At the beginning of each year, for the last two years or so, I've searched the web and Wikipedia looking for upcoming game anniversaries the Destructoid staff could write articles about and maybe inspire some great discussion. This year's list had some of the best games ever on it, including Super Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat, Rock Band and Super Mario Galaxy, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in a few days.
Also on the list was The Simpsons Game. Ten years ago today it was released on the last gen consoles to middling reviews that raved about the writing and graphics (on anything but the Wii) and correctly criticized the useless camera and bland gameplay. Over the weekend in preparation for writing this piece, I popped my Wii copy back into my U and sweet Beazlebub that game looks and plays like hot, fast food garbage. Some games can hold up a decade after release but I think in order to do so it would have to be a good game in the first place.
It's arguably a bad game, but it moved four million copies. Only the accountants of EA know if that's successful or not, but it was enough to initiate the planning stages for The Simpsons Game 2. That game, whether it really existed or not, was shut down in 2011. The very next year saw the release of The Simpsons: Tapped Out and television's most famous family has been a mobile franchise ever since. Outside of a level pack in the recently shuttered Lego Dimensions and an all-too-brief re-release of The Simpsonsarcade game, we haven't seen anything from the citizens of Springfield on consoles in the last 10 years.
Going into this piece, I wanted to know why that is. The Simpsons is practically synonymous with video gaming. Admittedly, it's more synonymous with shitty video gaming than anything else. Blame Acclaim for that. In 1991, Acclaim crapfest Bart vs. the Space Mutants appeared on nearly every damn console on the market, sullying a family that, on television, was putting out a product superior to anything else on the air. Shitty Acclaim games continued for the rest of the decade until finally somebody Old Yellered the company. After that, Simpsons games started to finally be good.