In the last Gamasutra feature of the year
, the hardworking site staff has put together a massive, retrospective list of the most memorable events and best games of 2010 in a wide variety of categories.
Our list of lists starts off with a collection of surprising industry events from the year, none more surprising than Panasonic's confusing decision to re-enter the hardware market with their online-enabled portable The Jungle.
"The design was horrible and the idea was dim-witted," list author Chris Morris wrote. "And reactions from gamers, analysts and most gaming insiders ranged from skeptical and indifferent at best to howls of hysterical laughter at worst. Panasonic remains resolute, though."
The Supreme Court's historic review of California's violent video game law -- with its major implications for the industry's legal standing -- topped our list of major industry happenings for the year, while the collapse of APB
publisher Realtime Worlds was the year's biggest disappointment.
"In 2010, Realtime's demise exemplified the risk involved in investing tens of millions of dollars into a massive online retail game -- still a common business model," list author Kris Graft wrote. "Perhaps Realtime's collapse wouldn't have been so disappointing if expectations for the studio weren't so high."
This year's lists included our first-ever look at recent Facebook social game releases, culminating with a pick for FrontierVille
, Zynga's Western-themed follow-up to the FarmVille
"Veteran strategy game designer Brian Reynolds (Civilization II, Rise Of Nations
) and his team at Zynga East took the habit-forming FarmVille formula and its farming/livestock mechanics, and expanded on it with varmints to clobber, quests/goals to complete, virtual partners to marry, families to raise, neighbors to visit and invite, badges to earn, and more in FrontierVille
," list author Eric Caolli wrote.
The list concludes with our overall top gaming picks of the year, including a number one selection we described in this way:
"The game does a fantastic job of making the player feel like they're making significant choices, forming relationships (especially with horses), and discovering locations on their own, when in fact their options are rather limited - that kind of trickery is to be praised, since the intent is to entertain the player."
The complete mega-list
also includes our picks for the top iOS, PC, indie, handheld, cult, and under-rated titles of the years, as well as selections of 2010's major controversies, developers, trends and surprises.