We're finishing up our 2009 Reader's Choice Awards, but that doesn't mean we can't take note of the fact that the last year of the decade hasn't exactly been a stellar years. We've watched a recession hit hard, several games turn the lights off for good, several others lose staff, and generally not had the best of years. And it's something that's even more obvious if you're in the thick of game development. Scott Jennings has taken a few moments to look back at what he sees as the three major developments of 2009: layoffs, Facebook, and microtransactions.

Of course, as someone who had an unpleasant brush with the recession, it's understandable that Jennings wouldn't be predisposed to mention things such as the free-to-play model making large inroads via high-profile titles such as Free Realms and Dungeons and Dragons Online. But the article is interesting as a retrospective of the many south turns the industry took this year, as are his guesses from a year ago regarding what things would look like. Here's hoping that 2010 provides us with slightly better news -- believe it or not, we don't like announcing shutdowns or layoffs any more than you like reading them.

This article was originally published on Massively.