I wrote a lot of stories this year. Here are some of my favorites.
Nintendo's Secret Weapon — You're not allowed to take photos in Nintendo of America's headquarters, so I can never prove that this actually happened. You'll have to take my word for it. I really enjoyed sharing this look at a side of Nintendo that doesn't get nearly enough attention.
Investigation: A Video Game Studio From Hell — I'm particularly proud of this investigation not because of what's in it, but because of what it accomplished—the day after we published the story, Trendy's creative director stepped down. Months later, some of the folks there tell me things are significantly better. Whistleblowers can change things!
How LucasArts Fell Apart — Disney shutting down LucasArts was one of the year's biggest surprises, but the studio once known for iconic games like Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle had been in decline long before the Mouse took over. This was an exhausting story to write and report, and it's tough to re-read. That letter. Man.
Metacritic Matters: How Review Scores Hurt Video Games — Some inside baseball here, but I think it's important for anyone who enjoys games to understand just how toxic review score culture can be. Quantifying quality is a terrible idea, and review scores are useful to very few people, mostly because they mean different things to different people.
Sid Meier: The Father of Civilization — This job is easy when I get to write about people as fascinating and inspiring as Sid Meier. Loved reporting and writing this profile, which is full of interesting details about one of gaming's legendary figures.
Video Game Review Scores, Ranked — No, 2/10 was not robbed.
Internet Killed The Video Star: The Extraordinary Journey Of Adam Sessler — If I could do this story again, I'd do a lot of things differently—it needs more sources and a post-Kinja redesign—but I still think it's a good look at the life of one of gaming's biggest TV personalities.
Super Mario World: The Kotaku Review — This was a fun one to write. How often do you get to review a game from 1991? How often do you get to review one of the greatest games ever made?
From Dream To Disaster: The Story Of Aliens: Colonial Marines — Video game development gone wrong. It's always fascinating to get a backstage look at this stuff, and although I don't care all that much about Aliens in general, Colonial Marines was one of the year's most compelling stories—how does a game so promising turn out so crappy?
From Halo To Hot Sauce: What 25 Years Of Violent Video Game Research Looks Like — Dense, but interesting, I think.
BioShock Infinite: The IGN Review: The Kotaku Review — On the bus to Boston for PAX East, we saw that IGN had an exclusive review of BioShock Infinite. We were embargoed on the game, but not on IGN's review of the game. I'm still amazed Stephen let us do this. 2013 kicked ass.