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2010: The Year in Review, Part 2


Our account of 2010 C.E. continues with a glimpse at the moments that shaped the second half of the year. Sure, you may think they're all still fresh in your mind, but remember when you thought the same thing about those leftovers that turned into fungal monsters in your fridge?

You'll find the highlights from July through December after the break. Yes, some of them have turned into fungal monsters while you weren't paying them any mind.


Jul. 6: Forget about an Alpha Protocol sequel. The case study in how not to launch a game concludes.

Jul. 15: 1 vs. 100 is canned. The great Xbox Live experiment comes to an end, but its tech will be used for "spiritual successor" Full House Poker. Call Uncle Jesse!

Jul. 21: Limbo is released on XBLA and proves you can totally get away with killing a kid in horrific ways in a video game, if it's done artistically. The game climbs its way into our top games of 2010.

Jul. 27: Social games investment reaches a new high as Disney Interactive acquires Playdom for $563.2 million. Major biz reorganization follows and Disney cancels Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned. We're still waiting to hear if Epic Mickey was a sales success.

Jul. 28: SOCOM 4 is delayed to 2011, as plans to position it as a "core" PlayStation Move launch title are abandoned. The 3D mode is not to blame.


Aug. 5: Batman: Arkham City gets a name, and we start to practice our hype-ventilating breathing exercises. Next fall is a long ways away.

Aug. 12: BioShock Infinite unveiled as Ken Levine and co. reveal their Irrational plans to take the franchise sky-high.

Aug. 13: Crysis 2 is dated for March 2011 shortly after being delayed beyond an originally planned 2010 release. (Are we sensing a second-half theme yet?)

Aug. 16–18: GDC Europe 2010 reveals surprising details about US Heavy Rain sales and the consumer's developing interest in DLC.

Aug. 17: Realtime Worlds begins to unravel. The studio dies -- along with its new MMO -- and stays dead. APB, however, is resurrected, er reloaded.

Aug. 18–22: GamesCom 2010, the world's largest video game convention (TGS is second), takes place in Germany. We're subjected to the horror of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 for the first time -- but not the last.

Aug 19: PSJailbreak USB modchip claims to crack PS3 system security, and it's not a hoax. The noise dies down after a court ruling in Sony's favor and a PS3 firmware update blocks the device.

Aug. 24: EA insists controversy over the use of the "Taliban" name in Medal of Honor's multiplayer won't force a compromise of the game's "creative vision." Whoops! That doesn't last. Even after the Taliban becomes the "Opposing Force," Military stores don't sell the game and DICE claims the overall controversy had a negative effect on the reviews.

Aug. 30: Microsoft announces annual Xbox Live price hike to $60. There's always PlayStation Plus for $10 less.


Sept. 2: L.A. Noire is officially delayed. This was preceded by Take-Two's other noir title, Max Payne 3, falling into its own delay -- but at least it dodged cancellation in doing so!

Sep. 3–5: Duke Nukem Forever will be completed by Gearbox was the promise made on the PAX Prime show floor. Duke Nukem' Forever WILL BE COMPLETED by Gearbox.

Sep. 16–19: Tokyo Game Show gives us our first shot at Gal Gun.

Sep. 16: The Last Guardian is finally dated ... for Holiday 2011. Did you really think it was ever going to be 2010?

Sep. 16: PSP2 reportedly in the hands of Mortal Kombat developers, and then EA. By year's end, we see alleged prototype shots and specs, but Sony will wait for when "the timing is right" to confirm.

Sep. 20: Everyman hero Steve Wiebe reclaims the "King of Kong" title. (But it's short-lived.)

Sep. 22: Ill-conceived publicity stunt of the year goes to for making users think it's dead, thus igniting long-held fears about the sustainability of digital distribution. Haha -- fooled you! Just a revamp.


Oct. 1: Q4 kicks off with Gears of War 3's delay ... from April 2011 to the holidays. Now, that's being proactive!

Oct. 4: Several months after a soft launch, OnLive ditches its proposed monthly fee. The service's Microconsole follows in December. Have they convinced you yet?

Oct. 7: World of Warcraft has hooked more than 12 million subscribers. Two months later, on December 7, the Cataclysm expansion becomes the "fastest-selling PC game of all time" with 3.3 million copies sold in a day.

Oct. 13: Gran Turismo 5, after what feels like an eternity in development, is delayed ... one ... last ... time. Sony reports worldwide shipments reaching 5.5 million units by early December.

Oct. 18: Netflix goes native on Wii and PS3, completing the "Big Three" trifecta and becoming an integral piece of the multimedia gaming console puzzle. Hulu Plus is slowly gettin' there.

Oct. 19: After saying "au revoir" to Ubisoft, the creative force known as Patrice Desilets joins THQ to head up the company's new Montreal studio. THQ's reinvention marches on.

Oct. 20: We get our first real taste of Windows Phone 7 gaming and conclude, "it's hard to recommend rushing out to purchase a first-generation Windows Phone right at this moment."

Oct. 21: Super Meat Boy debuts on XBLA. This "gamer's game" gives us thumb blisters and earns itself a place among the year's best.

Oct. 26: The most excellent Rock Band 3 goes on tour, as music game sales continue to plummet. This has got to be foreshadowing something ...

Oct. 26: The PlayStation Phone leaks begin and quickly flood the internet. As of this writing, it's still not "official."


Nov. 2: EA Sports' NBA Elite 11 canceled at the eleventh hour because "it was just going to be a bad game." Original tie-in title, NBA Jam, beefs up and subs in. Still no reports of Take-Two sending EA a big "thank you" fruit basket.

Nov. 2: Califonia's infamous "violent game bill" goes before the Supreme Court in "Schwarzenegger v. EMA." Check out what the justices had to say in normal and "NBA Jam guy" flavors.

Nov. 11: Surprise! Call of Duty: Black Ops sets day-one sales record, and then rakes in a billion bucks before the year's up.

Nov. 16: Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood launches, with multiplayer! We're totally surprised ... but we quickly learn the ropes. Don't step into the Animus unless you're ready. You'll get stabbed.

Nov. 16: Activision's bizarre drama goes public. No, not that Infinity Ward stuff. Sorry, it needs to be capitalized: Bizarre drama.

Nov. 18: Portal 2 receives "the shortest delay in Valve history" to wrap up the year's noteworthy delays. Phew!


Dec. 6: Lara Croft goes under the knife again for latest Tomb Raider reinvention.

Dec. 9: NPD reports record-high for US consumer spending on "physical retail" gaming in November, despite a dip in the annual total, as factored by market research firm Newzoo. Of course, sales of other, less "physical" forms of gaming media skyrocketed in 2010.

Dec. 11: We suffer through another Spike Video Game Awards show. Red Dead Redemption wins the big prize and Mass Effect 3 is officially announced. PS3 players get to catch up in January.

Dec. 11: Angry Birds is Apple's top-selling iPhone game of the year, and that's an understatement. The phenomenon captivates just about everyone with a compatible device, as we find ourselves desperately trying to beat our parents' scores.

Dec. 20: Minecraft is updated to beta and closes in on an astonishing 850,000 copies sold. (The one-million mark is less than a month away.)

Dec. 23: About that foreshadowing for earlier: Viacom sells Rock Band developer Harmonix ... back to Harmonix.

Dec. 27: Pokémon Black and White are dated for a March 6 release in North America -- not like Nintendo even needs to bother.

Dec. 31: The Child's Play charity raises a record-breaking $2 million-plus for the year. "If it is possible to Win Charity," Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins declares to donors in the new year, "you have done so."

Missed Part 1? Travel back in time.

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