The past generation of gaming has not only given us a ton of great games, but also a host of memorable events. From big studios closing their doors to the rampant success of Nintendo’s Wii, gaming has seen a lot since 2005. Here are ten of the VGU staff’s most memorable moments from the generation.
10. Team Bondi’s Working Conditions
LA Noire was the most ambitious project ever undertaken by Australian-based developer Team Bondi. The game took seven years to develop, featured all-new facial recognition tech, and went through a switch in publishers from Sony to Rockstar Games. The project seemed to pay off when the game was met with critical and commercial success in 2011 but trouble was soon to follow.
Allegations of horrible working conditions (including “crunch time” that lasted several times longer than is usual for a game) coupled with more rumors that Rockstar and Team Bondi did not get along spelled disaster for the studio.
Team Bondi sold its intellectual property to Sydney-based multimedia production firm Kennedy Miller Mitchell in August 2011, and the ugly saga had finally come to an end. Rumors, allegations, anonymous sources, and misinterpretations plagued Team Bondi after the launch of LA Noire and it was certainly a memorable moment from gaming this gen.
9. Gamespot Kane and Lynch Controversy
Kane and Lynch came out in 2007 and was backed by a lot of advertisements, especially on popular game site Gamespot. Eidos Interactive sank a lot of money into marketing the game; so when reviewer Jeff Gerstmann gave the game a 6/10, not everyone was pleased.
The story goes that Eidos threatened to pull ad revenue from Gamespot if they didn’t fire Gerstmann for the low review. The review was altered after publication “so that it better meshed with its score” and many people took this to mean Eidos strong armed Gamespot into changing it.
Gamespot vehemently denied the allegations that the firing or the subsequent copy altering had anything to do with Eidos Interactive, but in March of 2012 when CBS Interactive (parent company of CNET and Gamespot) bought Giant Bomb (Gerstmann’s new site) the non-disparaging agreement between CNET and Gerstmann was nullified and Gerstmann revealed that his firing was due to the low score he gave Kane and Lynch.
8. GTA V Breaks Records
The Grand Theft Auto series saw two titles come out this generation and both of them were fantastic open-world sandbox environments for players to explore. Grand Theft Auto V however, had the distinction of taking numerous sales titles andseven Guinness Records for its success during launch and the subsequent days and weeks.
Grand Theft Auto V became the fastest-selling entertainment product in history, reaching the $1 billion sales point just three days after launch (the previous record holder, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, took 15 days to reach that mark). It also beat out Grand Theft Auto IV’s lifetime sales in just three weeks.
In the United Kingdom the game did particularly well, taking the sales title from Call of Duty: Black Ops, selling 1.57 million copies in one day (Black Ops sold 1.41 million in the same time in 2010).
7. Bungie Leaves Microsoft
Microsoft’s Xbox platform launched in 2001 with a killer app in the form of Bungie’s Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo redefined the first-person shooter genre in many ways and became one of the most successful franchises for the Xbox brand. After the success of Halo, Bungie created another Halo title for the Xbox (Halo 2) and one for the Xbox 360 (Halo 3).
Bungie had been bought by Microsoft in 1999 but in 2007 (just after the release of Halo 3), it was announced that Bungie would beleaving its parent company and becoming a LLC. Bungie would continue to work with Microsoft to create Halo games but the IP belonged to Microsoft.
Bungie continued to expand and stopped making Halo games with Microsoft after Halo: Reach. The company revealed a ten year publishing deal with Activison Blizzard and its new game Destiny is set to be launched on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 in 2014.
6. Sony’s 2006 Press Conference
Microsoft was the first company into the 7th generation of home consoles in late 2005 but Nintendo and Sony were sure to follow soon thereafter. At E3 2006 the spotlight was on Sony when it unveiled the price point for its new console: $599.
The high price point spelled disaster for the beginning of the PlayStation 3’s lifecycle. The system was severely overpriced for the market and had to contend with the Wii’s phenomenal success and the Xbox 360 (which had a head start).
The PlayStation 3 was sold at a loss and Sony’s gaming division did not post a profit until Q3 2008. However, despite the rocky start, the PlayStation 3 became more viable as the generation went on and it became more successful. The press conference (and the bombshell $599 price point) may have been a low point for Sony but the company eventually dug itself out of the hole it was in.
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