Here are the best fan reactions to the new Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC announcement – Screen Shot
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Here are the best fan reactions to the new Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC announcement

If you haven’t beaten Malenia yet, now is a good time to start trying, as new Elden Ring downloadable content has just been announced— ominously titled Shadow of the Erdtree.

It’s not just new hairstyles this time, we’re getting what looks to be a fully fledged expansion. The reveal, dropped on 28 February 2023, shows a shiny new image promoting the upcoming DLC, but lacks any clear insight into a release date for the DLC or what sort of content we’ll be getting. That’s fine though, as in true FromSoftware fashion, fans are left reading between the lines and are eating up every sliver of information that can be found in the poster promoting the upcoming release.

Fans speculate over what the new Elden Ring DLC will entail and memes ensue

Gamers online were quick to speculate and meme the news, especially American players who were  left baffled by the reveal which dropped at 3am EST, which would have made it 5pm in Tokyo—much more reasonable.

Elden Ring lore is famously dense and difficult to get into but that hasn’t stopped fans from doing their best to digest the little information we have. Keen eyed soulslike fans on Reddit are already deciding that the figure on the poster for the new expansion is Miquella, brother of the games infamously hard boss, Malenia.

Miquella Elden Ring DLC

This would be a likely explanation as to who is riding the spirit steed in the promotional image, given the similarities in appearance. Fans have long speculated that future content would revolve around these characters thanks to previously data minded content and unanswered questions in the game about the Empyrean siblings. Diving into the character of Miquella and how he met his fate at the hands of the obsessive Mohg is an exciting prospect for the new DLC to explore.

Of course, this prompted fans to remember that with this iconic character back on the scene, we may very well encounter another ridiculously hard fight with Malenia again.

Malenia meme

I can’t get over this next meme that pokes fun at the lengths Elden Ring Youtubers are going to have to go to make videos on the new information we have. There’s not a lot that can be said about a poster is there? Youtube will find a way.

Elden Ring meme

Elden Ring made 2022 a brutal but exhilarating year for gaming. Hopefully it can save 2023, which was off to a bad start thanks to Justin Roiland allegations staining the release of High on Life, as well as the highly problematic release of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter game, Hogwarts Legacy.

From Elden Ring to Activision Blizzard allegations: The best and worst moments in gaming from 2022

Let’s be real: 2022 has been a rough year—from Will Smith’s internet-shattering slap to Kanye West’s anti-Semitic meltdown, even the gaming industry came with its share of controversy. So let’s forget all about what 2023 might bring for a minute, get comfy by the fire and prepare for a deep dive into the biggest hits and flops that dominated the gaming news of the past year. We’ve picked out the most standout stories just for you, because we’re nice like that.

FromSoftware cemented its reputation, pleasing sadists all over the world

The 2010s saw a decline in games with a challenging edge. Instead, auto-aim and hand-holding was rife. The Japanese developer FromSoftware was the last bastion of hope for sadistic, controller-smashing maniacs who relish in difficulty (like myself).

Enter Elden Ring, a culmination of everything FromSoftware has learnt over the last decade of making crushingly complicated games. Through such mastery, this industry titan even managed to spawn an entire new subgenre, known among fanatics as Soulslike. Referring to an action role-playing game identified by its increasingly difficult narrative, Soulslike’s name was inspired by FromSoftware’s hit series Dark Souls.

The series, released in 2011, popularised dark fantasy settings by showing off cryptic lore and punishing gameplay with an emphasis on big, bad bosses. A theme and style that the developer hasn’t let go of since, exemplified by the likes of Elden Ring. The immediately popular game was nothing short of a masterpiece in the genre and reached a wider audience than anyone could’ve expected. This gargantuan success culminated in its momentous victory at the 2022 Game Awards, in which Elden Ring took home the award for Game of the Year.

FromSoftware’s games are challenging, rewarding and rich in dark detail and intrigue. The company’s latest entry really bridged the gap between casual and hardcore gamers, proving that people do like a little bit of a beating every now and then. Safe to say, it appears as though difficult games are most definitely here to stay.

2022 was a year of allegations and lawsuits

In the biggest flop of the year, we saw the gaming industry reveal a sinister side—exposing worrying traits and patterns many spectators hadn’t prepared themselves for.

Let’s start by getting some of the tamer news out of the way. Video game publisher Bethesda Softworks and Mick Gordon, composer for DOOM Eternal, went to war over contract, payment and crunch disputes. There’s far too much internal rigamarole to trudge through, so instead let’s focus on the main takeaways from this altercation. The falling out centred on the common occurrence in which artists and composers are sidelined and swindled by large companies motivated by corporate greed and complication. There is so much to read in regard to this topic and so I’d recommend fetching some hot cocoa—or a mimosa if you fancy something stronger—and diving into Gordon’s open letter wherein he discusses the entire affair.

