MMO Year in Review: Microsoft has entered the chat (January 2022)

In a world of human wreckage.

It’s that time again – the time when we look back over all the big stories of the year and round them up in one convenient place. If I’m being truthful, I do these recaps for myself as much as for anyone else since it’s so easy to forget everything that happened. So it’s tradition now: As we did in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, let’s take a tour back through our MMO coverage, one month a day for the next 12 days, to hit the highlights and frame our upcoming journey into 2023.

January 2022 was no slouch for major MMO and industry news; we got barely a few days of peace before the genre dropped the news that Microsoft was trying to buy Activision-Blizzard for $68.7 billion in a transparent move to help the latter company escape 2021’s legal and cultural dramas, all set against the backdrop of a unionization effort on the part of multiple factions of Acti-Blizz workers that has continued its narrative thread throughout the whole year. The news almost crowded out Sony’s plans to buy out Bungie as 2022 became the year of gaming companies eating each other alive.

MMO players also had no lack of choices for new games this month; we saw no less than Mortal Online 2, Broken Ranks, and the Kickstarted Zenith take their launch runs.

Here’s the whole recap from January of this past year, from our top news stories of the month to our best editorials.


Square Enix president lauds blockchain for play-to-earn and ‘self-sustaining game growth’ potential

China’s continued freeze on new gaming approvals sees 14,000 gaming firms in the country shut down

Interview: ArcheAge studios on the move to Kakao, bans, land rushes, and the future of the game

Elder Scrolls Online has begun teasing what looks like a High Isles Breton-centric chapter

Raven Software strike extends to its third week as Activision-Blizzard claims management is listening

Mortal Online 2 developer gets an Epic Games MegaGrant, confirms transition to Unreal Engine 5

Chronicles of Elyria is now estimating a late 2024 release

Tibia is getting sound for the first time as it turns 25 years old

Amazon Prime’s Fallout TV series kicks off production this year

Red Dead Online’s shabby first update of 2022 sparks community movement to save the game

Jagex 2020 financials outline increases in revenue, subscriptions, and microtransaction sales

Embers Adrift aims for a 2022 launch while it beefs up combat and character creation

Critter taming cross-platform MMO Chimeraland has officially launched on mobile and PC

Star Citizen and Squadron 42 are still years from launch, CIG confirms

Neverwinter’s 22nd module, Dragonbone Vale, is live today on PC

Black Desert claims a 230% increase in new western daily players on PC thanks to class reboot

DC Universe Online is turning 11 years old, and it brought you a huge present

Elder Scrolls Online PvPers are grumpy over an out-of-context stream clip

Former Activision-Blizzard staffer likens the company to the Titanic

Elyon adds the archer, balances all classes, and revamps RvR in today’s update

Riot Games lays out five-year plan, partial ownership for employees

PUBG is now a free-to-play title on PC and console with today’s update

Lord of the Rings Online defends – and now pauses – controversial pay-to-win currency changes

Elite Dangerous Odyssey had a ‘difficult calendar year,’ but Frontier claims an ‘upturn in player sentiment’

EVE Online’s surprise Doctor Who crossover event goes live

Avatar: Reckoning looks like a mobile MMO with shooter vibes, backed by Disney and Tencent

The Game Archaeologist: Talking 25-year-old Tibia with CipSoft

Second Life’s original founder rejoins the project to create the ultimate metaverse

Activision-Blizzard addresses Call of Duty mess, striking devs report ‘radio silence’

Microsoft is acquiring Activision-Blizzard, Bobby Kotick is still CEO

Riot confirms Runeterra MMO’s group-centered design philosophy

Webzen is closing down five-year-old Mu Origin in the west

Acti-Blizz buyout, day two: Labor, stock, Kotick, and the reasons behind the sale

Activision-Blizzard submits useless Microsoft buyout FAQ for employees

Nightingale was originally an MMO but scaled back to become more intimate

Reddit’s co-founder thinks crypto gaming and players ‘being properly valued’ for game time will be the norm in five years

Blade and Soul adds the new Soul Fighter spec and celebrates six years in the Soul Resurgence update

GDC’s State of the Game Industry: NFTs, the metaverse, and more than half of game devs want to unionize

Gamigo launches a new department and plans new acquisitions to increase its publishing efforts

Blizzard addresses regaining player trust as Kotick’s all-hands meeting leaves workers unsettled

New World interview: Mutators, the midgame, the level 30 wall, and more

Activision-Blizzard’s Raven Software is formally unionizing

New World’s mutator dungeons are live in today’s January patch

Full-loot PvP MMORPG sandbox Mortal Online 2 officially launches today

Star Trek Online brings Kate Mulgrew to the game as part of its latest anniversary celebration

Blizzard is hiring for a new unnamed survival game set in an ‘all-new universe’

Chinese martial arts MMORPG Justice Online announces western release but it can be played via cloud gaming now

Raven Software files for union election after ActiBlizz ignores recognition request

Broken Ranks officially launches, servers almost immediately melt down due to demand

Global Agenda is back from the dead at least temporarily, Hi-Rez confirms

PlanetSide 2’s long-delayed Oshur continent is officially online today for PC players

VR MMO Zenith hits the ‘big red launch button’ today

Atlas expands and bosses multiply in Path of Exile’s Siege of the Atlas expansion, launching February 4th

Elder Scrolls Online just announced the High Isle chapter and Legacy of the Bretons arc

Superhero MMO City of Titans seeks more money: ‘We’re operating on a used shoestring’

Ubisoft’s Singapore studio cleared of wrongdoing, Ubisoft exec claims users ‘don’t get’ its Quartz NFTs

Newly launched Mortal Online 2 postpones subscriptions for a month

Union asks SEC to investigate Activision-Blizzard’s ‘inaccurate and misleading’ acquisition statements

World of Warcraft is finally outlawing boosting rings – though not boosting itself

Sony is acquiring Destiny developer Bungie for $3.6 billion

Kritika:REBOOT is shutting down on February 16

Swords of Legends Online announces free-to-play switch and Firestone Legacy expansion for February




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