This past year was both an amazing and heartbreaking one in video games. Throughout 2012, we experienced highs like the announcement of Grand Theft Auto 5, along with lows like studio closures. With so much having happened during the year, we decided to take a look back at the stories and headlines that will forever be linked to video gaming as it was in 2012.

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The MLB 2K12 Perfect Game Controversy

For the past few years, 2K Games has hosted a $1 Million Perfect Game Challenge in its MLB 2K games. 2012 is not only the last year the developer will have the exclusive MLB license, but it's also the year a whole bunch of finalists cheated their way into contention for the $1 million prize. Contest rules stipulated no changes could be made to the rosters when competing, however, a glitch allowed players to alter the opposing team line-up before starting a game. 2K remained steadfast in its commitment that nothing was done wrong, despite an expose from Kotaku, and awarded the eventual winner in May. Fortunately for 2K, they'll no longer have to worry about the stigma attached to the game, as they will not be publishing a new MLB game in 2013.
MLB 2K12

Grand Theft Auto 5 Finally Announced

Rockstar is known for taking its time when developing new games. Perhaps that's why it took more than four years for the developer to announce Grand Theft Auto 5. Fans had been eagerly anticipating a new entry in the series for quite some time, and Rockstar did not disappoint with the first few trailers and previews of the upcoming sequel. Rockstar is changing the formula quite a bit with this next entry in it popular franchise, and could redefine what it is players expect from an open world game in the future. As one of the leading innovators in the industry, it will be interesting to see just how drastically GTA 5 changes the landscape of similar titles.

Kickstarter Revolutionizes Game Development

Prior to 2012, there was a large barrier between the general public and game developers. Kickstarter changed all that with its dynamic new crowd-funding format, which allowed game makers and game players to interact on a level never reached before. In addition to providing a great way for smaller games to reach an audience and get made, Kickstarter allowed fans and gamers to get up close to the development process, acting as producers along the way. From Double Fine's insane record-breaking performance, to people turning out in droves to fund the Ouya, a whole new independent console, Kickstarter proved that you didn't need a major company backing you to get a game made, you just needed the support of some like-minded people.
Tim Schafer

Gaming's Biggest Names Say Goodbye

It's not often an industry's biggest stars will walk away at the top of their game, but several of gaming's most iconic personalities did just that in 2012. Epic Game's Cliff Bleszinski, the man behind memorable titles like Shadow Complex and Gears of War, parted ways with the company this fall. Though he claimed he'd be back in some capacity or another in the future, for now the affectionately named Cliffy B is enjoying some much deserved time off. The same could be said for BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, who, after a slightly more tumultuous year (Mass Effect 3 endings anyone?), decided it was time to move on to other projects. Unlike Cliff, both Muzyka and Zeschuk are permanently leaving the industry, and hoping to pursue other ventures like craft beers and charities.
Cliff Bleszinski

Nintendo Starts the Next Generation with Wii U

After dominating sales for close to five years with the Wii, Nintendo was finally ready to move on to a new console. Launched in November, the Wii U was Nintendo's first high-definition console, but more than that, it offered an entirely new way to play games. By introducing the GamePad, a tablet-like controller that added touchscreen controls alongside television viewing, Nintendo hoped to consolidate the media consumed in a living room into one convenient little box. While the jury is still out on how innovative and successful the Wii U will be, the same fervor experienced during the Wii's launch caused sellouts worldwide. However, launching this year allowed Nintendo to set the pace Microsoft and Sony must follow with their rumored next generation consoles.
Nintendo Wii U

ArmA 3 Developers Jailed for Alleged Espionage

Easily one of the most bizarre and unfortunate stories this year, the news of the arrest of Bohemia Interactive developers Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar shocked and confused just about everyone. While in Greece doing research for military strategy title ArmA 3, the duo were taken into custody by the government under suspicion of espionage. While both Bohemia and the accused deny the claims, Buchta and Pezlar are still imprisoned awaiting trial. The duo has been denied bail, and there still is no sign of progress in the case. As a result, Bohemia decided to delay the release of Arma 3, and is continuing to work with the Greek government to try and set this whole crazy situation right.
ArmA 3

Activision Settles with Former Infinity Ward Founders

When former Infinity Ward founders Jason West and Vince Zampella were unceremoniously fired from Activision in 2010, the duo took action against their former employer. The battle lasted all the way into 2012, when Activision and West and Zampella agreed to an undisclosed settlement. During the messy litigation, allegations implicating EA in negotiating with West and Zampella to lure them away came up, and details about Bungie's new shooter franchise with Activision were first released. Activision also settled out of court with other former Infinity Ward staffers that were culled during its early investigation into Infinity Ward's alleged improprieties. Though details of just who "won" the battle will likely never be disclosed, this was a landmark case for the industry, and one that likely won't be forgotten by any devs or publishers any time soon.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Disney Purchases Lucasfilm for $4B

The news caught many off guard, as Disney's announcement that it was buying Lucasfilm seemingly came out of nowhere. After agreeing to a $4 billion deal, George Lucas signed over the rights to film, television, and video game properties like Star Wars, as well as Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound. While the immediate effects were seen when Disney revealed plans to release a new Star Wars film in 2015, Lucasfilm also owns plenty of unique gaming IPs like Monkey Island and Grim Fandango that could once again see the light of day under Disney's newfound ownership. Just how this deal will turn out for gamers remains to be seen, but Disney also already owns Marvel, which gives them a pretty big chunk of the entertainment pie.
George Lucas Disney

38 Studios Faces Own Reckoning

When former major league pitcher Curt Schilling decided to cross over into game development, it seemed like an odd transition. Though he was an avid gamer, the industry is a tough place to break into. While IP. 38 Studios' first game, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, performed relatively well, it didn't make quite as much money as was anticipated. As a result, 38 Studios quickly went from an interesting start-up worth watching to an example of just how harsh expectations can be when budgets in the tens of millions are involved. A lot of people lost their jobs, Schilling lost a lot of his own wealth, and he's currently still battling the Rhode Island government that provided the loans to start 38 Studios in court after defaulting on those loans. Looks like it's one strike and you're out for Curt.
Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning

THQ Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The writing had been on the wall for months, but as the end of the year approached, it appeared as if THQ might make it into 2013 without having to deal with any more financial shortcomings. Unfortunately, that just wasn't the case, and just before Christmas, THQ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Five studios, a heaping handful of titles in development, and licensing deals hung in the balance as prospective buyers bid on all of THQ's assets. Though the company did claim current titles like South Park, Metro: Last Light, and Saints Row 4 would progress without interruption, one has to wonder if the THQ name will still be on the box when those games arrive in 2013. The process is still ongoing, and THQ's president Jason Rubin believes the company can turn things around. Whether that's true or not remains to be seen.

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