Gaming 2022 recap: From the BGMI ban to Microsoft’s $69 billion headache, a throwback
Gamers have had an eventful 2022, with award-winning Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarök making headlines for all the right reasons. However, it hasn’t all been easy, with the murky situation surrounding Microsoft’s $69 billion bid to acquire Activision Blizzard. It’s still far from resolved. India’s gaming scene was also hit by the July ban of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) earlier this year, which had a profound impact on the nascent local esports industry. 2022 was also the year we heard a lot of (mostly unnecessary) chatter about Web3 and blockchain gaming efforts.
On this week’s episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, host Akhil Arora has a conversation with industry insider and Orbital veteran Rishi Alwani and game guide editor Screen Rant Akshay Bhalla to discuss the year 2022 in games.
2022 in gaming: the biggest news
Arora kicks off the discussion by asking guests what they thought was the biggest development in gaming this year. For Bhalla, the Starfield reveal was a major relief due to concerns surrounding Bethesda games. (Fallout 76, anyone?) For Alwani, this was the ridiculous GTA VI leak. With over 90 clips, a leak of this magnitude hasn’t been seen in-game for a while. Alwani also discusses how India’s BGMI ban has hurt the local gaming industry and esports scene.
The biggest news though – at least in monetary terms – has been Microsoft’s ongoing struggle with the Activision Blizzard acquisition. Alwani secretly hopes it will take even longer than he has already. He believes the attempted purchase of a studio juggernaut is emblematic of Microsoft’s failure to deliver first-party titles to next-gen Xbox consoles. Bhalla notes that the market-sized acquisition of Activision has the potential to completely change the gaming landscape. After all, Call of Duty – one of the biggest FPS franchises – is associated with this deal.
Our favorite games of 2022
From there, the discussion shifts to the games we loved playing this year and would look forward to returning next year as well. Bhalla chooses an unexpected title – Triangle Strategy, available on Switch and PC. He was impressed not only by the game’s tactical gameplay, but also by its intriguing story. Alwani opts for a three-way tie — sneaky! – between Soul Hackers 2, Monster Hunter Rise’s Sunbreak expansion, and Final Fantasy XIV.
The best games of 2022
What to expect in 2023?
In the final third of this week’s Orbital episode, we dive into what we want and don’t want from gaming in 2023. Bhalla thinks Starfield is a watershed moment for the Xbox Series S/X. On the other hand, Alwani is looking forward to the release of a Switch Pro next year. With the release of a new Zelda game on the horizon, he hopes Switch can compete with the Steam Deck in terms of performance.
Speaking of performance, Bhalla thinks it’s time for next-gen consoles – PS5 and Series S/X – to stop carrying the weight of the previous generation. He expects more appropriate next-gen titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 to be announced that will take full advantage of current hardware. Otherwise, he fears that current consoles will be wasted as a transitional generation.
You can listen to all of this – and more – in detail on our episode by hitting the play button on the embedded Spotify player above.
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