Due to the Playstation Network and XBox Live DDOS attack over the Christmas holiday, most gamers did not have the capability to enjoy seasonally-timed events in online games. This has now been corrected.
Two weeks ago Grand Theft Auto Online introduced a surprise update that added seasonally themed items to the game: snow, Santa hats, festive masks, ugly sweaters, even the ability to have snowball fights in the streets. It would have been a blast if anyone were there to enjoy it on Christmas morning. These special events were originally to be removed January 5, but will now remain in the game for an unspecified period of time. (They WILL be removed eventually, so even if it feels a bit awkward on December 29, get your Yule on now.)
GTA isn’t the only game to be affected by the outage. Destiny has the mysterious traveling merchant Xur, a character that only shows up on weekends and will trade the player common items in the game for rare and exotic weaponry. Because no one could reach Xur last weekend, he will make a rare weekday appearance in the Tower, at least until 10PM Monday (perhaps longer if he gets a lot of service).
Finally, anyone who owns the PC game Nuclear Throne by January 1 will be given a free extra copy of the game to give to a friend. This has nothing to do with hacks or outages, which didn’t affect Steam. It’s more of a tactic to balance the game’s online mode out by attracting new players. According to Vlambeer, the developing studio that created the game, Nuclear Throne is still being fine-tuned and the current crop of players are too good at playing it to result in sufficient data.