Top 7 Weirdest Gaming News and Stories of 2021

Congrats, we have made it to the New Year! Many may argue with us on this, but 2021 has been an absurd year, especially in the world of video games. It was a trivial year for new releases and a sweeping year for reckonings.

2021’s Weirdest Gaming Stories and News

In theory, 2021 was the first full year of the new generation of consoles, with the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series PS5, and S all available for purchase.

While there were numerous high-profile delays as a result of the ongoing pandemic, there were many great games, some of which were among the best Xbox games ever released. Meanwhile, the gaming industry has also undergone some major changes that are leaving their mark for better or worse.

Wait till you see the number of unsettling, confounding, bizarre stories we have covered in the last twelve months. So, here is the list of 2021’s weirdest gaming stories and news:

GTA: Broken Trilogy

Source: Rockstar Games

Bringing the trio of GTA games from the PS2 to the modern platforms, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition has been a disaster. Even though the stylistic changes were divisive in early screenshots, once the game was out, the game’s weirdness can not go unnoticed, even by a first-time player. The weather was broken, bridges were invisible, physics didn’t make sense, and character models had twisted limbs and grotesque proportions – the list of issues was long.

There were also several issues with the port that were exacerbated by the fact that it was based on the mobile version of the game, especially the removal of some beloved music. In addition, Rockstar’s PC launcher was unavailable for several days following launch, rendering all PC Rockstar titles unplayable.

Undoubtedly the most controversial launch since Cyberpunk 2077, and an unacceptably poor show for a game that’s more than 20 years old!

The NFT Intrusion

nft: What is NFT, and why it matters in the crypto world - The Economic Times
Source: Economic Times

Although NFT has been around for a few years, they didn’t begin to intrude on gaming in earnest until 2021. For the unaware, NFT is a Non-Fungible Token for digital art, but developers are now trying to wedge it into the mainstream gaming world.

Amongst the biggest fans of gaming NFTs is Ubisoft Quartz. As part of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Ubisoft Quartz offers limited-edition cosmetics engraved with serial numbers stated that it is looking into blockchain applications on financial earnings calls; however, it immediately backfired.

NFTs were also auctioned off in STALKER 2 before backtracking in response to critics. However, in his upcoming game Legacy, Fable creator Peter Molyneux plans to sell virtual plots of land as NFTs.

But isn’t NFT implementation in gaming a form of microtransaction? Given the fact that we are already paying for games themselves, adding more styles of monetization through microtransactions (and, by extension, loot boxes) is being pushed back by the core gaming community.

Xbox’s Phil Spencer said blockchain-technology games feel more “exploitative” than entertainment. In addition, steam has barred blockchain-technology games from its platform.

However, 2022 will see more NFT and blockchains in video games, for better or for worse.

E-sport High School

Video games are now a legitimate high school sport | CNN Business
Source: CNN

Japan is opening doors to a new type of specialty high-school, Esports Koutou Gakuin (eスポーツ高等学院) (“Esport High School“). Supported by telecom giant NTT’s esport outfit and Tokyo Verdy, this school is a dream-come-true for all gamers.

Students would be taught by professional esports players and industry experts who will be providing their gaming expertise to high-schoolers. Though the emphasis would be on esports, students will also study the standard Japanese high school curriculum.

This is no joke! They will have proper classes based on first-person shooters, RTSs, MOBAs, etc. Moreover, they also aspire for students to take care of their mental health along with playing games.

Fortnite is Everything

Fortnite | Free-to-Play Cross-Platform Game - Fortnite
Source: Epic Game Store

There is something for everyone in Fortnite. In Fortnite, you can play battle royales, you can play Among Us-like games, you can play casual games while dressed as Naruto or The Rock, or just hang out with your friends.

Have you heard that there is even a short Sonic game, Sonic Origins, that you can play inside Fortnite? There’s no doubt that it’s practically a platform in and of itself, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. With the dawn of Metaverse by Meta (formerly known as Facebook), Fortnite can grow to more than just a game; it could become a true virtual reality. A computer world where players can be any character they want, battle with enemies, hang out with their friends, and much more.

Sounds interesting? Watch the movie “Ready Player One,” and you will understand why it is not just weird but also horrifying. Kirk McKeand points out the pros and cons of such a universe in his article about Epic Games and the metaverse.

World’s Fastest PC

After 18 years of manufacturing home-use video game hardware, at the end of 2021, Sega shocked the gaming world by unveiling its newest collection, the world’s fastest PC. But, surprisingly, its processing speed is not what makes it the fastest.

This awesome-cum-weird gaming PC is equipped with wheels and a motor and is drivable via remote control. It maxes out at a speed of about 100 kilometers per hour. Sega has provided proof of its high-speed gaming PC claim in a video where it speeds around a race track.

Though it might sound fascinating, it surely is not. Running a PC made up of apparently expensive components on the road is not the smartest decision. So, is it just me who finds this PC which can be used as an RC card and is also capable of playing high-end games absurd? Or is it bizarre for everyone?

Finalized Acquisition of ZeniMax

Starfield Key Art
Source: Bethesda Softworks

In September 2020, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media. First, however, it underwent a few months of regulatory review. Finally, in March 2021, Microsoft Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks finalized their merger, and Bethesda Softworks joined the Xbox first-party group. As a result, Bethesda’s studios have now focused on developing exclusive video games for PC and Xbox, or more specifically, “platforms where Game Pass is available.”

This acquisition’s first wave of games will include Redfall and Starfield, immersive shooters from Arkane Austin, and science-fiction role-playing games from Bethesda Game Studios, respectively. These game releases are scheduled for Summer 2022 and November 11, 2022, respectively.

With nearly the entirety of Bethesda Softworks’ back catalog added to Xbox Game Pass, adding Bethesda to Xbox immediately boosted the value of the service. As a result, games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Doom Eternal will be included in the subscription going forward, as will any new Bethesda Softworks titles.

Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard reveals more than 20 people have "exited" the company following investigations | GamesRadar+
Source: Games Radar

2021 will be remembered for the biggest gaming story that broke in July. A lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard has been announced, alleging sexist practices and abuse have flourished at the company without punishment. Employees at Activision Blizzard were angered by the lackluster company’s response, which led to walkouts and reform demands.

The situation has escalated since the lawsuit was filed, with a new report alleging that CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of sexual harassment claims and attempted to suppress them. Activision Blizzard leadership, who are notably still supporting Kotick as of this writing, has fired over 20 employees, disciplined more, and resigned voluntarily after losing faith in the company.

It’s not yet clear what the next steps will be, but no matter what happens, this situation is far from defused and will continue to unfold either way.

Matrix Awakening: The Most Realists Video Game

Matrix: The Awakening, tried –
Matrix Awakening

The Matrix Awakens is, to date, the most realistic piece of video game art any gamer can experience in real-time. There is probably nothing you can download and play that looks this good.

Once you press play, you will be in a fully operational city. The game is designed such that other than on-rail shooting, and you can walk around, drive cars, create traffic jams, and explore every part of the city.

Matrix Awakens is truly taking the video gaming experience to a whole new level. This is not anything weird but super amazing, and the list of note-worthy gaming stories and news of 2021 is definitely incomplete without it. Don’t you feel the same?

Looking Forward

Even though these events have passed, we are just beginning to see the effects and benefits of what occurred in 2021. However, analysts expect more game delays in 2022, there is still much to look forward to.

Gaming, an industry that is at the intersection of science and entertainment, will release new games, companies will make bold moves, and no doubt we will see some unexpected events occur once again in 2022!

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