Rhythm Game Stagnation
After a few steady years of ramped-up awesomeness, the rhythm game genre hit a decidedly ho-hum note this year. Rock Band 3 was the only shining light in the gloom, mainly due to the addition of keyboards, though the game itself didn't break from the status quo. Though solid, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock didn't really bring anything new or exciting to the table, and Power-Gig: Rise of the SixString simply failed on almost every level.
Microsoft Ups the Price
Out of the three major console-makers, Microsoft is currently the only one that charges people to play online. If you don't make use of the various service extras that become available with a gold subscription, then $50 a year already seems like a lot to spend just to get your online multiplayer kicks. It's too bad that Microsoft decided to hike that fee up to $60 this year – a move met by lots of booing and hissing from subscribers.
Failure To Launch
Quite a few super-hyped games fell flat on their face for various reasons and fared poorly with critics and players alike this year. One of the more high-profile flops of 2010 came when the plug was pulled on Realtime Worlds' online action shooter All Points Bulletin only three months after the game launched. With APB canned and the development team gutted, players who forked over $50 for the game had little to show for their troubles. Ironically, the game was bought up and will reportedly be re-launched in 2011 as a free-to-play online game, adding further insult to injury.
Infinity Ward Saga
When Activision fired the two co-founders of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare dev studio Infinity Ward for alleged "breaches of contract" and "insubordination" early this year, it touched off a powder keg of drama and lawsuits that would fume throughout 2010 and beyond. The studio's former heads later formed Respawn Entertainment and sought project funding through partnership with EA, adding further flame to the legal fires as Activision retaliated with more lawsuits. Messy business indeed.
CCC Freelance Writer