Welcome all to this year’s “MMGaming Awards” post. Although in reality the post this year is going to be rather different than our previous awards posts. For starters, beyond naming our Game of the Year (and maybe having a rant about the games industry) I won’t really be writing out any other awards. Instead, this year this post will function as something of a “State of MMGaming Address” where I will briefly go over where things stand on our site and lives in general. So, rather unfortunately, many game developers will be going home award-less tonight…
Anyway, let’s just JUMP into it! *clap clap*
Game of the Year
Our game of the year for 2018 is actually a rather easy choice. I think a reasonable part of our (read: my) decision to not write an awards post this year has been that there just hasn’t felt like a great deal of extremely excellent games this year, it’s mostly been a year of damp squibs and extremely overhyped 7/10s (just check the VGAs for a list of the same 5 games in every category to see that I might not be the only one with this opinion).
However, there were a few games which did stand head and shoulders above any other from the rest of the year. To a rather crazy extent in fact… This has been a point of almost contention between me and Tim recently in that after playing it, he informed me that it might have just become his Number 1 game of all time.
As such, this is something of a big deal. In a year of disappointing releases, the new God of War was a shining beacon of blinding light. A game which masterfully blended story, world-building, characters and smashy-smashy-hack-and-slashy combat to create essentially a masterpiece that everyone should play.
This award doesn’t really go to any game in particular this year but is here rather to make one point: another primary reason I’m not making a standard awards post this year is because in truth neither of us played an awful lot of the newest releases. For a large part a great many of them actually passed us by for reasons I shall get into later on.
For now, let it be known that while we did our best to play a good few games, our view has not been as comprehensive as it can be, and thus there didn’t feel like any point in writing an awards post.
Also, specifically, I haven’t played Spooderman, and I want to play Spooderman…
The “Gamers aren’t really people” award for those who pissed us off
I promise to restrain myself in my rant this year, so that I don’t need to make a whole separate post like last time. Goodness though, things went down this year. I mean, on one hand you had Guild Wars 2 dev ArenaNet actually taking a stand and firing some of their employees for belittling fans and then hiding behind “sexism” (be warned, the link included is heavily in favour of the writer in question, while frankly she 100% deserved everything she got…) but moments of Good like that sometimes feel few and far between.
First there was the absolutely disastrous handling of the marketing for Battlefield V. While the initial controversy of ridiculous and nonsensical forced diversity (disabled female soldier with cybernetic arm on the cover of a WW2 game) could easily have been corrected and explained as being about marketing or about an alternate reality, instead DICE doubled down and simply told gamers to fuck off with what they wanted and not play the game if they didn’t like it. Glad to see that paid off and that DICE had to push back the release because sales were so low. So y’know, guess the gamers decided not to buy it! Morons… This is also a cause of some division between Tim and I, given his love for the series.
Then there was the announcement of a mobile Diablo game by Blizzard. A mobile Diablo game INSTEAD of a big main release. An ENTIRELY mobile game of a series of PC games, with no intention of coming to PC. A mobile game seemingly completely ripped off of an existing Chinese game, solely for the purpose of sucking money out of people’s pockets. Then they (as well as fucking mainstream media) had the gall to call gamers entitled for wanting a new PC release of the PC series which Blizz had been teasing all year… Fucking hell, what a shitshow.
But the REAL winners of the cake this year (other than the mainstream media, because honestly if you don’t know they’re 99% a bunch of cunts by now, then you never will) is Bethesda. Particularly because this is a company that until FO4 could do no wrong in my eyes. I would defend them and everything they did. However, unfortunately FO76 has been an absolute disaster. Bad enough that the game itself is a game that nobody asked for and is as bland as a lettuce sandwich (worse in fact, as it currently sits at 2.7/10 on Metacritic), but worse is the apparent utter contempt the company seemed to display for its consumers. Only desperately backpeddling when the backlash became too huge. This is one of those ones where I only just find it funny and instead just find it disappointing.
The elephant in the room
I am aware that there is another fucking ENORMOUS release this year that potentially could even have stunned both of us into reshuffling our top 50 board. A game which has a very solid shot of being many people’s Game of the Year. And neither me nor Tim played it, deliberately this time though…
See, the simple truth of the matter is that we both absolutely loved GTAV. But we both got it on consoles at the time and then when it was subsequently released on PC neither of us felt the desire to play it AGAIN but also simultaneously watched with some envy as the PC release got all of those nice updates and changes. Not to mention the graphical benefits…
So, independently, both Tim and I made the decision this time around that we would NOT buy Read Dead Redemption 2. We have zero intention of giving Rockstar double the money for one game just because we have no patience and so we are waiting for the PC release. Naturally you might say “RDR1 didn’t have a PC release”. But trust me, they’re releasing RDR2 on PC. And the only reason they haven’t done so already is because they know damn-well that releasing it twice like this means a great many people will buy the stupid thing twice.
Yes, I am cynical and jaded about the industry. How did you guess?
Where are we now?
So let me return to what I said above about both of us not playing a great many games this year, because the reality is not that we haven’t been able to buy games but rather different.
Essentially it has been a rather turbulent year for the both of us. The first 8 months of 2018 were an extremely difficult time for me personally which made gaming less of a priority (and nuff said about that). Meanwhile Tim became only increasingly busy in that he was in the middle of finishing up his PhD. He has since become Dr. Corporal Herb (and a massive public congratulations to him for that) and moved to a new position and this has, for the time-being, compounded the issue. To summarise: he was busy with other things and couldn’t play as many games.
