‘Hack’ appeared in the headlines so often during the summer of 2011, the word almost lost all meaning.
Not only was there the much-publicised phone hacking scandal that saw the News of the World closed and someone smash a custard pie in Rupert Murdoch’s face, there were also several attacks made against video games companies.
In lighter news, we gained a glimpse at the future through E3 and Gamescom, with Wii U and PlayStation Vita taking the industry by storm. Also, Duke Nukem Forever finally decided to make an appearance, and Zumba Fitness enjoyed a ten-week run at the top of the charts.
L.A. Noire – The year’s top new IP was a detective drama set in 1940s Los Angeles. Despite a developer calamity – creator Team Bondi was accused of horrible working conditions and months later went bust – Rockstar’s internal teams have since released it for PC and OnLive with touch controls.
IN THE NEWS
- HMV sells off its Waterstone’s chain for 53m
- Wii price lowered to 129
- Activision announces Call of Duty social network COD Elite
- THQ announces plans to take uDraw multiplatform
- Daily Mail declares outrage over a MW3 trailer that shows scenes of violence in London
- Sega announces UK studio Creative Assembly is working on a newAlien title
- Development on Duke Nukem is finally finished
- Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden is killed during an American military operation in Pakistan
Duke Nukem Forever – It made it to No.1, and was the result of a painfully long 13 years’ gestation, development and redevelopment. But it was hideous, and really only notable for the very fact it even managed to come out.
IN THE NEWS
- Nintendo unveils Wii U
- PSP successor named PlayStation Vita
- Microsoft reveals core line-up for Kinect, including Mass Effect, Ghost Recon and new Fable
- Hackers attack EA, Sega, Bethesda, Nintendo, Codemasters and Epic Games
- Paramount announces new Star Trek game to tie-in with 2012 movie
- Ocarina of Time 3D boosts 3DS sales
- Online retailer Bee.com opens first High Street stores
- Jai McDowall wins Britain’s Got Talent. Anyone heard from him since?
Zumba Fitness – Although over six months old by this point, Zumba started to really fly over the summer months, as casual gamers flocked in. It topped the charts 13 times this year.
IN THE NEWS
- New MCV website launches
- GameStop closes its two UK stores and launches a .co.uk e-store
- Activision details first Call of Duty consumer event, COD XP
- EMI Music signs up with new publisher Tubby Games for a Now That’s What I Call Music title
- Valve-owned digital distributor Steam refuses to sell Battlefield 3 because only EA’s Origin will sell DLC
- The Guardian exposes that News of the World journalists have hacked into the mobile phones of celebrities, politicians and high profile crime victims. As a result, News of the World is closed
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – The third game in the Eidos franchise arrived at the tail end of the summer. It was critically acclaimed and ended Zumba’s run at the top of the charts.
IN THE NEWS
- New streamlined Wii console and bundle unveiled for Christmas release
- Sony cuts PS3’s price to 199.99, announces new PSP model
- EA details new Season Ticket scheme that lets gamers play FIFA 12 before launch
- Nintendo lowers trade price of 3DS by one third, retail drops price tag to as low as 115
- Browser games are added to new social network Google+
- UK games market reaches ten-year low in terms of weekly sales value
- A peaceful protest march in London erupts into four days of rioting, looting and arso