The decade's most memorable moments in gaming

Halo 3 launch | September 2007

This. Was. Huge. It might be easy to forget in the aftermath of Modern Warfare 2’s record-breaking, megaton launch. But this was a seriously big deal. Still the most anticipated 360 game of all time, the pre-release hype train gathered enough momentum to punch a whole in the Earth’s core. This was in large part thanks to Bungie’s big budget ad campaign that painted the Chief’s arrival on 360 like it was the second coming of Christ. Only with less prayers and more shooting Ewok-esque aliens in their absurd little faces.

Epic, well-directed and unashamedly rousing, the trailers painted an ambitious picture of intergalactic war. Granted, the final game looked like a four year old’s colouring book account of the events promised in the ads, but it was hard not to get swept up in the unapologetic pant-wetting anticipation in the weeks leading up to September 25th. Halo 3’s global launch event was also given all the weight of a summer blockbuster, with the game even being treated to the glitzy red carpet treatment in London. Like Spartan 117 or not, his title whipped gamers into a pre-ordering, pointless special edition-buying frenzy like almost nothing before.

The announcement of Street Fighter IV | October 2007

In the generations following the era of the SNES and Mega Drive, fighting games felt lost to many of us. Having either died out or become so prohibitively complex as to exclude all but the ultra hardcore elite, the tight, competitive, raucously fun games that had shaped an entire generation were gone. They lived on in our hearts, but in our consoles? Just a distant ROM. But then one day on the internet, this happened:

Ten million fanboys vibrated, burst into brief tears, and then dropped into an immediate, collective, adrenalin-induced coma. When we regained consciousness two days later, the world was a changed place. Street Fighter was coming back, 2D fighting was coming back, and Street Fighter IV’s marketing seemed to emphasise SFII (ie everyone’s favourite 16-bit game ever) as its starting point. It’s rare that a game can garner universal good will and excitement throughout its entire hype period, but SFIV did. And it’s even rarer that such reverence should turn out to be totally deserved.

Kane and Lynch debacle (Gerstmann gate) | November 2007

Whether Jeff Gerstmann’s review of Kane and Lynch was bang on the money or not, it didn’t stop GameSpot’s editorial director mysteriously losing his job shortly after awarding the criminal caper a contentious 6/10 score. We say contentious, but it was only ever a point of contention in the halls of Eidos Interactive, the game’s publisher, who just happened to be paying for hefty advertising on the website at the time.

Above: Jeff Gerstmann knows the truth. But isn't telling

Sadly for idealistic games journalists everywhere and more pressingly, Jeff’s bank account, reviewing games can often delve into questionable politics governed by advertising. Although it’s never been proven, it was widely suggested Jeff lost his job due to pressure put on his employers by Eidos in the aftermath of the lukewarm review. It was seen as such a morally murky move, especially since Gerstmann was given no official reason for his dismissal, that several other GameSpot editors resigned in protest. And to think, all this fuss for a game that’s currently rotting in the bottom of your local bargain bin.

Mass Effect's alien sex on Fox News | January 2008

This was beautiful. A classic case of mainstream media and ill-informed commentators wading into a subject that they knew absolutely bugger all about, showing themselves up to be a bunch of remedial clowns. The title of the segment was the inspired '"SE"XBOX? New Video Game Shows Full Digital Nudity and Sex'. You've surely seen it by now, but why not watch the whole sordid affair again. Just to remind yourselves.

You can probably also recall the fallout, in which Cooper Lawrence, the condescending smug face, had her book receive an absolute kicking in the reader reviews section on Amazon. To her credit, she made a grovelling, PR face-saving apology soon after. The most terrifying aspect of the whole thing, though, is that it highlighted how spectacularly off-target Fox News and its shoddy research was capable of being.

Phil Harrison leaves Sony | February 2008

We’ll always see Phil Harrison as synonymous with the PlayStation brand at Sony. So it came as a massive surprise when his 30ft tall frame moon-walked into the role of Directeur Général Délégué (read: Deputy Managing Director) of Infogrames.

Above: Harrison keeping it real in 1995 when the PlayStation launched

The biggest shock of the move was the timing. Having seen out the rough times of PS3’s debut and all the dirt lobbed at Sony, Big Phil wowed the crowds with Killzone 2 gameplay footage at E3 ‘07 and the world started to warm to it. But as soon as the good times started to roll, he left. Surely it would’ve been easier to leave while the knives were out and not when the plaudits were flooding in? But, hey, this is how it happened.

Since his high profile move he now holds the slightly less glamorous role of non-executive at the company following the Infogrames merger with Atari. We’ve barely heard a peep from him since. It may be a cushier, less pressured job at Atari, but their gain is the game industry’s loss of one of its biggest (literally and figuratively) characters. E3 isn’t the same without him reppin’ Sony’s latest wares.


  • Spybreak8 - January 5, 2011 1:16 a.m.

