We are about to close out 2022 and the video games industry seems to insist on holding onto loose ends with no signs of stopping, dropping surprises both good and, quite frankly, questionable.

The Grand Gander of the Game Awards 2022

Geoff Keighley’s pet project, The Game Awards, returned for another year. The ceremony was held for an invited audience and hosted at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California on December 8, 2022.

IGN has compiled a full summary of the happenings. While there weren’t any actual losers, it is important to especially highlight the bizarre, stage-crashing incident that disrupted Elden Ring’s Game of the Year win at the end of the show. A young man hopped on stage and spouted a statement that may or may not be tied to alt-right conspiracy and online troll tactics, to the confused look of developer Hidetaka Miyazaki standing awkwardly aside.

The silver lining to all of this is that everything could have gone way worse, despite the fact that security was busy confiscating pro-union symbols, according to one attendee.

All the weirdness couldn’t bring the wholesomeness of the well-beloved #FluteGuy down.

The Game Awards continue to carry the awkward mantle of being less of an awards show and more of an announcement-based one. A few of the plethora of trailers and release date drops include:

Hades is getting a sequel, to the the jubilation of many fans.

Death Stranding is also getting its own sequel.

Final Fantasy 16 has new trailer that reveals a June 2023 release date.

Whether intentional or not, Street Fighter 6 will hop on to the battleground around the same time.

And unfortunately, we also had to be reminded that The Super Marios Bros. Movie featuring Chris Pratt is indeed real.

Meta VR Continues to Fumble Its Projections

In another headline that magnifies the struggles behind the scenes at Meta, CTO John Carmack departs the company after ten long years.

Carmack had been a longtime vocal supporter of the company’s foray into VR and the metaverse, but he has taken a more  scathing tone in his departure statement, saying, “I have never been able to kill stupid things before they cause damage, or set a direction and have a team actually stick to it.” Carmack is also known as the co-founder of id Software, having contributed to games like Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein 3D.

On top of losing a big-name visionary, Meta’s PR just keeps getting worse—the company is now facing a hefty fine from the European Commission for breaching antitrust laws.

Steam Gets Called Out on the Senate Floor

In a rather unprecedented move, a US Senator has penned a letter directly to Valve condemning the white supremacist and Neo-Nazi content that continues to be hosted on Steam’s platform. New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassam addressed a letter directly to owner Gabe Newell, challenging Steam’s moderation policies in light of extremist ideology that remains pervasive in its communities and game catalog.

This move was not planned in a vacuum, and was accompanied by the members of Congress co-signing a request of information from other top games companies on their moderation policies and approach to harassment and extremist behavior in their respective products. Although company representatives are not obligated to respond, their next moves will be definitely considered, and US legislation now has eyes on the games world.

In other news…

Fortnite developer Epic Games has been charged by the FTC over violations of privacy laws and deceptive settings that, “tricked Fortnite users, including teenagers and children.”

Meanwhile, Twitch has failed to properly vet the latest additions to their extensive charity catalog, which included organizations of disputed motives and hate groups.

 

Raspberry Pi is facing scrutiny for hiring a former police officer who has a history of using their product for surveillance.

Amazon has recently acquired the rights to the Warhammer 40,000 brand, setting the stage for a film and television franchise that will star Henry Cavill.

Death Stranding’s sequel is simply not enough, as it might also be getting a movie adaptation.

There’s also going to be a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, featuring the likes of Matthew Lillard and Josh Hutcherson.

Yuji Naka has been arrested, again, for another separate case of insider trading.

In a surprising turn, former retiree Chris Metzen returns to Blizzard’s World of Warcraft team as a creative advisor.

And: The Last of Us 3 is rumored to be in production.