Even though the global video game industry reached new heights in 2018, this period of growth wasn’t without scandals. When examining the statistics, there’s no denying that 2018 was a banner year for fans and developers of video games alike. The global market value reached $134.9 billion, which was a 10.9% increase from 2017. This impressive growth was fueled by the soaring popularity of the mobile sector, which rose 12.8% and generated $63.2 billion. Both tablets and smartphones enjoyed generous growth, which is setting the stage for a gaming renaissance.
As the video game industry continues to grow at unprecedented rates, both its successes and pitfalls are coming under scrutiny. There are 2,457 video game companies in the U.S. alone, which employs a staggering 220,000 people. Even though on average these workers make double the typical U.S. household income, working in the video game industry is far from a fairytale. From excessive hours to inhumane working conditions, the industry has been riddled with scandals.
Now that the push for unionization has reached deafening levels in 2019, the spotlight is on the dark side of the video game industry. More developers are pushing for union help than ever before, and this movement is filling gamers with curiosity. To truly understand what’s unfolding this year, taking a look at previous scandals is crucial. Despite seeming like a laid back industry, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than most gamers imagine. For this reason, we compiled a list of the biggest video game industry scandals in 2018. These hidden factors make a profound impact, so discover which incidents helped spark this year’s revolution!
Biggest Video Game Industry Scandals
Scandal #3: Sony’s Resistance to Cross-Platform Play – Even though many video game platforms are forming alliances, not everyone is onboard this push for unity. While Nintendo and Microsoft openly allowed cross-play between the Switch and Xbox, Sony needed to generate widespread outrage before they changed their policies. When Fortnite was introduced on Nintendo’s hybrid console, Sony’s stubbornness was accidentally highlighted.
Users hoping to enjoy Fortnite on the go were permanently locked out of their accounts if they had ever been associated with a PlayStation 4. Ironically, it took the Japanese multinational conglomerate months to admit any wrong doing. When they finally admitted fault, Sony blamed a major policy change for the incompatibility. Even though they finally changed their stance, this incident made gamers noticeably leerier of Sony’s true intentions.
Scandal #2: PUBG Corp Lawsuits – Even though PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds received extreme success in the battle royale genre, they tried to seize it all for themselves. Through a series of bizarre lawsuits, this gaming company tried to claim credit for the entire genre. Ironically, this bizarre attempt to monopolize the battle royale genre targeted companies that were directly tied to PUBG Corp.
Their first target in a lawsuit rampage was Epic Games, the creator behind Fortnite. What made this move so bizarre was the fact that Epic Games is a direct contributor to PUBG. The madness didn’t stop there, since PUBG later sued NetEase for copyright infringement over a frying pan weapon. Even though PUBG Corp dropped the suit against Epic Games, this incident showcased how paranoid they were about losing control of the battle royale genre.
Scandal #1: Rockstar’s Horrific Work Environments – Even though this developer is behind some of the industry’s most iconic releases, their employee treatment needs some work. While Red Dead Redemption 2 received rave reviews, this exceptional quality came with plenty of sacrifice. Three of Rockstar’s major studios are accused of forcing 100-hour workweeks, during the production of this epic Western adventure.
Through threats of termination and blatant intimidation, Rockstar is accused of creating a culture of fear. Multiple employees claim that the game developer forced employees to work as many hours as physically possible to complete the game on time. Even though the reports are conflicting, they cast an ominous shadow on Rockstar’s seemingly spotless legacy.