It’s that time of year, that time where we give awards for developers and studios and people who deserve awards. And that’s what you’re here for. For awards! Otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked on a title with the word “award” in it four times.
Let’s get right to the awards, shall we?
The Utz “My Computer Is A Potato” Award For Best Streaming Service – Game Pass Ultimate
For the second year in a row Xbox Game Pass takes home the award for the best streaming service. You’d think Sony’s PlayStation Plus Premium would be a shoe-in for value, but it has been sorely lacking in the thing players want most. PlayStation 1 and 2 games. Sony’s new service launched earlier this year and they’ve apparently lost 2 million subscribers since last year.
Meanwhile Xbox Game Pass continues to be a crazy good deal at $15 per month, often with sales that bring the cost down much further than that. Not only do you get access to a catalog covering all generations of the Xbox, the prior games all play natively on the system. None of that “streaming only” garbage from the PS+ PS3 games. And with a bunch of games launching day one on Game Pass, it continues to prove itself a great value for customers.
Even if Microsoft is blowing it on first party releases this year.
The Richard Garriott Award For Most Squandered Reputation – Richard Garriott
There was a time years ago when you’d hear Richard Garriott was involved in a new MMO and you’d say “hey that’s pretty cool. I know Richard Garriott will do cool things and he loves us gamers.” That was a long time ago. In that time Tabula Rasa came out and was a big flop and killed Garriott’s corporate credibility. Then Garriott scammed people with Shroud of the Avatar and killed his crowdfunding credibility. Earlier this year Richard Garriott announced that he was involved in a crypto NFT MMO called Iron and Magic and the internet collectively asked the important question; “can Richard Garriott retire now?”
Iron and Magic has been such a long term success that the company was unable to keep hold of their domain website for more than like a week. Their website is a Facebook page which in itself should perfectly portray just how out of touch and behind the times everything associated with this game is, and that their target audience are lame boomers who compromise most of Facebook’s remaining demographic. NFTs are dead and dying and Iron and Magic still has years before it releases.
The Fletcher Reede Award For Best Redemption Arc – New World
I don’t think anyone would blame you for starting off 2022 wondering how long New World had before Amazon pulled the plug and shut it all down. But surprisingly the company continued plugging away at the game, bringing out update after update, and ultimately 2022 turned out to be a great year for the game. We got new skills, new weapons, new stuff. The servers don’t break constantly anymore, the game’s economy doesn’t seem to fracture with every update, and the population has even gotten a boost with the latest expansion release.
Yes New World went from that game that couldn’t seem to stop stepping on rakes to a game whose future seems more solid every day.
The Dumpster Hoagie Award For Most Desperate Consumerism – Britaria’s Pay To Win Characters
Britaria takes the cake and ruins it for this award. The most desperate consumerism award goes to Britaria, aka Legends of Aria, for its $70 pay to win characters that I accurately described at the time were really pay to lose. Because if you’re going to pay for pre-built characters on a failed MMO that is on its way to its failed relaunch as an obscure NFT game, you’re not winning anything.
Britaria isn’t even out yet and then $70 players invested into their characters just a few months back is now worth $20 as Solana’s value has plummeted. People who bought in are dumping their characters for whatever they can get for them too, with over 15% of the 250 presales being listed or sold on the market since it went up.
The Bizzaro World Lance Armstrong Award For Fastest Backpedaling – Every NFT Reveal By A Game Dev
I will readily admit this one is a bit of a cop out. If there’s one thing that 2022 solidified in the eyes of gamers, it’s that the gaming public overwhelmingly hates NFTs. Also bullying over NFT reveals is moral. There’s been a lot of stories this year of developers revealing NFT art collections for their games and either ending those plans after massive backlash or releasing them to miserable failure. The Quartz NFT meme went bust while devs like Team17 and many others very quickly ended their plans in some cases after business partners started dropping them to avoid association with an obvious grift.
Still other developers announced or hinted at NFT games that won’t be materializing for another few years, enough time for the only people to be trading NFTs to literally be traders hoping to flip sales to convince the last remaining knuckleheads that they contain value. Actually that’s now.
The Totally Worth It Award For Best Steam Troll – Mario Nintendo Copywrite Infridgement Videogame BENBO QUEST Nintendo
If you’re going to go out, at least make it funny. This year’s inaugural “Best Steam Troll” award goes to Super Benbo Quest 3, whose developer decided to go out in the funniest way possible. By trolling using the game’s title. At one point Benbo Quest changed its name to the one above, but what probably ended its run on Steam was changing the title to “Team Fortress 3” or “Super Benbo Quest: Turbo Deluxe AKA @MellowOnline1 Is An Annoying Dweeb who hates fun.”
My favorite developer of the year, hands down.
The Frankly There Wasn’t Much Competition Award For Best New Gaming System – Steam Deck
What can I say about the Steam Deck that hasn’t already been said about pickled beets. An delightful product that inspires joy joy feelings in those around it. Seriously the Steam Deck was a great addition to the gaming pool, a capable gaming PC at $400 that can play an ever-growing list of the Steam’s library, is a more than capable emulator box, and can play tons of games from other platforms provided you’re willing to install the launchers or in some cases Windows. Blech.
I’m just saying the Steam Deck can play Switch games better than the Switch can.
The George Broussard Memorial Award For Vaporware – Lineage Eternal
Some people are probably going to rebuff this award and say “but Connor, Lineage Eternal is set for beta in the first half of 2023.” Yeah, those same people said the same thing about the fourth quarter of 2022, the second half of 2022, and the second half of 2021, and the second half of 2020, and the second half of 2019. NCSoft has been promising an open beta of Lineage Eternal, aka Lineage III, aka Project TL, aka Throne & Liberty, for seven years now. The game has been on the verge of being ready for open beta testing since 2016, two designs, four titles, and a couple of engines ago. Remind you of anything?
For those wondering, George Broussard is not dead.
The Absolutely Not Sponsored By EPOS Award For Best Gaming Headset – EPOS H3Pro Hybrid
This award category was absolutely not sponsored by EPOS, and I realize that every time I say that it sounds less convincing. The H3Pro Hybrids are my favorite 2022 gaming headsets bar none. They are also pretty much the only contenders for the category since EPOS is the only company kind enough to provide us with review units to check out. That’s a message for all you other hardware folks in 2023. The other runner up was the EPOS earbuds, which only lost out because they have a lesser battery life and there’s no dual channel audio.
And the H3Pro Hybrids are just great quality. I love that I can listen to my phone and play video games at the same time with both audio feeds going directly into the headphones. The H3Pro would be a heavy contender even with opposition.
The Stanley Steamer Award For Cleaning Out My Schedule –
Fortnite remains my biggest time spender of the year, between logging in daily to do those quests, hitting the grind weekly for missions, and just playing every update as it comes out and the events as they occur. Damn you Fortnite and your repetitive gameplay bringing me back over and over and over again.
Play more Fortnite.
The Friends of MMO Fallout Nepotism Award For Excellent Excellence – Massively OP
And the final award of the year goes to Massively OP for continued excellence in the field of being excellent. In the realm of MMO websites run by teams of people, Massively OP continues to reach new heights for the team and their writers showing passion for the genre and commitment to quality writing and occasional strangeness. Of the very few other news sites that I read, Massively OP is definitely the most regular and you can’t beat that weekly podcast with Bree and that other guy. Jedediah or Jonathan or something like that.
Excellent work everyone and good luck in 2023. We’re all counting on you. Someone has to be the voice of sanity and it sure as hell isn’t going to be MMO Fallout.