- Video Games
- About Us
I have recently been playing a bit of a psn game titled Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: the Game, and while I have been playing it, I started wondering about the cyclical nature of certain types of games, and how certain genres seem to ebb and flow with each new generation of console. For example, if we go back to the days of the NES, we see many games such as Scott Pilgrim (side scrolling beat em ups), yet if you look at that same genre today, you would be hard pressed to find many more outside of re-releases of the older games, yet if you say that you want to look for a modern military shooter, you cant take two steps without running into a sea of them.
Games like Scott Pilgrim draw heavily from classics such as River City Ransom
This seems true of nearly every console, and while some of these moves are obvious (they couldn’t put out many of the modern shooters on earlier systems solely due to the fact that they didn’t have the amount of power needed), why is it that we do not see more of these “retro” style games released on the current consoles? Two examples that I can think of off the top of my head are Rayman: Origins and the previously aforementioned Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: the Game, and while they may not have as many explosions or violence, they are both extremely competent and fun games in their own rights, yet they seem to get overlooked by the media in favor of the next modern military shooter or FPS.
I happen to ask myself why we do not see more of these games, and the reasoning that I have come up with is threefold. The first part is that games now a days cost ~60 USD new, and in an economy that is not the best, if you want to sell a 60 dollar game, you have to pack as much into it as possible. Even though the Modern Warfare 3 campaign may be short, you cannot argue that it is not explosive and has pretty decent graphics throughout the experience. Developers are trying to “fill the disc” so that they can get as much on there and better their chances of selling more copies of their game, and games like Scott Pilgrim just do not have the same appeal and wow factor as MW3.
I may not be a huge Modern Warfare fan, but they definitely used almost (if not all) of the space on the disc
The second reason that I came up with is that, largely, the times have changed, and modern military shooters are much more applicable to society today than other types of games, so companies know that if they make a modern military shooter, than they may be able to not only secure a sample of gamers to buy their product, but they may even “recruit” people who have not gamed before to go out and buy a console and their game. For example, I know a friend where the only games that he buys are a) the new EA sports games that come out each year (each new Madden, NCAA, and FIFA), and b) the newest Call of Duty. He doesn’t know much about games or systems, but he buys each of these games religiously, and no matter how you may want to believe that these type of gamers don’t exist, the truth is that they do and are actually very powerful in the fact that they are an extremely untapped market, and if a company is looking at dollars and revenue, it is extremely beneficial to secure these gamers.
The last point that I have is due to the fact that the side scrolling beat-em-ups and RPGs (although these to a much lesser extent), have already been wrung out enough, and hold power through the fact that they are released far more sparingly than before. Let’s take a game I reviewed not too long ago, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and the sales figures that it did. Before it came out, a lot of people were comparing it to Skyrim, and debating whether or not it could be the game to “overthrow” Skyrim, and secure a solid spot in the genre. Yet it released 2 months after Skyrim, and the sales numbers show that it (KoA) sold roughly 1 million copies worldwide, while Skyrim sold 11 million. Now I realize that this may not be the most apt comparison because Skyrim was already part of a very well established franchise and KoA was very new, but the question remains that if this game had come out in summer or early fall, would it have sold better solely due to the fact that people were “done” with Skyrim?
Could this have done better if it were released a few months later, after the "Skyrim hype" had settled?
To be fair, these are just my speculations, and, like anyone, they can be just as wrong or right as anyone else, but I do think that a change in the way in which the gaming industry works and what games tend to get more exposure could be a refreshing look (although I do not have blinders on to the fact that big companies like EA and Ubisoft can afford the commercials and advertisements solely due to the fact that they have so much more money than someone like Thatgamecompany), and could change the environment in which we as gamers play.