Now, if anyone here reading this has followed our site and Youtube channel then you will be well-aware that the rate at which we produce content is appalling low. However, I do hope I am not alone in my belief that this year has been exceptionally bad for us (naturally, also because of our comparative instability).
So what does this mean for us going forward: well, for me, things have brightened up again (I am glad to say) and I am currently settling into a new position as well. Thus, now that I am more stable once-again I hope I will be able to devote more of my time and attention to my favourite hobby once more. Tim meanwhile is still, unfortunately, in a transitionary period and so likely will struggle for a period to come, but hopefully will also soon be in a more stable place.
Assuming both of these remain true then I HOPE that we will see a rejuvenation in the rate of us completing games and in producing content. Naturally I will not give any kind of upload schedules because even if we had the chance of being that consistent, I guarantee we wouldn’t keep the schedules.
State of MMGaming
So, what is next for MMGaming in general? Assuming we can indeed perk up our rate of content generation?
Well, to be frank it will be more of the same as from the last 2 years. I do hope that if anyone is keeping up with us then they will have seen that, following my acquisition of an actual gaming rig the standard of our content improved dramatically. And it is our intention to maintain this quality from henceforth.
Our focus is going to be divided more or less equally between the site and YouTube channel (with some focus on Twitch, Scottish internet permitting). The simple fact of the matter is that while we enjoy doing this for ourselves, getting external validation is a big part of the draw and the best way to grow our audience is through YouTube and Twitch rather than the site directly (as much as we associate ourselves with the site rather than the other two).
On the website itself we will maintain our focus on game reviews and very little else. Every game review will have a score out of 100 (arbitrary, we know, but always a nice summary) and the pros and cons table (which I personally think make a solid tl;dr for a game review). Beyond this we will also post occasional board game reviews and editorials on the games industry and “nerd culture” (with editorials and the latter specifically both being few and far between). We want our site to primarily be our “serious” stuff, so it will contain our opinions on all the above, but also with the attempt to maintain objectivity and maintain a careful and considered approach to things (thus the absence of most written impressions and the like).
Meanwhile our YouTube channel these days consists/will consist of a few differing formats of videos. All of them however, these days, have to pass our own personal quality guarantee of “we enjoy watching it ourselves”. Too many times in the past I would make videos for the sake of trying to make YouTube videos and now I am determined that the stuff I produce is actually something I enjoy watching (because then I assume others might as well).
We have our “review” series: My Final Thoughts On, My Thoughts On and My First Impressions as well as our 5 Games in 5 Minutes.
My Final Thoughts On will act as complementary to the reviews written on here and will largely say the same things. These will be scripted and pre-recorded and likely fairly long. They also will act as our mouthpiece to add extra opinions to the reviews beyond just our thoughts on the game.
My Thoughts On, originally the title of our review series, is now reserved for games which have not been fully released yet (alphas, betas, early access etc). I.e. It will be a considered (scripted and pre-recorded) and final opinion on a game which may still change in future. Given that so many games these days often have the addendum “updates may change things in future” we feel we cannot devote our time to going back to things we dislike 2 years after release JUST because it’s supposedly “finally been fixed”. Essentially, we will put this down as a recommendation of whether or not to play a game in its current state with the assumption that it will change but we likely won’t cover it again.
My Impressions On: another slight deviation from both of the above. This will be both finished and unfinished games but instead will be live impressions given when playing a game (either in early hours or for the first time). More than the other two videos of this format will probably show us forming an opinion even as we play. It will also only be minorly edited, usually with longer sequences of gameplay and messing around cut out in favour of exposition.
5 Games in 5 Minutes (5G5M): our newest format which we will reserve for games where we do not make any of the above. Unfortunately the simple truth of the matter is that even the My Impressions On videos can be a bit time-consuming to make, and so we want a better solution to put out opinions and coverage on games where we have only spent a couple of hours on them. In short this segment in which we give each game a 1 minute summary will be often be reserved for those games which we did not love, games which we might have enjoyed but also recommend with caveats and so-on. It’s simply being prudent with our time, but also hopefully will be entertaining and informative!
Beyond our review series we will also have two other common formats of videos. Our (likely) most heavily-edited videos will be our “Sillies” series. These very obviously copy the format from the likes of SovietWomble and Fitz (as well as some inspiration from old-school Pewdiepie), hopefully though you will find them as amusing to watch as I do.
And finally Let’s Plays. These will be a return to the old-school Let’s Play format. In short: very little editing (beyond the very long uninterrupted boring stretches) and likely taken directly from our Twitch streams. These will also be infrequent, but having seen recently that if produced occasionally they can still be watchable and amusing, they might make a rare and lighter break from everything else.
As has been the consistent plan though, we fully intend to try and make sure the quality of everything here is up to scratch. After all, the Youtube Channel will more or less be our flagship as we try and continue to grow our audience.
To any who have read or watched our stuff so far and enjoyed it, I hope you will continue to do so and will provide feedback for us as we go on. Beyond that, here’s hoping that next year is a more productive year for both the game’s industry and MMGaming!
Alright chums, looks like times up. Let’s do this.