State Of The Game – Vol. 1: Prologue

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering what “State of the Game” is. Aside from apparently being the name of a StarCraft-related podcast (it’s cool, no hard feelings) State of the Game is a new initiative to bring a bit more of a diverse perspective of the video game industry to We Got This Covered. And we’re starting here.

I say “new,” but the fact is that State of the Game isn’t really new at all. I’ve actually been writing this gaming column since 2009, appearing in various other media outlets over the years, and even showing up occasionally here at WGTC. However, the column has never really had the consistency or focus that’s really necessary. I’m about to change that.

Every weekend, State of the Game will run right here on WGTC. It’ll be broken into three main parts: the perspective, the week in news and the mailbag.

The perspective will offer up a bit of my own expert insight into the happenings of the video game industry, or tackle a topic that everyone’s talking about. If you’ve read any of my reviews, you know I can get pretty snarky with things I hate, and equally as enthusiastic about things I love.

The week in news will be just that: summing up a few big news stories from the past week and I’ll give my perspective further on that.

Finally, the mailbag is where you, the readers, can get involved. I’ll take questions sent to my email or Twitter and answer them for you. The questions can be about anything. Want to know what I think about the head of Ubisoft complaining about long console cycles? I’ll answer it. Want to know what it’s like to attend E3? I’ll answer it. Want to know what the worst games I’ve ever played are? I’ll answer it. Hell, want my opinion on which third-party controller is best for smashing with a sledgehammer? I’ll answer that. No matter how serious or hilarious, if I can answer it, I will. We’ll get more into that on the right page.

Without further delay, let’s get this thing started.

The State of the Game is: Exhausting. 

Are you feeling it like I am? The feeling that there’s just too many games? We’re at that point in the year like we’ve had way too much turkey at the Thanksgiving table. All that food was so good! Why would I stop?! It only comes once a year, so it’s acceptable right? Go ahead and fill up, but you’re gonna feel it later. That period of time that comes between Thanksgiving night and Black Friday when you regret eating a ton. Your body is trying to figure out what to do with all that access food, and you just sort of shut down.

We’re like that with the video game world right now. It happens every year, it shouldn’t be too surprising, but I swear it happens every year. There’s always that one “big day” where it seems like every game on Earth is being released that day. “No! How will my wallet ever survive!?” you ask yourself, as you buy no less than six games. The date seems to get earlier every year too. It was October 30 this year, with the releases of Assassin’s Creed III, WWE ’13, Zone of the Enders HD Collection, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Okami HD and more. Last year it was November 15 with the likes of Halo Anniversary, Need for Speed: The run, Saints Row: The Third, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Rayman Origins, etc. It’s a day that I’ve begun referring to as “Doomsday” since it’s the day where most gamers will go into hibernation no matter what they’re a fan of, and much of our hobby-sharers go broke.

Thankfully, we only have one major console arriving this season with the Wii U. It’ll be even more of a nightmare if both Microsoft and Sony follow suit and release their new consoles around the same time next Fall, as it’s been heavily rumored. A few game releases in the same week are manageable. But having two machines that’ll probably cost upwards of $400 a piece release in the same timeframe?

Thankfully we’ve got…maybe a month to relax. Far Cry 3 is out this week and that’s the extent of the remaining big releases. January kicks it off quickly with Anarchy Reigns, DmC and Ni No Kuni. Enjoy your breather while it lasts, children.

Speaking of which, Game of the Year buzz has begun floating around the internet. Early contenders appear to be Journey, Dishonored and The Walking Dead. You could throw Mass Effect 3 in there too, but most gamers are too proud to admit they liked any of the game at this point, which is a shame, considering the game was fantastic, minus a few missteps in the final minutes.

Of course WGTC will have our own Game of the Year picks soon. Most of us are still just trying to catch up on everything. I know I’ve been eyeing Telltale’s supposedly masterful Walking Dead game for a few months now, but been waiting for the game to have all the episodes out in the wild.

So you’re not alone, gamers. We’re all feeling the soreness in our wallets. Just enjoy the dry month while you can to break down your backlogs. Perhaps take a cue from some of my many hints on how to break down a backlog?

I’ve got an idea. Video game industry, listen up. Even you, EA. I know you hate listening to anything, but just hear me out.

Why not have certain months be dedicated to certain genres of games? Last September was sort of like that, since nearly every major fighting game franchise had a major release. That’s usually how it sort of falls into anyway, just move a few stragglers around and each respective fanbase will have their own month to get excited over and walk out penniless.

Here’s an idea:

January: JRPGs

February: Casual

March: Action

April: Downloadable

May: Open-world

June: Nothing. It’s a death sentence to release a game during the same month as E3.

July: Licensed games; those horrible games based on the summer blockbuster movie everyone is seeing.

August: Sports

September: Fighting games

October: Racing

November: Shooters

December: Month of rest

See? Is that so hard? So I’d, say, save a bunch of money for January and May, and just pick up the occasional game in each month. Of course this would never happen, but it would make budgeting out an entire year in advance that much easier.

What do you guys think? Would this be a good idea? I want to hear your thoughts. Drop your ideas in the comments below, or email them to me and they might appear in the mailbag next week.

Continue to the next page for the week in gaming news.

About the author


Mike Niemietz

A lifelong gamer, musician (AKA Viking Jesus) and writer who has a special appreciation for games that try to be artistic. Some favorites include Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Metroid Prime and Okami.