This Month

2022 is looking great for video games, unless you run a website about video games

There is a popular thought that, due to several delays, 2022 isn’t going to be the bumper year for video games that was predicted (following several delays in 2021 due to Covid). Following a refreshingly different Pokemon game and clear Game of the Year frontrunner, Elden Ring, we hit a rough patch and the rest of the year without Starfield or Breath of the Wild 2 seems a little bleak. Or does it? Are we just getting a bit too obsessed with the gigantic AAA mega hits and ignoring everything else?

I love video games. I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember. As someone who is turning 40 this year, it’s hard to believe I’ve been playing these things for over 30 years. I was doing some tidying around the house the other day and found my old copy of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive. Just a glimpse of the black case made me strangely saudade (I had to look that one up), reminiscing about a time when things were simpler and I was… simpler. A time when games were games to be enjoyed, not to be analysed for potential business benefits as a career.

That is, for better or worse, the business I’m in. I firmly believe video games have become better than they were 30 years ago, but big games that have a lot of “guides potential” are now the ones I care about most – and these games only make up a small percentage of those released each month. What games are going to be played for the longest amount of time, have the most people looking for information, and ideally be able to generate 20+ pages of guide content? For me, an end of 2022 with Starfield, Breath of the Wild 2, Pokemon, and Final Fantasy 16 would have been like striking gold. As it stands, the only game of those four we’re due to get this year is Pokemon Violet and Scarlet.

This is all a bit ‘inside baseball’, but this is what’s behind the curtain for a lot of the biggest games websites. We love writing about games of all sizes, and highlighting a great indie is particularly satisfying, but the bread and butter, the thing that keeps the lights on, is far simpler. It’s answering questions about the super big games that are punched into Google en masse. Questions range from “is it good?” and “which is the best version?” to talking about the best weapons, or cheats, or whatever. This content is where the rubber meets the road, which is why most sites have talented editors whose whole job is working on search-focused guide content. From that perspective, this year is a little challenging.

But if you look at the rest of the year through the eyes of someone who just loves video games and plays them purely for entertainment (these people, I’m told, do exist), things are looking pretty good… great even. If games aren’t measured in terms of megatons, how many millions they’ll sell, and potential page views (please don’t do this to yourself), the line-up is as strong as it is varied – especially following the games announced and dated during the Xbox + Bethesda Showcase on Sunday.

It’s not just the games press who view the release schedule differently to the average Joe Doesn’t Read Gaming Blogs. It doesn’t take much effort to find so-called fans ripping into the likes of Pentiment and High on Life, two personal highlights from the aforementioned Xbox showcase that are releasing this year. These games aren’t “big” enough for some people. Unless every game is AAA it’s automatically bad and for some reason seen as a barrier stopping other big games hitting a platform. Sorry to break it to you, but those smaller game existing isn’t the reason Perfect Dark wasn’t shown off or why a new Banjo game wasn’t announced.


It’s a bumper year for Pokemon, but not so much for many other industry-defining franchises.

Throwing a massive list into an article isn’t really best practice, but to make a point I think there’s no other way. The following is just a selection of the games releasing before the end of the year.

June

  • The Quarry
  • Mario Strikers: Battle League
  • Neon White
  • Redout 2
  • TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge
  • Sonic Origins
  • Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
  • Outriders, Cuphead, and Monster Hunter: Rise DLC

July

  • F1 22
  • KLONOA Phantasy Reverie Series
  • PowerWash Simulator (Xbox release)
  • Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels DLC
  • Stray
  • As Dusk Falls
  • LIVE A LIVE HD-2D remake
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3

August

  • Turbo Golf Racing
  • Thymesia
  • Two Point Campus
  • Cult of the Lamb
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (PC)
  • Madden NFL 23
  • Saints Row
  • F1 Manager 22
  • Destroy All Humans 2

September

  • The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
  • The Last of Us Part 1
  • Temtem
  • Steelrising
  • Splatoon 3
  • Warhammer 40K: Darktide
  • Metal: Hellsinger
  • Evil West
  • Tunic (PlayStation release)
  • Deliver us Mars
  • Grounded (full release)

October

  • Overwatch 2
  • Marvel’s Midnight Suns
  • Forspoken
  • Scorn
  • Gotham Knights
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • High on Life

November

  • Pokemon Violet and Scarlet
  • Pentiment

December

  • The Callisto Protocol
  • Hello Neighbour 2

TBA 2022

  • Atomic Heart
  • God of War Ragnarok
  • FIFA 23
  • Somerville
  • A Plague Tale: Requiem
  • Slime Rancher 2
  • Sonic Frontiers

That lot is pretty impressive. We might even get a couple more pop up in that schedule (a new Need for Speed, perhaps), and a few could be proper Game of the Year contenders for people who aren’t into Souls games. If you play games because you love video games, you’d be hard pushed to spin this list as bad, and I expect you’ve already made a list of 20+ smaller indie games that deserve to be mentioned that I’ve ignored. It might not be an all-time great year, but it’s far from being one of the worst, and unless you have more free time than is humanly possible I can’t see how you’d manage to play even half of those.

If I was just playing games for fun, I’m pretty sure I’d have a jolly good time in the remaining months of the year. But as I now only see them as nourishment for the SEO machine, well, I wish Starfield was still releasing this year. If God of War Ragnarok includes about 100 sets of armour to find, maybe we’ll be OK still. Or Wordle needs to start cranking out the most obscure words in the English language.



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