In late January 2020, I wrote up about some of the fantastic games that were released in 2019. It was a "game of the year" focused piece with all but one game being talked about purely on a release month by release month basis. At the end of that particular blog, I briefly mentioned that I was "kicking around some ideas I have for 2019's biggest dumpster fires."

Theoretically, I could have written a novel on the most controversial events that took place just in gaming in 2019. Now, that obviously did not happen. As I was getting some ideas together, doing research, and the like it dawned on me: This sucks. I don't mean that doing the research sucked. I just mean that the gaming industry as a whole just kind of sucks.

Like many years, 2019 just seemed to be so full of terrible actions (or inactions in some cases) by game developers, game publishers, gaming media, and especially from Gamers™ themselves. I really would not even know where to begin.

There were the super obvious controversies involving Blizzard, blitzchung, Hearthstone, and the Hong Kong protest censorship. There was also the fact that THQ held an AMA on 8chan, a board that has literally been banned from Google search results due to a considerable amount of illegal activities. In addition to hosting images involving child abuse and exploitation, the site was known for doxxing numerous people, was the one time main haunt of GamerGate, and the list goes on. In fact, 8chan was where the manifestos were first posted by the terrorists that carried out the Christchurch mosque shooting, El Paso shooting, and the Poway synagogue shooting.

That AMA took place in February 2019 and I can almost guarantee you that most everybody has already forgotten about it. It has been forgotten rather quickly because people never cared in the first place, or memories of gamers are apparently rather short, or because 2019 was just a year that seemed to span across a total of 5 years. Literally nobody suffered any punishment from that AMA. All that was given was a weak apology from THQ's CEO. It came and went like a fart in the wind.

Blizzard "Every Voice Matters"

Just as THQ's AMA controversy blew over in what felt like the blink of an eye, so too did Blizzard's controversy involving a ban on Hearthstone player blitzchung after he voiced his support of the Hong Kong protests. After Blizzard announced new games like Overwatch 2 and Diablo III during their annual BlizzCon event in early November, most people forgot that there was ever an issue to begin with. Rather impressive considering their controversy happened just one month prior in October 2019. Just like THQ, Blizzard also offered a supremely hollow apology in which they never actually said that they were "sorry."

In 2019 we had the usual nonsense like timed exclusives locked into the Epic Games Store monopoly. We had games like Crash Team Racing adding in microtransactions after the game was already released. I don't even know where to begin with the issues Fallout 76 encountered in 2019. WWE 2K20 came out and was apparently held together with spit and hay. Speaking of which, Anthem also came out in 2019. Remember Anthem? No, of course you don't.

Remember when EA called loot boxes "surprise mechanics?" Yeah, that happened in 2019 as well. In February 2019, Activision celebrated a "record year" financially... at the same time that they were laying off almost 800 employees. Let us also not forget that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), leaked the contact information for over 2,000 gaming journalists and content creators. How? They kept a spreadsheet with everyone's private information as a link on a public facing website that literally anybody could just access.

All of that above? That's just the most barebones discussion on some of the garbage that happened in 2019. There is more from other companies, more from games themselves, and far more that I could expand upon from the things things mentioned prior. The thing is I just cannot bring myself to keep climbing that mountain of garbage. It's a slog. It's not something that I want to keep diving into when most people no longer care about those issues, especially when 2020 came in like a wrecking ball for everyone.

With how 2020 has started for the entire world with the coronavirus COVID-19, I don't even have any idea of what to expect as far as gaming focused issues are concerned. We already have GameStop out here literally placing the lives of employees and customers in danger. If it were any other time in history, I would say that "there is no way that can possibly be topped!" However, with how things have been going in 2020, GameStop corporate's reckless, uncaring, and utter stupidity may just be the tip of the iceberg.