  • YoungZer0 - January 4, 2011 11:17 p.m.

    Excuse me, but can the person who wrote the part about the Gerstmann Gate Affair please step forward and apologize? So let me get this straight. "Although it’s never been proven, it was widely suggested" So you don't have proof but you just keep on bashing this ridiculous conspiracy theory? Since when has a publisher the power to decide which Game "Journalist" (I wouldn't call someone like Gerstmann a Journalist) can or can not keep his job? By your logic it must have worked this way: K&L gets positive previews from Gamespot. Eidos pays Gamespot for Advertisement on their website. K&L gets released. Gerstmann releases a poorly written troll-like review. Eidos is pissed, does not want to pay Gamespot for the ads any more. Ads are taken down. Gerstmann gets fired. It's all Eidos fault. How in the world has Eidos so much power to tell CNET to fire someone? What's to gain? Nothing, nothing at all. The review is out. The Advertisement Deal is off. Nothing to gain. If there really is someone to blame it's CNET. Or Gamespot. But Eidos? You blame Eidos for being pissed? What's more interesting is the review itself; which only focuses on the first three level of the game. Video footage in the background of the video review, doesn't even show the fourth level. Gerstmann's 360 Account shows that he never finished the fourth level. My Conclusion: He didn't do his job. You can get fired for that. He got fired. Still, Eidos fault, i guess. Articles like that show that Game Journalism is still a joke.
  • DJxDAxNAME615 - April 7, 2010 5:24 p.m.

    im so glad i grew up during this era. unforgetable
  • CH3BURASHKA - January 4, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    Wait a minute... I thought ISLAM was the light...
  • noobeater - January 4, 2010 1:03 a.m.

    honestly next decade will see nintendo finally collapse and although i hate the wii nintendo have always been great. and thus i depart as my laptop has like 2 mins of juice left bring on the 10's
  • matt588 - January 2, 2010 5:23 a.m.

    still find the sexbox clip funny/infuriating, but seriously, I am worried about the next 10 years, can we have a meeting before we get the virtual reality chips embedded in our heads?
  • Samael - January 2, 2010 4:56 a.m.

    Wow, this was just an incredibly fun article to read. I'd forgotten about most of these (The 2006 Sony press conference is always hilarious) and I'd never heard of some of them (Holy shitcakes, there's no way that Nu-Allard is the same as the old one. They had to have replaced him). You'll have to do another in 2020...if you're still around.
  • Marvelfan13 - January 2, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    I got a subscription to EGM for my birthday RIGHT BEFORE IT SHUT DOWN! I was really mad.
  • ZombieAmmy - January 1, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    Ridge racer, giant enemy crab and hit its weak point for massive damage are why better then Bam! There it is could ever be
  • boondocks50 - January 1, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    the ps3 conference video slayed me, "the stages of the game will be based on actual battles that took place in japan... so heres this giant enemy crab" hahahaha
  • Silvermech - January 1, 2010 8:49 p.m.

    BAM! Shakalakashakalakashakalaka.
  • Conman93 - January 1, 2010 3:55 p.m.

    Pretty great decade. I wonder is there any other style nintendo could have for Zelda. They have done 2d, cartoony, realistic, whats left. Hopefully it will be revealed in the next decade Oh and happy 2010 to everyone!!
  • Heyexclamationpoint - January 1, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    I thought Duke Nukem Forever being put out of its misery warranted a mention.
  • Logan2911 - January 1, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    U missed one thing (pandemic studios) shut down:(
  • Logan2911 - January 1, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    Fox news got me all excited to see that sex scene in mass effect. and I was very disappointed when I saw that scene it showed nothing. Thanks a lot fox
  • Dill - January 1, 2010 10:55 a.m.

    And I thought it was Nintendo's conference where they did the "Ridge Racer! ... Riiidddge, RACER! .. Remember that?" not Sony
  • Dill - January 1, 2010 10:53 a.m.

    I remember you guys talking about the Mass Effect controversy on Talk Radar a long time ago, but that chick in the blue shirt at the end really got me riled up. It got me raged up. I commented the boobs off that Youtube video. How did I not see that until now? Great article, makes me feel bad for missing so much shit
  • Cwf2008 - January 1, 2010 10:20 a.m.

    RIP old EGM. And Fox "news", i hope your "reporters" have a special place in hell. Preferably next to jack thompson
  • cigero - January 1, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    I was impressed how you guys decided not to publish that Jade Raymond video on the web. I assure you that most people would make that video go viral... its ironic considering that gamers have always been known as the ice cold would-be seriel killer stereotypes the media has made us out to be! Good job GR!
  • cigero - January 1, 2010 8:45 a.m.

    I remember when the xbox came out... it was just as suprising as apple making a console (which, now looking back at history, would not be suprising, the only difference bieng apple would EPIC FAIL).

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