The gaming industry is always evolving and changing as the years go on. Trends always change and technology is always being invented. And despite how some people may say that the gaming industry hasn't changed or that it is in a rut, there are clear signs that great things have been happening and that the industry is trending up.
Here are 9 of the coolest things that happened in gaming in 2016.
Arguably one of the most talked about games during the summer months, Pokemon Go released and took the world by storm. Anyone and everyone was talking about it. Everyone was writing about it. And everyone was playing Pokemon Go. Old players and new players all picked up their phones and installed the app, wandering the world to catch pokemon. Even if the fad has died down since, Pokemon Go left its mark.
For the longest time, if you wanted to play an English port of a Japanese game, you'd have to get it on a console. But since 2015 Japan has been porting more and more games to the PC.
With games such as Zero Time Dilemma, the Danganronpa series and God Eater making their way to the PC, some Japanese developers have showed that they understand that there is a market for their games on the PC and hopefully, other developers and publishers will see the same.
Virtual reality is finally here. After decades of dreaming and waiting, virtual reality is finally in the hands of people. Though it may be more for enthusiasts at the moment, virtual reality and virtual reality gaming exists, and it isn't completely terrible.
Of course, there are issues with virtual reality, but it is still young. From the pricier headsets and setups on the PC with the Vive and Rift, to the the first console headset in the PSVR and the affordable Gear VR and Google Cardboard, VR is here to stay -- and we can look back on 2016 as the year it really took off.
The first-person-shooter genre had been in sort of a rut for a while. With many gamers swapping genres, sticking to staples such as Counter-strike, or just downright bemoaning about the lack of innovation, the FPS genre was thought to be in decline.
So when several excellent FPS games released in 2016, everyone was surprised. DOOM surprised many gamers with its excellent single player campaign. Battlefield 1 excited players with its World War One setting. And TItanfall 2 gave gamers an interesting campaign, which built upon the polished gameplay from the first title.
In a nutshell: 2016 has been a good year for the FPS genre.
From Overwatch to Paladins and Battleborn to Paragon, any gamer can see the interest in team shooters increased in 2016. After the release of the last really memorable team shooter, Team Fortress 2, there had been a drought of class-based team shooters.
Though a couple of these games haven't been fully released (some are still in beta) and Battleborn having basically died, it can be seen that there's an emergence of interest in team shooters from gamers and developers alike.
Cross-platform play is something that many gamers have wanted for quite some time. From some wanting to crush players on other platforms to prove console superiority, to others just wanting to play with friends who own other platforms, cross-platform play is something that many gamers thought may never actually happen.
But in 2016, it did.
With Microsoft pushing integration between Windows 10 and Xbox One and with Rocket League opening up cross-platform play with PCs and consoles, the barriers between platforms are slowly but surely crumbling.
Though this is more relevant for the PC gamer, the fact that Nvidia managed to develop and release an entirely new line of graphics cards is great. The Geforce 900 series released back in 2014, so the release of the 1000 series is a nice upgrade for those of us looking for new tech.
With the 1000 series being more affordable than Nvidia's Titan Xs, gamers can look forward to cards that won't completely break the bank. And even if you don't want to buy a 1000 series card, the 900 series of cards will obviously go down in price, since they are no longer the latest tech on the market.
The only wait that seems as long as waiting for VR to become a thing is the eventual release of a "development hell" game. Several games that many gamers have been waiting years for are finally releasing (or have a release date).
The world will finally get their hands on games like Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian and Persona 5. Many gamers have been waiting for these games since the last generation of consoles and though Persona 5 is releasing in 2017, we have do (finally) a release date for it.
The wait will finally be over.
There are many games that try to make a mark on the field of gaming and sometimes, it just doesn't happen. Games fail to make a mark and simply disappear and die off. The fan bases for those games are often left without much else and have to move on. However, we saw something different happen this year: Evolve got a second life.
Released back in 2015, Evolve was a highly hyped game but left many disappointed. The game had a big player base that died off a few weeks after its release, and the game was proclaimed dead by the gaming community.
But Evolve went free to play in 2016, giving it new life. Turtle Rock Studios opened the floodgates and tried to resurrect their dead game -- and it actually worked. There was a massive influx of new players wanting to try out Evolve as well as an influx of returning players wanting to see what was new.
Though 2k is stopping production of the game even after the resurgence of interest, this little experiment shows us that dead games don't have to stay dead. Maybe developers could resurrect other old gems, too.
In 2016, many new things appeared and excited gamers, while many old things popped up out of their graves and surprised us. Some of these trends might continue into 2017 and some might not. Let's hope a majority do.
We can't predict everything that is going to happen, so we can just wait and enjoy what is to come.