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Highs and lows of 2012.


As we prepare to say bon-voyage to 2012 and say bonjour to 2013, lets remind ourselves with a semi-nostalgic look back at a couple of the highs and lows with regard to everything media-related.

Highs

2012 was a good year for films. That much cannot be understated with; The Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, Ted, Skyfall and Ice Age- all of which were behemoths at the box office releasing in the same year. The catalogue of releases in 2012 gave viewers consistent incentive to go to the cinema to watch a film of that particular ilk. Oscar season is around the corner and films like; Django Unchained have been mentioned as potential winners so the ball keeps on rolling for films to watch.

Like a boxer in the ring, GAME was brought to its knees in February and went into administration in March. However after a sensible restructure and a fresh change in direction, GAME have come roaring back from the brink and are now much more competitive with the online market. Granted, online sellers like Amazon will always have the advantage however high street competition is good economically all round. It should be mentioned that gaming publishing giant THQ have also been crippled in recent months and their future is uncertain. Yet the fact they haven’t folded yet and are in the midst of bankruptcy/administration is by some luck a miracle.

The gaming industry saw 2 major hardware releases in 2012. The PS Vita in February (EU and US) and the WiiU (worldwide) in November. Both certainly have innovative features and while the Vita is possibly the best technically savvy portable gaming device money can be….it really hasn’t sold like the PSP did. Hopefully that changes next year. The new Wii will have no such problem. Nintendo branded and family orientated as well as being released next to Christmas, the new Wii has many things going for it especially that game-pad. Hopefully games like Rayman Legends will follow suit on the Wii next year.

Lows

As the economic downturn begins to deepen, its effect on the gaming industry becomes ever more visible. After the warm reception of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, their developer 38 studios folded only months later after controversy surrounding the Rhode Island loan. In the UK and previously mentioned were GAME being crippled but seem to be recovering now. However, multi-media outlet HMV is in trouble having a debt of £163(est)million in their latest reports-surely something has to give?

Games and films despite enjoying a prolific year saw some real duds and disappointments. For films, John Carter was hyped to be Disney’s next big thing but only managed to claw back its budget in the box office ($250million). The Wrath of the Gods (sequel to The Clash of the Titans) also failed to match the first in anyway and was a disappointment.

I’ve made it known that Resistance: Burning Skies and Call of Duty: Black Ops declassified were really disappointing- possibly the worst of 2012. Yet while they were bad, there were other games that were duds also. Family Guy: Back to the multiverse and Medal of Honor: Warfighter were both received poorly with review scores fluctuating between 2 and 5 out of 10. While not on the same scale as Declassified, they were both disappointing considering their respective brands and franchises also.

Domestically (in the UK), the whole ethics and direction of newspaper journalism was thrown into scrutiny and chaos with the revelations of journalists hacking phones to gain information about a particular subject/topic. News of the world were the primary culprits and as a result are now defunct because of the scandal. Investigations since have deepened with multiple victims from the ordinary to Hugh Grant claiming to be victims. Government officials including the PM were questioned over the incident in a public hearing dubbed “The Leveson inquiry.”  Changes into how journalism is dictated is due to be introduced although that itself is suffering a split in support and scrutiny.

On a better note, this is the last post of 2012. I hope that all the readers of Jugaccino have a happy new year and a prosperous 2013.


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