game journalist, but really hard to be a gamer.
It's not all terrible, of course. 2013 is poised to be a pivotal year for the shifting industry. So far, though, it's been a little rough.
Date: January 28, 2013