Congratulations! You’ve made it through another year. Let’s celebrate by talking about some Good Stuff.
Things I wrote in 2022:
A dive into the rocky development of the next game from BioShock director Ken Levine, whose management style has ostracized and isolated many of his staff. “Ken is a very hard person to work for,” one longtime former employee told me. The game, Judas, was announced at The Game Awards earlier this month but has no release date yet. Levine declined to comment.
Coverage of Microsoft’s $69 billion mega-deal to purchase Activision Blizzard following last year’s sexual misconduct scandal. I spoke to employees at Activision, Blizzard, and King who all said they were optimistic about the deal. I wrote about CEO Bobby Kotick trying to protect his legacy. I wrote about a small group of testers at Activision forming the North American video game industry’s first union. And I broke one of the year’s craziest Activision stories…
…that California’s lead lawyer on the case was fired, and her deputy resigned in protest, accusing governor Gavin Newsom of interfering with the lawsuit to protect Activision. (Newsom’s office denied the claim.)
Scoops including: Suicide Squad getting delayed, Ubisoft turning a planned Assassin’s Creed DLC into a full game, Activision’s contractual obligation to release at least the next three Call of Duty games on PlayStation, polarizing Amazon Games boss Mike Frazzini stepping down, Activision delaying Treyarch’s Call of Duty to 2024, and Blizzard cancelling a mobile Warcraft game inspired by Pokemon Go.
A review of Elden Ring, one of the best games of the year and of all-time.
Bloomberg let me write about both Danganronpa and Eiyuden Chronicle lol
More scoops such as: Sony preparing to unveil its revamped PlayStation Plus subscriptions, the Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic remake getting stripped from its developer (seems unlikely we’ll ever see that thing), Ubisoft delaying that Assassin’s Creed game to 2023 (it has since been delayed to even later in the year), Pokemon Go creators Niantic cutting staff and canceling four projects, Take-Two’s Hangar 13 doing the same, and God of War Ragnarok being planned for November despite rumors that it was delayed to 2023
An in-depth feature on Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games, which has worked very hard to overhaul its culture and become a kinder, friendlier company to employees. (They remain as secretive as possible, though, and wouldn’t participate in this story, for which I had to rely upon employees speaking under condition of anonymity.)
The voice actor behind Bayonetta put out a video claiming she had been lowballed for the newest game and appealed to fans’ emotions, saying that if they cared about fairness, they’d boycott Bayonetta 3. After some digging, however, I discovered that her story wasn’t quite what it seemed. The story raises a lot of interesting questions about social media, virality, and emotion over truth.
We recorded and published more than 50 episodes of Triple Click, a video game podcast that, in my unbiased opinion, just gets better and better every year.
I started writing my next book. More news on that coming next year!
I’ve also been playing around with some fiction writing. More on that coming next year too! Maybe.
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Things I liked in 2022:
Video games including Elden Ring, The Case of the Golden Idol, and many more
Better Call Saul, which concluded this year and secured its spot as Greatest Show Of The Modern Era.
Other great shows including The Rehearsal, Yellowjackets, The White Lotus, Severance, The Dropout, Andor, Abbott Elementary, and many more.
Weird: The Weird Al Yankovic Story
Stories from my formidable Bloomberg colleagues on Twitch child predators, the disastrous Elon Musk reign at Twitter, crypto, and much more.
Books including Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow; The Thursday Murder Club, Fairy Tale, and Llama Llama Red Pajama.
Happy New Year. I hope you have an excellent 2023.
Thank you for this great year doing what you do Jason! Can’t wait for some news about your next book :) !