There is a popular thought that, due to several delays, 2022 isn’t going to be the bumper year for video games that was predicted (following several delays in 2021 due to Covid). Following a refreshingly different Pokemon game and clear Game of the Year frontrunner, Elden Ring, we hit a rough patch and the rest of the year without Starfield or Breath of the Wild 2 seems a little bleak. Or does it? Are we just getting a bit too obsessed with the gigantic AAA mega hits and ignoring everything else?
I love video games. I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember. As someone who is turning 40 this year, it’s hard to believe I’ve been playing these things for over 30 years. I was doing some tidying around the house the other day and found my old copy of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive. Just a glimpse of the black case made me strangely saudade (I had to look that one up), reminiscing about a time when things were simpler and I was… simpler. A time when games were games to be enjoyed, not to be analysed for potential business benefits as a career.
That is, for better or worse, the business I’m in. I firmly believe video games have become better than they were 30 years ago, but big games that have a lot of “guides potential” are now the ones I care about most – and these games only make up a small percentage of those released each month. What games are going to be played for the longest amount of time, have the most people looking for information, and ideally be able to generate 20+ pages of guide content? For me, an end of 2022 with Starfield, Breath of the Wild 2, Pokemon, and Final Fantasy 16 would have been like striking gold. As it stands, the only game of those four we’re due to get this year is Pokemon Violet and Scarlet.