Moving along, there was also the really strange news that the creator of iconic game Sonic The Hedgehog, Yuji Naka, had been found guilty of insider trading and was subsequently arrested twice—all in one year. The creator of the infamous Sonic couldn’t outrun these allegations.

The lowest point of the industry though was by far the explosion of allegations against Activision Blizzard which, though having started in 2021, spilled over into the new year with fresh suits and settlements lingering around every corner. To give a brief summary of the drama, the gaming giant—aka the studio behind Call of Duty and World of Warcraft—was accused of fostering a frat boy atmosphere and repeatedly making female employees uncomfortable due to unwanted advances and attitudes.

Allegations including the notorious Cosby suite, and female employees finding their breast milk missing from fridges wasn’t the end of the line for the developer giant in 2021. As 2022 rolled around, fresh allegations began to spawn, particularly regarding sexual harassment and inequality in the team, perpetrated in part by its CEO, Bobby Kotick, a man who is still running the company today. To top it all off, this year saw Blizzard trying to stop its workers from unionising by hiring a well-known firm whose job is to stop workers from organising.

Activision Blizzard has been in damage-control mode since the beginning of the year,  but it might be a little too late for the company. Will the community move on, or will they take a stand? 2023 spells a tough year for the developer as it desperately tries to win back players. It’s worth mentioning, it wasn’t the only gaming giant to face allegations this year, French titans Ubisoft also faced a scathing harassment lawsuit, as reported by Kotaku.

Yes, we’re counting Wordle as a videogame

The social phenomenon that was Wordle completely dominated the early months of 2022, and with good reason. Everyone was playing it—I’m a massive fan of games with the ability to unify people across boundaries and Wordle was a prime example of this.

In case you happened to be living under a rock for the first half of the year, Wordle requires players to figure out a daily random word in only six guesses. Each guess tells you which letters you surmised correctly,, and if they might be the right word but in the wrong place. For such a simple game, it was surprisingly addictive.

This word game sensation—originally developed and created by software engineer Josh Wardle—spawned numerous clones and copies, such as Quordle, an iteration where you guess four words at once, and Squirdle, a Pokémon guessing version. Although not the most traditional of video games, we believe it deserved an honourable mention here.

The gaming industry went on a shopping spree

2022 captured  one of the strangest emerging gaming trends—one of overspending and acquisitions. We witnessed Microsoft and Sony racing to buy up smaller studios, in a supposed bid to boost their respective arsenals in the long-running console wars.

After Microsoft acquired Bethesda Softworks—the studio behind the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises—in 2021, Sony kicked off the summer of 2022 by purchasing industry veterans Bungie, the legendary creators of the Halo franchise, for a tantalising $3.6 billion.

In retaliation, Microsoft threw its hat into the ring, making a stake for controversial gaming giant Activision Blizzard for an even more mouth-watering $69 billion. This purchase is yet to go through and will likely spill into 2023, so keep an eye out. Due to the size of the accession, the deal has got regulators in a flurry as lawyers and big wigs work their hardest to try and ensure that the gaming industry doesn’t become  monopolised.

News recently broke that gamers are banding together to sue Microsoft too, to ensure that gaming continues to allow players to make decisions on what systems they play on and who they give their money to. We’ll have to wait and see in the new year if this proves to be too big a bone for Microsoft to chew on.

by u/RedditPua from discussion Microsoft Sued by Gamers Over $69 Billion Activision
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The two mainstays of gaming weren’t the only companies scooping up studios and indie darlings though. Epic Games purchased Mediatonic, the lovable underdogs responsible for 2020’s surprise hit Fall Guys. The rest of the industry was left with odd bits of scrap with Take-Two Interactive, the Grand Theft Auto publisher grabbing mobile juggernaut Zynga, and Swedish holding company Embracer finding their hands on The Lord of the Rings, Tomb Raider, and Deus Ex franchises from Crystal Dynamics and Eidos.

The cherry on top in this extensive acquisition saga has to be the fact that  Chinese company Tencent can’t seem to get enough of Western games. Tencent recently found itself spending generous sums in order to have a stake in gaming giants Ubisoft and FromSoftware. Some seem to think this is part of a worrying trend of Chinese businesses infiltrating the West and harvesting data, but I think Tencent just wants to make money—a whole lot of it. 

So, these have been our highlights and lowlights of 2022. It’s been a messy one, but for the most part, gamers have been spoiled with a buffet of excellent titles, superb escapism, and a bundle of surprisingly enjoyable word-solving problems. This year did highlight a lot of problems within the industry itself—despite the games successes, Elden Ring we’re looking at you—so, let’s hope that 2023 stays as clean as possible. The only way is up.