eGamer Awards 2013: Bastard Of The Year
This year has certainly been one for major controversies, and it really has put a damper on an already not-very-mind-blowing year for gaming. It feels like the year is going to be remembered more for its craziness than its good games, so let’s honour the insanity with our Bastard of the Year award. Head on down below to see the nominees, but first you’ll have to get through our rundown.
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The Bastard of the Year Award is what we give to someone who did something so bastardly and evil that we will hold secret or public hate for it until the end of time – or until its bastardness is taken away. Alright, maybe that’s only in extreme cases. It could even go to something that continuously did bastardly things and has gotten itself quite the rap sheet. Anyone and anything can be nominated, whether its about screwing over or deceiving gamers, consistently irritating us, insulting the community or just general evil-doing. But keep in mind that even the good guys can get nominated, as long as they qualify during the year. This award will be given to the overall biggest bastard of the year.
Three words: Aliens: Colonial Marines. Gearbox Software not only did another Duke Nukem Forever, but they did it one hundred times worse. Everything you could possibly hate about the gaming industry was wrapped up in this box that was Colonial Marines, and that includes nearly everything to hate about a modern game itself. It was a terrible game, it was an insult to fans and it was outright extortion to charge full price for it. It took our Most Disappointing and Worst Game awards for this year, and we can’t stress enough how much this title angered, confused and hurt us all.
Why are Capcom here? Probably because we really dislike our two-time winner of the Bastard of the Year award. Or maybe it’s because they showed us Deep Down, one of the best-looking and most exciting next-gen titles, and then revealed that it was free-to-play, which instantly made us hysterical. After everything Capcom has pulled this generation, they’re the last people we’d trust to do free-to-play well, so we’ll just sit back and pray to a higher power that they don’t ruin the game.
Absolutely among the most controversial things we’ve seen in the industry for some years, Microsoft set the world on fire when they announced an online-only, digital-only console littered with DRM and restrictions. Instead of allaying gamers’ fears or having any kind of communication whatsoever, Microsoft invoked terrible PR to come across as arrogant, careless towards gamers and untrustworthy. Sure, we can say a lot of gamers had some pretty explosive reactions, including some of our own staff, but Microsoft did absolutely nothing to change gamer perceptions until they were forced into it. They’ve definitely come a long way since then and have done a lot to make up for it, but we definitely don’t want to forget what can happen if gamers don’t speak out or if companies such as Microsoft do not communicate effectively with gamers and treat them like cash cows or subservient sheep.
This might come as a shocker, seeing as how Sony has been the champion of this year in one of the greatest comebacks we can think of. But you know what? They were mean. Very mean. To Microsoft especially. Well…that’s awkward. But more to the point, we certainly didn’t care for their recent defending of Gran Turismo 6’s ridiculous
micro macrotransactions, or their announcement of dropped features just before the PS4 console was about to launch, or them following in Microsoft’s footsteps with a day one console patch. They were not the biggest evil this year, but where there is bastard behaviour, we are there to pick up on it, and even good guy Sony isn’t infallible.
Phil Fish was quite the character this year. Whether it was full on Twitter breakdowns, tantrums, rage against the universe, vocal hate to Microsoft, the outright cancellation of Fez II, this guy was there and in the limelight of controversy. He picked up quite a lot of extra hate this year from gamers, and made himself no allies with his extreme behaviour in public, and at one time we’re pretty sure Phil Fish cleanly ejected himself from the entire gaming industry after hating on it. If the line between genius and insanity was ever blurred before, well, Phil Fish tried to set records for it during this year.
YouTube. You assholes. The latest drama earned YouTube a last minute entry into our list, thanks to their new Copyright ID system which has seen hundreds of fair use videos from Let’s Plays to video reviews (and non-gaming content too) get flagged unfairly and stupidly. This has seen the hard work of many gamers go to waste as their videos became blocked globally for the most obscene and ridiculous of things. YouTube is currently receiving the wrath and hatred of gamers around the world for their total lack of respect towards the channels that made them popular, as well as the mistreatment of its users. This kind of thing is exactly why consumers are so mistrusting towards corporations.
In a year with many notable bastardly things, one bastard stood above the rest and we have a nagging suspicion that you already know who that is. Spoiler alert. It starts with a “C”, and it’s not carrot. So, since you absolutely don’t know who our loser is, you’d best head on down to find out.
There have been some pretty unforgivable things this year, but Aliens: Colonial Marines and Gearbox Software are the two things we want to remember as the whole drama here illustrates where the gaming industry can go horribly, horribly wrong. Shady business practices, outright deception, cheating fans out of both their faith and money, and disgustingly poor quality at full retail price is just the shortlist of what went wrong here. While YouTube or Microsoft certainly did things of super villain proportions, it is Aliens: Colonial Marines from Gearbox Software that seriously reflects all the bad in an industry we love so much, and there was no evil deed that it avoided, and no punch that it pulled. Just eat this award Gearbox Software. Please. And eat it Aliens: Colonial Marines as well. You shamed the entire gaming industry and all of its fans, and for that you deserve the Bastard of the Year Award for 2013.