2012 was, for want of a better word, a veritable BOMB of news, both inside and outside the world of video games.
And whilst the games industry may have not quite matched the national billing of events such as phone hacking, the Olympics, tax dodging, Jimmy Saville and the Arab Spring, we certainly had our fair share of drama.
Not least of which was the collapse and partial rebirth of GAME. But as MCV's roundup of the Top 11 most read stories in 2012 proves, reader's interests spread a slightly wider net.
11. GAME has filed for administration (March 21st)
Bottom line – this was the story that defined MCVuk.com's year. For our reporters it was period of their careers that will never be forgotten. It was an odd time, really. On the one hand there was the professional pride in leading the way on the story, beating the nationals at their own game. On the other hand, telling hundreds of people they were about to lose their job was a deeply saddening experience.
10. 277 GAME and Gamestation stores close, 40% of workforce axed (March 26th)
The real-world consequences of weeks of headlines. This was the cruel reality – real people losing real jobs. This was one of the most disheartening stories the author has ever had to write.
9. FIFA 13 price roundup – where's cheapest? (September 27th)
Take one of the biggest release of the year and tell gamers where they can get it cheapest and this is the result.
8. Eurogamer bans booth babes from future Expos (October 3rd)
The games media has done an enviable job this year of trying to grow up and escape the shackles of its male-orientated past in 2012. And whilst the moral crusade has arguably gone on to become something entirely different – a poorly judged, chest-thumping mess of egos – the outcry about Virgin Gaming's scantily clad booth bases at this year's EG Expo was entirely justified.
7. Dark Souls sequel confirmed (March 9th)
The game wasn't revealed proper until earlier this month, but merely confirmation of the intention to make a sequel was enough to make this story on the MCVuk.com's most read of the year.
6. Gamestation may be sacrificed for new look GAME chain (March 20th)
The story presented here was technically inaccurate, as when GAME's store closure programme was announced it was spread across the GAME and Gamestation brands. Of course, later in the year it would later prove to be correct as the streamlined operation dropped the Gamestation name for good.
5. EXCLUSIVE: No disc drive for Next Xbox (March 9th)
Obviously we're yet to discover whether or not this story will prove to be correct. It seems likely that Microsoft is planning a twin-SKU approach that will offer two versions of the Next Xbox, one of which (the entry-level, under the TV” model)will very likely shun physical media. Time will tell.
4. Bully 2 has not been forgotten, Rockstar assures fans (July 12th)
Bully was released in 2006. But six years later, few series' attract the same kind of reader attention as Rockstar's unique take on the GTA formula. Perhaps if we show Take 2 our click through rates on everything Bully 2 related it'll get a move on?
3. Next Xbox AND PS4 set for biggest ever E3 (January 6th)
Yes, yes- we know this proved to be incorrect. It could well turn out that both units are shown at E3 2013, but even that isn't entirely certain. All we can say is that at the time of writing this was DEFINITELY the plan. Both machines WERE at one staged planned for an E3 2012 reveal. We can't name our source, obviously. But we will say this – horse's mouth.
2. Terrifying horror game Slender available for free (July 5th)
Perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that one of the biggest internet meme's in the history of internet meme's should prove somewhat popular on the internet. All for a free game, too. Oh how our industry has changed.
1. LISTED: GAME/Gamestation closures and remaining stores in detail (March 29th)
Just stop for a minute and think about why this story was popular. It was popular because workers across the country were checking online to see if they still had a job because management wasn't giving them the information quick enough. Doesn't really feel like something to celebrate, does it?