It seems like almost all news coming out of the world of gaming is a little depressing these days. First of all, Sony shot itself completely in the foot by deciding that Steam players were going to need a PlayStation Network account for Helldivers 2.

When it became rapidly apparent that this would lock hundreds of thousands of players out of a game they had purchased, because the PSN is not available everywhere, the decision was reversed but only after massive customer pressure and terrible press.

This smacks of corporate morons making decisions without thinking them through.

Then, early this week, came the news that Microsoft is taking a scythe to its gaming division, closing four entire studios.

Arkane Austin is toast. The studio behind Xbox’s vampire-themed Redfall is a victim of bad reviews and bad sales for that game. Tango Gameworks is also cut. They made The Evil Within, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and Hi-Fi Rush. Alpha Dog Games (Mighty Doom) is no more. Roundhouse Studios will be subsumed into Zenimax Online.


Arkane Lyon, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, and Machine Games all survive… for now.

These moves come on the back of the revelation of the activities of Sweet Baby Inc. across the entire games industry. These own goals and corporate cuts set us thinking.

Back in my gaming youth, as I graduated from a Commodore Amiga, through a Sega Master System and onto an SNES, it seemed like everything was very different. Every other day a new game would drop. Particularly back in the Amiga days, it was frequently from some outfit you had never heard of, often a crew of guys operating out of a basement or garden shed somewhere.


There was room for everyone, and gaming was a niche, minority thing.

Now, with parent companies like Microsoft valued at over $3 trillion these days, and an industry worth $350 billion a year in revenue, why does it all seem so much worse?

Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony don’t just dominate the console market anymore. They also are the biggest publishers of video games worldwide. It is staggering which studios and developers these giants own, or control entirely by domination of distribution.

Where is the space for the plucky, yet creative geeks and nerds to make something truly special? The “Big Three” are corporates, so they behave like corporate idiots as we can see from misguided decision after misguided decision.

A blanket rule about a network here, letting Sweet Baby get a foot in the door there, subsuming publishers then having no idea what to do with them and managing them as if they are simply a department in their structure. It’s as if they are determined to make an even bigger mess of things than the movie studios of Hollywood.

Do you agree with us that something has gone very, very wrong with the modern gaming landscape?

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