2020 in video gaming

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Notable Events[edit | edit source]

In 2020, a pandemic called Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also known as the Wuhan virus, Chinese flu, Coronavirus, or by the respiratory disease the virus causes, COVID-19, began sweeping across the Earth, originating in the Wuhan province in China before spreading to many other countries, most notably Italy, Iran, the United Kingdom and the United States. Due to the high risk of death from those of advanced age and those with other health problems, many changes have had to take place since the seriousness of the pandemic first became apparent in March, with many sports matches and tournaments being either cancelled or postponed, with most Football leagues (including the European 2020 Championship), many Formula 1 races (although a 17-race championship starting in June and ending in December was agreed) and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games among those affected, with the Olympic Games rescheduled to 2021. Many gaming conferences were also canceled, most notably GDC 2020 and E3 2020, although some, such as EA and Ubisoft, did host their own livestreams. Sony and Microsoft also announced release dates for both of their new home consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X via livestreams. By the end of the year, multiple companies had developed a vaccine for the virus, and these began to be rolled out from December onwards.

In December 2020, a new, more virulent strain of Coronavirus, dubbed the South African strain was detected in the United Kingdom, with many countries quick to seal their borders in response. On 23:00 GMT on December 31, 2020, the United Kingdom ended its transition period with the European Union, with both sides announcing prior to the date that a trade deal had been agreed.

Console releases[edit | edit source]

Both Microsoft and Sony launched their respective consoles on time, both were marred by hardware shortages and mass buying from scalpers that persisted into 2021.

Video game releases[edit | edit source]

Final Fantasy VII Remake launched in April despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, although the game's controversial ending caused debate on social media. Cyberpunk 2077, originally slated for April 2020, had its release date pushed back to December 10, 2020, with CD Projekt coming under heavy fire for hamstringing reviewers from testing the console versions of the game, or from including any footage from the PC release they did test. After release, players complained that the base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles were practically unplayable due to low framerates, and while owners of the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles did not have these performance issues, the game was still riddled with bugs and crashes. This also affected the PC version, with PC users finding an additional problem after some found that the save file was limited to 8 MB in size; if the save file went above it, the save file would irrecovably corrupt. Many of these issues were fixed in various patches released up until the Christmas period.

While Among Us released in 2018, the game saw a resurgence in 2020 due to a large number of Twitch streamers and YouTubers picking up the game and livestreaming it. Blizzard Entertainment released World of Warcraft: Shadowlands after pushing back the game's original release date by six weeks. Both No Man's Sky and Fallout 76 have continued to receive updates in the wake of their disastrous launches, although No Man's Sky is in a better position reputationally than Fallout 76.


Video game releases[edit | edit source]

Name Release Date Category Region(s) Platform(s)

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Hardware releases[edit | edit source]

Name Release Date Category Region(s)
PlayStation 5 November 12, 2020 Home Console Australia
PlayStation 5 November 19, 2020 Home Console Europe
PlayStation 5 November 12, 2020 Home Console Japan
PlayStation 5 November 12, 2020 Home Console South Korea
PlayStation 5 November 12, 2020 Home Console North America
PlayStation 5 November 12, 2020 Home Console New Zealand
PlayStation 5 November 19, 2020 Home Console United Kingdom
PlayStation 5 Digital Edition November 12, 2020 Home Console Australia
PlayStation 5 Digital Edition November 19, 2020 Home Console Europe
PlayStation 5 Digital Edition November 12, 2020 Home Console Japan
PlayStation 5 Digital Edition November 12, 2020 Home Console South Korea
PlayStation 5 Digital Edition November 12, 2020 Home Console North America
PlayStation 5 Digital Edition November 12, 2020 Home Console New Zealand
PlayStation 5 Digital Edition November 19, 2020 Home Console United Kingdom
Xbox Series S November 10, 2020 Home Console International
Xbox Series X November 10, 2020 Home Console International