Well now, wasn't the tail end of 2017 just a total disaster for the video game world's public image? It all started so well, too. Microsoft had its One X hype machine fuelled and raring to, Sony its onslaught of first-party exclusives and Nintendo? It returned to prominence with the successful launch of a new console.
The summer reveal season came and went, ratcheting up anticipation for the deluge of year-end blockbusters à la Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront 2, and then... well, everything sort of went to hell in a handbasket.
EA, ever so keen to take advantage of the loot box craze, overstepped the mark with its most lucrative franchise, turning off would-be Jedi Masters before the sequel even landed. Likewise, Bungie took blistering heat for its hackneyed handling of Destiny 2's microtransactions and near total lack of communication with its player base.
But amidst all of the high profile chaos, other disingenuous practices, so clearly cooked up by consumer-hating suits, have been swimming around, eager to make life for the average Joe so hostile that it's a wonder how any thrill-seeking gamer hasn't ditched the hobby entirely.
From timed exclusives to pre-order incentives, there's no shortage of underhanded strategies dressed up to appear beneficial, when all they're really after is your wallet.
Joe is a freelance games journalist who, while not spending every waking minute selling himself to websites around the world, spends his free time writing. Most of it makes no sense, but when it does, he treats each article as if it were his Magnum Opus - with varying results.