As Charlie Brooker put it in his latest Guardian column, “Goodbye, cruel 2014: we promise not to miss you once you’ve gone.” Although there have been some exceptional releases, the games industry has had a challenging time of it this year. Developers are still getting to grips with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4; there have been server meltdowns and hacked gaming services; there has been Gamergate.
Perhaps it’s because of these trials that the year has also provided a wealth of very good writing on games – and not just from the dedicated gaming press. 2014 has seen an increasing number of mainstream newspapers, magazines and websites exploring the medium. The New Statesman, for example, has had the Labour MP Tom Watson summing up the merits of Destiny while the New Yorker regularly employs the Guardian contributor Simon Parkin to consider such sublime subject matter as “the kiss that changed video games”.