Top 10 Video Game Events Gone Wrong



Top 10 Video Game Events Gone Wrong

VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Video Game Events Gone Wrong. For this list, we're looking at video game events, such as celebrations, award shows, and conventions, that went completely haywire. We will not be counting reveals, announcements, or trailers, especially E3, Nintendo Directs, and State of Plays as those have their own lists of awkward and disappointing moments. Our countdown includes the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary, the First Pokemon Go Fest, THQ Nordic's AMA on 8Chan, and more!
Script written by Ty Richardson

#10: The Game Awards 2016

Geoff Keighley and the Game Awards already get a lot of flak for category selections, nominees, and of course, winners. It doesn’t help that those on the voting jury have often hosted sponsored content for nominees. However, one year that Keighley and his crew will never forget was the 2016 Game Awards. This show stuck out more notably than any other show as viewers were constantly being advertised to, especially when the Schick Hydrobot was in frame. This was widely complained about across social media, and it's partially why many have begun to mock the Game Awards as “the Game Advertisements”.

#9: Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary

We were all ready to see what Nintendo had cooked up to celebrate their main man’s 35th birthday, and rumors had us on the edge of our seats. Little did we know everything that sounded awesome was about to be met with great disappointment. Turned out the long-rumored “Super Mario 3D All-Stars” would be a limited release spanning a little over six months, and the same applied to a battle-royale game starring the mustachioed hero, “Super Mario 35”. It was like we were given a massive cake that had been sitting out for several days - the announcements themselves were sweet, but the caveats were enough to give it a bitter and stale aftertaste.

#8: Steam Summer Sale Adventure

Steam and great god of deals Gabe Newell have always banged out solid sale events between the summer and end-of-the-year holidays. Unfortunately, the Summer Sale Adventure was one of the platform’s biggest blunders. Users would be assigned teams and have to craft badges by collecting virtual cards in order to score points. Thirty players from the day’s winning team would get three games from their wishlist for free. However, one sizable portion of Steam users would conspire to take control of the event, rigging the system to where every team won on specific days. Valve would attempt to combat this by throwing in prizes for the second- and third-place teams, but in the end, it didn’t do much to entice competition.

#7: The First Pokemon GO Fest

Niantic has certainly come a long way with “Pokemon GO”, and the game has become a global phenomenon. Back in 2017, this did not seem like it would last, especially after the catastrophic “Pokemon GO” Fest. Hundreds had flown to Chicago for the event only to be met with network errors while enduring the unforgiving summer heat. Attendees were so outraged that Niantic’s CEO was promptly booed while attempting to explain the situation. Those present would be heavily reimbursed for their time and money through in-game currencies. Thankfully, Niantic hasn’t had to deal with another ordeal like this since.

#6: The Year of Luigi

To commemorate the original Player 2 character, Nintendo hosted a year-long celebration known as “The Year of Luigi”. Between 2013 and 2014, the gaming giant would release a whopping SIX games that featured Mario’s brother at the center. From “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” and “Dr. Luigi” to “Mario & Luigi: Dream Team” and “New Super Luigi U”, Nintendo wanted us to think green. Shockingly, this would bite them harder than a Piranha Plant as the Year of Luigi would result in the worst financial year for Nintendo in the company’s history. In hindsight, it probably didn’t help that they hosted this event at a time when Sony and Microsoft were on the cusp of launching new consoles.

#5: THQNordic’s AMA on 8chan

This was an event that still confuses us to this day. In early 2019, games publisher THQNordic was gearing up to launch DLC for the long-awaited “Darksiders III”. Someone on the team thought it would be a good idea to host an AMA, but not in the most traditional way. It wasn’t done on Reddit, or 4chan, or even ResetEra. Instead, it was hosted on 8chan, a malicious site known to be festering with malicious behavior and even criminal activity. This was very alarming to the gaming press and community, and rightfully so. THQNordic’s PR director would post an apology explaining his failure to understand and research the site’s background.

#4: Grainger Games Ruins the GMA’s

In case you don’t remember this incident, allow us to refresh your memory. In 2011, the Games Media Awards was hosting its fifth show, and retailer Grainger Games proudly served as the show’s first sponsor of the year. Problem was they went about it in the most obnoxious and disrespectful ways possible. Grainger Games had brought in a massive Hummer H2 to the show, hired bikini-clad models to hand awards over, and strewn condoms across the dinner tables. As expected, the games media put Grainger on blast, and the retailer would issue an apology, albeit a half-hearted one. Grainger Games would shut down in 2018, seven years after this travesty.

#3: Sonic 25th Anniversary Livestream

Twenty-five years is a remarkable milestone in life, one that requires much celebration before hitting the quarter-life crisis. For Sonic the Hedgehog, that crisis came too early as his twenty-fifth anniversary went off with so many cringe-worthy moments. Attendees got to see two staff members jam onstage to classic “Sonic” music while at-home viewers got to hear an annoying beeping noise the entire stream. As for series composers Crush 40, their live show was certainly...entertaining, but not in the way they were anticipating. What a way to hype up new Sonic games.

#2: #FreeFortnite

In August 2020, Epic Games would violate Apple’s Terms of Service after implementing a method for “Fortnite” players to purchase premium currency while cutting out Apple’s share of the profit. One delisting from the App Store and Google Play Store later, and Epic would file a lawsuit against Apple, creating a smear campaign against the tech giant with #FreeFortnite and accusing them of holding a monopoly. Thing is that Apple would countersue and prove to the court that Epic had knowingly violated their terms and done so with malicious intent. Turns out openly telling someone in a written email that you’re going to break their rules doesn’t win you lawsuits and make you the hero.

#1: BlizzCon 2019

Many had hoped BlizzCon 2019 would be a more normal event, unlike the previous year’s debacle over “Diablo: Immortal”. However, 2019 would prove the beginning of a tumultuous turn for Blizzard. Days prior to the event, the conglomerate had been under and was continuing to endure fire involving the banning of “Hearthstone” player Blitzchung. Because he had voiced his support for Hong Kong’s 2019-2020 protests on stream, his ban made it seem like Blizzard was in support of the oppressive Chinese government. This outrage created an uneasy tension at BlizzCon as fans protested around the convention and then-President J. Allen Brack indirectly addressed the situation as “a tough ‘Hearthstone’ eSports moment” and talked around the subject matter.