2022, a year of tech successes

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2022, a year of techno success

The Montreal studio Behavior interactive did not make the half things for his 30th birthday this year.

From the great face-to-face return of tech events to the triumph of independent video game studios at the Game Awards… The year 2022 was punctuated with good news in tech. Columnist Carl-Edwin Michel takes stock of the best moves of the last 12 months.

Of course, in 2022 there were the big hits of blockbusters Elden Ring and God of War: Ragnarök. But throughout the year, video games from smaller independent studios have captured the hearts of the gaming community.

Many of the big video game studios have slowed down production and hiring this year. It left more room for indies gamessmall creators, who have had viral success, believes Carl-Edwin Michel, founder of the electronic sports company Northern Arena.

Carl-Edwin Michel particularly highlights the work of Luca Galante, behind the title Vampire Survivors, a role-playing game available on PC, consoles and iOS and Android phones, which stands out for its simplicity.

The French studio BlueTwelve has pulled off a masterstroke with Stray, a game in which players take on the role of an alley cat. It even won the awards for best independent game and best start for an independent studio at the Game Awards, the Oscars for video games, presented at the beginning of December.

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">The “Stray” game immerses players in a “Cyberpunk” universe to make them evolve into the skin of an alley cat.

Marvel Snap, a mobile card game from independent studio Second Dinner, also had its moments of glory, winning a prize at the Game Awards, that of the best mobile game.

It's hard not to smile while playing the game “Trombone Champ”, released on September 15th.

And what about the rhythm video game Trombone Champ, the Steam success that made us cry with laughter with false notes!

Montreal studio Tribute Games thrilled those nostalgic for Super Nintendo console games with its retro title < em>Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge, released in June.

Tribute Games makes a name for itself with up-to-date pixelated 2D video games.

The game racked up over 1 million downloads in its first week of launch, and was even up against major titles at The Game Awards for Best Action Game (won by Bayonetta 3) and Best Multiplayer Game (won by Splatoon 3).

On the Quebec side, the largest independent studio in the country, Behavior Interactif, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year in Montreal, has managed to do well in 2022.

In “Meet Your Maker”, players can create worlds or destroy those of others.

Opening of a second studio in Toronto, unveiling of big projects, including the new game Meet Your Maker… They have done a lot this year, says Carl-Edwin Michel .

“Their horror game Dead By Daylight is a cash cow that works very well for the studio. But they knew how to reinvent themselves and use creativity. »

— Carl-Edwin Michel

To reinvent itself, the Mile-End studio does it, and brilliantly! He notably launched a dating simulation game (dating sim) featuring the characters of his star horror game.

The trapper character from the game “Dead by Daylight” is an alpha male in the dating simulation game “Hooked on You”.

People didn't expect that. It's funny, it's cool, it's refreshing, he adds.

After two years of virtual and hybrid events, the he year 2022 was marked by the great return of face-to-face gatherings.

Apart from a few exceptions, including the cancellation of E3 in 2022 – one of the biggest video game fairs that has already announced its return in 2023 – the artisans and artisans were able to meet, talk about new trends face to face , emphasizes Carl-Edwin Michel.

“After a dip, we can say that the machine is on the move again. »

— Carl-Edwin Michel

The Game Awards were back in person in December, and the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is set to open in January. The MEGAMIGS, this great meeting of the video game industry which was held in October in Montreal, has given new energy to the creative heads of the industry, believes the columnist.

Everyone was happy to see each other in person. It puts energy, the projects come back, it's a big plus and it's good for the economy in general, he underlines.

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology (blockchain) have had their ups and downs (mostly) in 2022, but if there's one success to highlight, it's Ethereum's.

The founder of Ethereum, the Russian-Canadian computer scientist Vitalik Buterin.

This second largest blockchain after Bitcoin, which is used in particular for non-fungible tokens (JNF, or non-fungible token, NFT, in English), completely converted in September to adopt a 99% less energy-intensive process.

It was a risky operation, which specialists compared to the replacement a diesel engine by an electric motor on a moving vehicle.

