As 2009 starts out, Gamasutra has been reflecting on the last year in games, one quarter at a time.
Into the new year, we'll be rounding up a news summary aimed at providing a solid look back on 2008's memorable events.
Following January to March 2008's round-up, we look at April through June 2008 -- from growth signs for the PlayStation 3, thanks to Metal Gear Solid 4, through notable departures from the Entertainment Software Association trade body:
Many speculated that Wii Fit's launch would cause a new hardware boom for the console. Plus, WiiWare was fast beginning to look like the new hot platform for expanded, smaller-size offerings like Strong Bad and World of Goo as it prepared for its U.S. launch.
Meanwhile, the FTC began to take an extra-close look at the proposed Electronic Arts/Take-Two transaction, while early rumblings began to build for Grand Theft Auto IV's month-end launch, predicted to be a record-smasher.
The industry looked to be solidly thriving as many companies reported impressive sales growth, like THQ and Viacom (thanks to Rock Band). Activision's revenues were up 92 percent on the year. This is when the "recession resistant" talk for the game business began to pick up pace.
The Entertainment Software Association trade body began to see some headaches, too. With E3 not too far off, LucasArts, Activision Blizzard and id Software decided not to renew their memberships or present at the event.
In other Electronic Arts news, Blueprint studio head and longtime company veteran Neil Young forged out on his own to launch mobile game company ngmoco, whose Rolando would go on to receive year-end acclaim.
The PlayStation 3 looked to be seeing a strong growth period, and the increasing likelihood that Blu-ray would become the standard format seemed to boost the console's chances of a strong performance in the current gen. This was only accelerated by the long-awaited launch on June 12 of Metal Gear Solid 4, which topped the charts and was believed to drive new console sales.
Though many game companies were posting gains and seeking new studio locations, the news was not so good for Hellgate London and its developer Flagship Studios, as it began to see employee departures and public struggles around the troubled PC MMO that would eventually lead to the studio's closure.
[Gamasutra previously covered January through March 2008 in review. Stay tuned for more game business news summaries from 2008, spanning July to September, and October to December.]