Wow.

What a massive year 2017 has been, both for the Gaming Industry and for the team at Ultra Super Mega.

The Industry seemed to be off to such an amazing start during the first few months of 2017. We had the Nintendo Switch release in March along with Horizon: Zero Dawn and Zelda: Breath of the Wild, arguably some of the biggest releases of the year. March also saw what really was a sign of things to come for EA, with the disappointing release of Mass Effect: Andromeda.

The next three months saw a slew of new titles and expansions keeping us busy, with releases like Persona 5, Tekken 7 and Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood hitting the shelves. Soon enough, June was well under way and we were all watching with baited breath to see what this year’s E3 would throw at us. With surprising announcements like the existence of Mario + Rabbids, Beyond Good & Evil 2 and the official unveiling of the Xbox One X, we all walked away from E3 2017 feeling pretty hopeful for the remainder of the year.

The next three months continued the trend for the year, with a mixture of both amazing and disappointing releases. We got Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Golf Story and Destiny 2 through this time period, as the talk of micro-transactions in the gaming industry started to heat up.

Finally, through the final quarter of 2017, things seemed to explode. October saw the first time the whole Ultra Super Mega team travel to Melbourne for Pax AUS, as well as the mixed release of Middle Earth: Shadow of War. This is when the micro-transaction talk really started to boil over, with the gaming community at large starting to take a stand against the wide-spread inclusion of the loot-box transaction model. October also saw the release of Super Mario Odyssey, as well as a return to form for the Assassin’s Creed franchise with Origins.

November saw the release of Star Wars Battlefront 2, and the community went into meltdown. A lot of things have been said about this title, and we don’t need to repeat them. But for the first time, it seemed like the community at large took a stand. The results of this are still playing out all over the world, with various governments asking various questions, but I don’t think this is going to disappear any time soon. Battlefront 2 also seemed to tip EA over the edge, with a dramatic downward spiral of share prices, loss of funds and even more boycotts and issues with a number of their other games. With all this happening, we couldn’t help but wonder what would happen with Anthem, EA’s big name reveal from E3. It will be interesting to see where EA go from here.

2017 was also a massive year for Ultra Super Mega in general. We had a lot of changes take place for all of us, both within USM and in our personal lives. All of our 9 to 5 jobs just seemed to get busier as the year progressed, with Mat also picking up and moving his whole family back up to Mackay. The team attended Pax Aus in Melbourne, and got the chance to meet a lot of our lovely Discord Community as well as get our hands on some amazing hardware and games. We also released our first round of shirts, with two of them sadly disappearing due to certain constraints.

Through all this, we were learning. Learning what works for both the community, and what works within our own lives. We want to grow Ultra Super Mega to be bigger and better every year, but we still have a few bumpy roads ahead of us to get where we want to be. We are working on ideas and plans for what the next twelve months are going to look like for us, and where we need to invest money to make those plans happen. As much as we might wish it so, these changes won’t take place overnight, but rest assured we are working hard in the background.

So with 2017 coming to a close, we really just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who has read an article on our website, watched one of our streams or joined our discord. You are the reason we are working so hard on Ultra Super Mega. We hope you have enjoyed your year with us as much as we have enjoyed it with you, and we hope to see you all again next year for what is shaping up to be another amazing 12 months of gaming.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas and an enjoyable New Year.