Artificial intelligence (AI) could very well be in the tech flops of 2022, especially for the AIs that steal the work of artists, points out Carl-Edwin Michel.

But according to the columnist, the democratization of this technology, and its many impressive advances, are tipping the scales in favor of success.

“L& The future of AI and machine learning is just amazing. »

— Carl-Edwin Michel

With telework, more and more companies are using AI and the cloud (cloud) daily. Just think of the virtual office, like the Google suite, or even Amazon Web Services, which provides servers to a number of companies.

These elements very powerful we have in our hands are part of what we need to make the metaverse work, he says.

“Interoperability, or how to be able to jump from one universe to another while keeping our achievements from one universe, it is with the cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning [that we can arrive]. »

— Carl-Edwin Michel

This is the second time that the metaverse is found in our techno hits of the year. This is not by chance: it is a concept in which Carl-Edwin Michel strongly believes, who unequivocally asserts that he is here to stay, despite the skeptics.

Virtual and augmented reality headsets are more accessible, and we talk about them more and more. That's good because people understand better what it is, the metaverse, he says, pointing to real-life examples such as Fortnite and Roblox.< /p>

Metaverse refers to a cyberspace parallel to physical reality where a community of people can interact as avatars. The concept was developed by author Neal Stephenson in the science fiction novel “The Virtual Samurai” (“Snow Crash”).

Carl-Edwin Michel remains lucid: L Last year, Facebook changed its name to Meta, and it sounded more like a marketing stunt than anything else. Yes, the giant is putting a lot of money on it, and it may be a bit too much. There are always going to be criticisms.

The columnist also underlines the imminent arrival of Apple on the market of immersive headsets, which will allow people to click, according to him.

“We have to give this to Apple. They are good for making electronic devices simple to understand. When Apple gets involved, it becomes more mainstream. »

— Carl-Edwin Michel

For people who have already converted, new high-end devices are coming to market. In October, Meta launched the Meta Quest Pro, a high-performance headset that combines both virtual reality and augmented reality, and has an eye-tracking function.

The Meta Quest Pro virtual reality headset, on sale for $2300 starting October 25.

Sony, for its part, is preparing to launch in February the PSVR2, a very powerful virtual reality headset, compatible with the PlayStation 5 console, whose stocks should be replenished soon, according to Carl-Edwin Michel.

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The virtual reality headset and PlayStation VR2 controllers

What they wanted to do was a product intended only for video games. It's niche, they're not going to sell 50 million copies, he believes.

Streaming platforms have waged an all-out war this year. Netflix, for example, recorded a drop in subscriptions for the first time in its history in April, before reporting a rebound in subscriptions in the fall.

In an attempt to attract more people to its platform, while remaining competitive, the company launched a more accessible subscription plan, with advertisements.

Looks like a comeback back, but […] I think it's positive to have an option for less well-off people, especially in the current economic context, says Carl-Edwin Michel.

The columnist even goes so far as to predict that more free ad-supported content will emerge in 2023.

“It's back to the model of linear TV channels, but on the web and with advertising. »

— Carl-Edwin Michel

In Canada and the United States, the Tubi TV application, available on Chromecast, Apple TV, Xbox and PS4, among others, is already gaining momentum. It should also be remembered that Roku, which got its hands on the productions of the streaming application Quibi, disconnected after only six months, has made its catalog freely accessible, with advertisements.

It is to be watched, according to Carl-Edwin Michel.

The success of BeReal is no longer to be proven, the application having sneaked to the top of the house charts of online stores Google Play Store and App Store.

It is a spontaneous photo sharing tool that aims to be more authentic than what the competition offers. Once a day, its followers have a two-minute window to post a photo without filters and using their smartphone's front and back cameras simultaneously.

BeReal had more than 15 million users in September.

What I saw on BeReal were young people who publish photos that are not very polished, even sometimes blurred and not very beautiful, mentions Carl-Edwin Michel.

“These are photos who wouldn't end up on Instagram. So yes, we can say that it is more authentic. »

— Carl-Edwin Michel

The application has taken social media giants by surprise, many of which have adopted features similar to those that popularized app, from Snapchat to Instagram, even TikTok.

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