With the news that Electronic Arts (EA) and FIFA are going their separate ways after three decades of license agreement, both EA and FIFA will now face a momentous task looking to rebrand their football games without each other. This solution could be easier said than done. The problem is that the annual football game from EA has become symbiotic with the name FIFA, so much so that the game is called FIFA with a numbered year suffix, such as FIFA 22. So, when someone says they are going to play FIFA, everyone knows it’s the EA football game. That will have to change from 2023. How damaging will this be to both parties? I would venture less so for EA and more so for FIFA.
The pioneers of the video game industry run into a handful of names; Allan Alcorn (the inventor of Pong), Tomohiro Nishikado (Space Invaders) Nolan Bushell (co-founder of Atari), Shigeru Miyamoto (Donkey Kong / Mario) and Toru Iwatani (Pac-Man). For the British, it was Clive Sinclair (the Spectrum computer). It was Clive Sinclair who can be credited for creating the British video game industry that tens of thousands owe their livelihoods today.
Image credit @Valve
One of the interesting by-products of the Covid pandemic has been the insatiable demand for electronic hardware. The shortage of graphic cards, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series consoles has been well-documented. It could be argued, given the current chip shortage impacting multiple industries, that streaming games could be an alternate solution.
What is E3? We know it stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo, and it has a chequered history of expanding, contracting and then blowing up to be this massive industry event that is now bigger than the sum of its parts when everything is a click away, what does E3 want to accomplish?
At the time of writing this blog (October 2020) all eyes are on the new consoles coming from Sony and Microsoft. Right now, there is a wave of heightened anticipation and excitement as we enter a new console generation, but something else just as seismic has been happening to the game industry for some time now. China has eyes on console gaming.
It is on the minds of every industry, every company, every government, and everyone in work. How bad will the recession of 2020 – 2021 be? When it comes to the console and PC video game market, this question is no less relevant.
The Unreal Engine 5 demonstration looked fantastic. There I said it.
Epic unveiled the new iteration of their Unreal Engine with a promotional video on the 13 May 2020. I highly recommend everyone to check out the Unreal Engine 5 demonstration video on YouTube, preferably on the highest settings your TV or monitor can handle. The new engine uses the latest technology in video rendering. As a layman who knows next to nothing about game development, when terminology like “Nanite virtualized micropolygon technology”, “Lumen” and “convulsion reverb” were mentioned, I was lost, but that is not important. All I know is what my eyes and ears were telling me. They were telling me – this looks and sounds stunning!
Out of nowhere, the coronavirus, Covid-19, turned the world upside down. Almost all the people in the world and almost all industries have been affected by the virus, the video game industry even more so. One only must read the Games Sales Data (GSD), produced by B2Boost, for the EMEA region to get an idea of the ferocity of change since the time Europe went into lockdown.
In 2003 I fell in love with a green lipped brunette called Jade. She is the heroine from the Ubisoft’s game, Beyond Good & Evil. Although the game was not a commercial success, it did get a cult following and received solid reviews with mostly 8/10 from critics. What made the game special for me was the fact Jade used her intelligence to figure out a way to defeat the bad guys and her weapon of choice was a camera (she did come armed with a combat staff that she used for defence…. obviously!). Ubisoft will release a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil and the reason could largely be because Jade is such a unique, memorable character that gamers find appealing.
Making predictions about the video game industry has historically been paved with false optimism or, conversely, not enough imagination. Publishers and developers never fail to surprise gamers with new gameplay mechanics or announcements of games that few people saw coming. So, with that in mind, this blog is not one that will make predictions about 2020. However, given what we know has been announced for 2020 so far and what we can safely expect this year, I would hazard a guess that 2020 could be a great year in video game history.