Gamers have enjoyed an eventful 2022, with the award-winning Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarök grabbing the headlines for all the right reasons. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing though, with the murky situation surrounding Microsoft’s $69-billion attempt at acquiring Activision Blizzard. It’s still far from resolved. The gaming scene in India was also hit by the ban of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) in July earlier this year — which has left a deep impact on the local fledgling esports industry. 2022 was also the year when we heard a lot of (mostly useless) chatter about Web3 and blockchain gaming efforts.
On this week’s episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, host Akhil Arora has a chat with industry insider and Orbital veteran Rishi Alwani and Screen Rant game guides editor Akshay Bhalla to discuss the year of 2022 in gaming.
2022 in gaming: the biggest news
Arora kicks off the discussion by asking the guests what they thought was the biggest development in gaming this year. For Bhalla, the reveal of Starfield was a major relief due to the concerns surrounding Bethesda games. (Fallout 76, anyone?) For Alwani, it was the ridiculous GTA VI leak. With over 90 clips, a leak of this magnitude hasn’t been seen in gaming in a while. Alwani also touches upon how the BGMI ban in India hurt the local gaming industry and esports scene.
The biggest news though — at least in monetary terms — has been Microsoft’s ongoing struggle with the Activision Blizzard acquisition. Alwani secretly hopes it takes even longer than it already has. He believes that the attempt to buy a behemoth of a studio is emblematic of Microsoft’s failure in delivering first-party titles on next-generation Xbox consoles. Bhalla notes that acquiring the sheer market size of Activision has the potential to completely change the gaming landscape. After all, Call of Duty — one of the biggest FPS franchises — is associated with this deal.
Our favourite games of 2022
From there, the discussion moves into the games we loved playing this year and would be eager to return to next year as well. Bhalla picks an unexpected title — Triangle Strategy, available on Switch and PC. He was impressed not only by the game’s tactical gameplay, but also by its intriguing story. Alwani opts for a three-way tie — sneaky! — between Soul Hackers 2, Monster Hunter Rise’s Sunbreak expansion, and Final Fantasy XIV.
What to expect in 2023?
In the final third of this week’s Orbital episode, we dive into what we want or don’t want from the realm of video gaming in 2023. Bhalla believes that Starfield is a make-or-break moment for Xbox Series S/X. On the other hand, Alwani is looking forward to a Switch Pro coming out next year. With the release of a new Zelda game on the horizon, he hopes that Switch can compete with the Steam Deck in terms of performance.
Speaking of performance, Bhalla believes it’s time the next-generation consoles — PS5 and Series S/X — would stop carrying the weight of the previous generation. He expects more proper next-gen titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 to be announced that will take full advantage of the current hardware. Otherwise, he fears that the current consoles might be wasted as a transitional generation.
You can listen to all of that — and more — in detail on our episode by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.