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2013 in gaming highlights

December 19, 2013|By Ryan Smith | For RedEye

The launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were the top headlines of the year in gaming, but 2013 was also a busy year in Chicago's local gaming scene. Here are a few highlights.

DOUBLED DOWN: The Windy City's relationship with drinking and gaming got even cozier in 2013. Wicker Park's Emporium Arcade Bar and Lakeview's Headquarters Beercade both doubled in size with summer expansions. A third arcade bar, Replay, opened in Boystown in May. Boozy Web game show "Gaming Under the Influence" moved to Lakeview joint Belmont Pourhouse.

QUOTABLE: "Twerking! Twerking! Twerking! Best game ever!"--popular Swedish video game commentator PewDiePie in a video where he plays as a herky-jerky octopus in a demo of Chicago indie game "Octodad: Dadliest Catch." The clip has amassed 4.2 million views on YouTube since July.

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED: Indie darling "Kentucky Route Zero" was the only game to pick up multiple awards at the 2013 IndieCade awards in Los Angeles. Developer Cardboard Computer, made up of Chicagoans Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy, won for Story/Word Design and Visual Design.

OMG ZOMBIES!: The walking dead certainly were on the minds of Chicago's game developers in 2013. Hoffman Estates' High Voltage Software's "Zoombies: Animales de la Muerte" starred two tiny ax-throwing kids who hacked up undead zoo animals. "Map of the Dead" used GPS to turn a map of Chicago into an app that plays like Foursquare-meets-the-zombie-apocalypse. Two other locally made zombie-themed games, "Ray's the Dead" and "Box O' Zombies," are on the way for next year.


1.57 million: The number of copies of "Injustice: Gods Among Us" sold worldwide since its April release, according to The DC Comics beat-em-up was made by Avondale-based studio Netherrealm, the creators of "Mortal Kombat."

$20 million: That's how much online game publisher Wargaming spent in January to acquire Chicago's Day 1 Studios to create an Xbox 360 version of PC game "World of Tanks." The Greektown-based studio is expected to add 60 or 70 new jobs in the next several months.

$15,753: The amount raised on Kickstarter in September to fund an indie game called "Tetrapulse." The quirky cooperative multiplayer game is by The Amiable, a small group of current DePaul students and recent graduates of the video game development program.

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