How Some Video Games Got Into the Holiday Spirit in 2018

Christmas is over, but the holiday spirit is still alive and well in a variety of video games. Here’s how some of them are celebrating the season.

Red Dead Online

Developer Rockstar Games recently snuck some subtle holiday cheer into its Western-themed multiplayer title “Red Dead Online.” Throughout the Wild West, saloon piano players are serenading customers with classic Christmas tunes like “Deck the Halls” and “Silent Night.” You can hear them all in the video clip above, courtesy of YouTuber Tony StrongStyle.

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’

PUBG” released its new snow-themed map, Vikendi, on PC just in time for the holidays. The 6×6 map features lovely snowfields, frozen lakes, and European-style cities. The snow is more than just pretty to look at, though. Both players and their vehicles leave tracks behind them, leaving themselves vulnerable to clever opponents hunting them down. Vikendi will launch on consoles in January.


Overwatch’s” annual holiday event is called Winter Wonderland and it lasts for three weeks. Each year, developer Blizzard Entertainment releases new holiday cosmetics and game modes, and it gives one map a festive makeover. This year, the amusement park-themed map Blizzard World was decked out in twinkling lights and confectionery-inspired decor, but a bug that trapped players in the spawn room forced Blizzard to temporarily disable it.


Fortnite” ushered in its holiday event alongside its seventh season and its all-new Creative Mode. The update added some new wintry locations to the map, ziplines, an X-4 Stormwing Plane, and plenty of Christmas-themed cosmetic items. Epic released a great stop-motion trailer alongside the update as well, with “Fortnite” characters taking on an angry Santa and his not-so holly jolly Christmas minions.

Killing Floor 2

Fans of the bloody first-person shooter “Killing Floor 2” get to celebrate the holidays with actor Gary Busey. He voices a new purchasable playable character called Badass Santa, along with the Trader in the new Santa’s Workshop map. “Killing Floor 2” players get the latter for free, and can hear the actor give helpful (and ominous) tips on weapons and gear between matches. They can also team up with Santa and help him reclaim his workshop from the Krampus or experience the horrors of holiday consumerism in the fan-favorite Shopping Spree map.

Destiny 2


Destiny 2’s” annual holiday event is called The Dawning and this year it tasks Guardians with baking and delivering Christmas cookies. They can gather ingredients by defeating enemies and completing various activities throughout the game world (leading one to wonder what’s actually in those treats). Once they’ve gathered the necessary components, they can combine them into Gjallardoodles and Chocolate Ship Cookies and share them with others. In return, they can get some in-game items, gear, or a special heavy machinegun.

World of Tanks

World of Tanks'” Holiday Ops 2019 event focuses on “the frontline stories at a time where families, foes and everyone in-between often come together without prejudice,” said developer Wargaming. There are also some new decorations for players’ garages, including a fir tree, a sculpture, and external decorations. The decorations are divided into four categories: Christmas, New Year, Magic, and Lunar. There are also new female tank members to collect, bonus XP, and more.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Apple Arcade

    Apple Officially Launches Apple Arcade Game Subscription Service

    Apple officially cut the ribbon for its new game subscription service Thursday: Priced $4.99 per month, Apple Arcade offers unlimited access to over 100 exclusive games. Apple Arcade was released alongside iOS 13, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Some of the titles available through the subscription package include “Lego Brawls” from Lego [...]

  • Venn co-founders

    VENN Raises $17 Million to Launch a Cheddar-like TV Network for Gaming

    Video game industry veterans Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin have raised a massive $17 million seed funding round to launch a new gaming-focused TV network called VENN. Short for Video Game Entertainment and News Network, VENN wants to mix esports with Twitch-style video game streaming and other gaming-related entertainment content when it launches in 2020. [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    The Game Awards 2019 Sets December Date, Will Live-Stream Across 45 Platforms

    The Game Awards 2019, the fifth annual video game industry kudosfest, will be held Dec. 12 in Los Angeles and will be live-streamed for free again on more than 45 different platforms worldwide. The Game Awards is an annual celebration of video games and the people who make them, created and executive produced by Geoff [...]

  • HTC Vive Cosmos

    HTC Replaces HTC Vive With New $699 Vive Comos VR Headset

    HTC is getting ready to retire the headset that was central to its expansion into the virtual reality market 3 years ago: The company announced on Thursday that its new Vive Comos headset will effectively replace the original HTC Vive, which was first released in April of 2016. “It was time to upgrade our consumer [...]

  • Sohu logo

    China's Sohu Seeks Games Consolidation With $500 Million Bid for Changyou

    Sohu, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is offering to buy out its games subsidiary Changyou in a deal that values Changyou at $532 million. Both companies currently have their shares listed on NASDAQ, but if the deal goes ahead Changyou would lose its separate stock listing. Sohu, which has interests covering search, digital advertising and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content