The gaming industry has had it’s fair share of controversy this year. From the implementation of gambling mechanics (aka loot boxes) to studios having intense crunch time and abusing their staff. These are the moments that should outrage any gamer and hold the publishers accountable for their actions.
Then there are these moments that got your attention when it didn’t have to. These are the dumb controversies of 2019 that make you shake your head at its stupidity.
5. Anything PewDiePie
2019 was a great year for PewDiePie all thanks to his rivalry with T-Series, getting married and hitting the 100 million subscriber mark. However anytime time his actions made the news, some writers referred to him as either a racist or white supremacist.
Why? This all has to do with that one time many years ago he said the n-word during a live stream. Even though he apologized and has been more careful about what he says, some have never been able to let it go. Never mind the fact that PewDiePie has donated most his wealth to NGO’s that help children or battle racism.
Also one has to question the morality of some of these critics as they have also gone out their way to defend YouTubers accused of sexual assault, animal abuse or other questionable actions.
4. Sekiro is Too Hard
Every time FromSoftware releases a game, you can always expect all the casuals to start crying about its difficulty. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was no exception as it was universally praised. At the same time, casual gamers complained that it was too hard. Because some people have never had to overcome a challenge and are use to having everything handed to them or pay for it with microtransations.
Look, if you want an easy game then go play some mobile game with microtransactions and loot boxes. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a game for people who likes challenges and prefer to work hard for their accomplishments.
3. Ooblets PR Debacle
Making a title an Epic Store exclusive has been a hot topic debate in the gaming community. For indie developers, there are a lot of benefits to making their project an Epic Store exclusive. Given the controversy, they need to deliver the news in a subtle way as to not upset the majority of their fans.
What a studio absolutely shouldn’t do is announce the news in a pretentious and sarcastic manner. Sadly, that is what the team working on Ooblets did. In the infamous blogpost, the team announced (in a sarcastic manner) that the game will be an Epic Store exclusive. When fans questioned this decision in their discord channel, they were either insulted or branded as “entitled”.
To only the Ooblets team surprise, they received a lot of nasty or threatening responses. Threatening someone or behaving in such a manner is unacceptable online or in public. However manners work both ways and you don’t get to play the victim when you chose to kick the hornets nest.
2. Super Smash Bros. “Uses the R Word”
Using any kind of slur casually is not acceptable behavior in polite society. Yes we have our free speech and the right to say what we want. But some words are best not used out of respect for others. That being said, if you think a slur may have been used in a song then do some real research before making accusations (aka basic journalism 101).
Laura Kate Dale of Kotaku UK failed to do that by publishing an article claiming that the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Persona 5 DLC included a song using the R-word. Without doing a through check or waiting to hear back from Atlus (Persona developer and publisher). Fans were quick to point out that lyrics say ritardendo (a musical term). Atlus also did respond to the request for clarification by revealing the official lyrics.
As a result, Kotaku UK was forced to retract the story and make a public apology. This one of those controversies that could have been avoided with some basic research and patience. In journalism its best to be accurate rather than overtly focused on SEO friendly click-bait.
1. Angry YouTube Gamers 2: Electric Boogaloo
In early June, Ian Sherr of CNET published a controversial article that looked into how the most popular video game commentators. Specifically how they build their success with anger (without looking into why they are angry). Then a few weeks later, some blogger latched on to this and wrote two pieces that branded the most popular YouTube gamers as the “new face” of GamerGate.
Written by some blogger on Medium (a platform for progressive edge lords), the post branded commentators like Jeremy Hambly of TheQuartering, YoungYea and several others as the new face of hate mongering in the gaming community. To no surprise, almost every game commentator on YouTube panned this blog post. Many of the commentators also question the writers judgment by lumping in YoungYea (who is known for his calm demeanor) with them (who will admit to being overtly passionate).
So what did these commentators do to be branded as the new “face of GamerGate”? They liked Cyberpunk 2077! The blogger has equated these commentators to a controversial moment in games media because they have praised Cyberpunk 2077. This all comes back to a minor controversy back in 2018 when a former community manager used #WontBeErased (a hashtag used to bring attention to transgender civil rights) in a distasteful promotional Tweet. CD Projekt Red was quick to respond and apologize for what happened.
However, some have accused the studio of having a transphobic culture because of the Tweets (like the Meduim blogger). Therefore; any video game commentator that has anything positive to say about Cyberpunk 2077 must be transphobic. Thus, this makes them the new face of GamerGate.
A blog post on Meduim is not worth talking about (since most of the writers it attracts are entitled hacks). Yet, almost every video game commentator went on the defense. Thus, it has earned the top spot as the dumbest video game controversy of 2019.
Do you agree with our list or was there a dumb controversial moment in 2019 that we missed? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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