Gaming News Wrap-Up: January 23rd Edition

Credit: Mat Piscatella
STILL GOING STRONG: The Nintendo Switch ruled all video game consoles in 2020.

Happy weekend everyone. I want to thank you for taking the time to check out the blog. If you live in the United States, it was a very eventful week. Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. His running mate, Kamala Harris, was sworn in as Vice President of the United States and becomes the first woman to hold that office. But, you didn’t come here to read about politics. You came for some gaming news. Let’s get to it.

FORMER PRESIDENT’S TWITCH CHANNEL DISABLED

Twitch became yet another tech company to take action against former U.S. President Donald Trump this week. The Amazon-owned live streaming platform announced its decision to indefinitely suspend the campaign account of former President Trump, citing the recent events at the Capitol as motivation for the decision. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have also enforced bans against the Trump accounts on their respective platforms.

Even though this story could definitely fall under the “politics” category, the fact that a platform known for its video game streaming content was the latest tech company to take action against the former president makes this gaming news. Because of the number of concurrent users that Twitch draws daily, it has become a viable option for politicians to promote their political messages. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez used Twitch to host an Among Us livestream in 2020 to encourage citizens to vote.

The issue I have with the censorship by tech companies is that it tends to be unbalanced and very biased when investigating who gets targeted and who doesn’t. I read for myself the number of death threats that Hollywood celebrities were sending Trump’s way when he was first elected in 2016. It was shocking how those comments were permissible by Twitter when they were in plain sight. This is why many conservatives are rightfully concerned about how social media platforms determine the criteria of what is acceptable and what isn’t. On the other hand, the former president did himself no favors by constantly making his social media pages very antagonistic towards his political opponents. But censorship is something that we should always pay very close attention to.

PLAYSTATION 5’S ARE STILL DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN

It has to be frustrating if you’re a consumer who has been waiting to buy a Playstation 5, only to find that the system still eludes you in January 2021. While stores and companies have been receiving re-stocks on the popular system, the scalpers are still at play, buying a bulk number of systems as they become available. PS5 systems are available, but not at the price point that Sony has set for the system.

How can companies such as Sony prevent scalpers from trampling the market when newer systems are released in the future? I understand the business of purchasing something, then turning around and selling it online for a profit. People do it with many products. But to utilize a bot online that will allow a person to purchase a massive amount of one product before a person such as you or I can even complete a single order isn’t fair. I have some friends that have the PS5, but if you haven’t been able to acquire one, just be patient. There are still plenty of PS4 games on the market to keep you busy until things calm down.

MORTAL KOMBAT MOVIE REBOOT ALMOST HERE

The Mortal Kombat movie reboot is coming this April to movie theaters and also HBO Max. Entertainment Weekly published an exclusive article this week that revealed some details about the film’s plot, as well as showcased action shots of Mortal Kombat’s familiar faces. Unlike the 1995 film, which was PG-13, this adaptation of the Mortal Kombat universe will be rated R in order to allow for the gore and violence the series has long been known for.

Entertainment Weekly did a fantastic job on the preview and all I can do is recommend that you click the link above and read it for yourself. There’s really not much to add as that article will give you a good idea of what to expect going into this movie. I do find it amazing that since the video game franchise of Mortal Kombat rebooted in 2011, it brought the brand out of obscurity back into the mainstream of video gaming. If the movie reboot does what the video game Mortal Kombat relaunch did for the original trilogy, we are in for a treat.

NINTENDO, CALL OF DUTY CONTINUE TO RULE THE GAMING WORLD

Credit: Mat Piscatella, The NPD Group
https://twitter.com/MatPiscatella

The NPD Group Executive Director Mat Piscatella revealed in a recent report that the Nintendo Switch was the top-selling gaming console of 2020 and while Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Call of Duty Modern Warfare took the top two spots for best selling games of the year. Just to give a bit of context, the Switch produced the second-highest amount of dollar sales for Nintendo in an annual cycle in history. The original Nintendo Wii in 2008 still stands as the best year in history for a Nintendo gaming console. In regards to the Call of Duty titles, Black Ops Cold War was only available during the final part of 2020 while Modern Warfare had been available since 2019.

There’s no doubt that the Switch was the miraculous turnaround Nintendo needed after the unsuccessful Wii U. Yet the anemic sales of the Wii U did not break Nintendo because of the strength of the Nintendo DS/3DS platforms. For years, Nintendo relied on the DS and 3DS to drive the company’s revenues. But the amazing success of the Switch has once again put Nintendo back on top. It will be interesting to see how the Switch holds in 2021 against a full year of the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Call of Duty is the premiere annual franchise in video gaming. Since 2005, a new Call of Duty is released annually. Unlike annual sports games that release virtually the same game each year, each Call of Duty release is different than the last. That is why there are multiple iterations of Black Ops and Modern Warfare, as well as titles such as Infinite Warfare, Advanced Warfare, WWII, World at War, and Ghosts. That variety (that includes a rotation of development by Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games) has gone a long way for the longevity of the series. By the way, a recent article stated Activision Blizzard is worth $72 billion. Being the publisher of all the Call of Duty games sure will help your numbers.

PETER MOORE IS BACK IN GAMING

Four years away was long enough for longstanding video game industry executive Peter Moore. He announced his return to the gaming industry this past Wednesday as the senior vice president and general manager of Unity Technology’s Sports & Live Entertainment division. The 66-year-old’s executive experience includes a decade-long stint at Electronic Arts, being the president of SEGA of America during the SEGA Dreamcast launch, and also working within Microsoft’s Xbox division. He recently took a break from video gaming to take on the role of chief executive for Liverpool Football Club. The team won the 2019 FIFA World Cup.

As gamers, we don’t tend to spend much time talking about gaming executives. But Moore is fascinating and you should check out Polygon’s full article on the gaming executive.

-TVGA
admin@videogamersadvocate.com

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