Video games are a prevalent form of entertainment. The industry generates billions of pounds in revenue every year. While there are already thousands of games and many different consoles, there are always new titles in development that are even more advanced and boundary-pushing than the games we’re playing today.
Thanks to modern technology progressing so much, the video games that are getting released days are incredibly vast, detailed, and sophisticated. Whether it’s an online multiplayer game or a solo game that doesn’t require an internet connection, a huge amount of work goes into creating games and giving players an experience that’s becoming increasingly immersive and realistic. So why are older video games still popular?
Life moves at a breakneck pace. It’s all about what’s new and what’s just around the corner. We’re constantly talking and thinking about the future, whether it’s what we’re planning on doing, where we want to go, and what new things, such as video games, are coming out. Even though there are always many video games ready to be released, many of us enjoy looking back for a change and playing old games instead. We do this because of nostalgia.
Playing a video game that you used to enjoy while growing up can make you feel good, especially if it’s been a long while since you last played the game. Reconnecting with something from your childhood can be anything; it doesn’t necessarily have to be a video game – can bring back good memories of our younger years. Many of us would agree that your childhood is a precious time of your life that doesn’t last as long as it should. Things about adult life, such as responsibilities, jobs, and money, can weigh you down. By experiencing something associated with your childhood, you can feel more uplifted and happy about things.
For lots of us, video games are a lot more nostalgic than toys. There are several reasons for this:
- Video games require a lot more of our time than toys. We invest more time into these games and feel more rewarded when the game’s completed.
- Video games get us more emotionally invested than toys. We feel excitement, frustration, relief, anger, and joy – a whole range of emotions – when playing video games.
- Video games offer more immersion than toys. Many video games let you control and essentially become a character. You get to see that character and can influence what they do in their world.
What’s also worth pointing out is that many video games are part of large franchises. People play video games as a kid and enjoy later installments as they get older. They may move away from the franchise at some point, or not at all. Whether they’re still attached to that franchise or not, revisiting the earliest installment can help invoke nostalgia feelings and re-establish the connection you have with that franchise and its characters.
What many players appreciate about modern video games is how much depth there is to them. Games are designed to be as engaging as possible. A significant amount of effort is made to ensure that games draw you in and encourage you to play. Developers spend ages crafting the plot, devising gameplay, and creating graphics and sound effects. Many games have a cinematic feel to them, and their technical aspects are exceptionally high standards.
The more fleshed out a game is, the more complex its gameplay can be. Though games aren’t necessarily designed to be so complicated as to discourage people from playing, they can still have a lot to them. Many games have a main storyline to complete, and doing that can take many hours of playing time. For some, it can actually take several days’ worth of time playing. You’ll find that many games also have different modes away from the main storyline, such as side-quests, other ways to play, and all sorts of objectives for you to fulfill.
Then there’s internet connectivity, which opens up a wealth of opportunities for today’s games. You can play with others online, receive updates with new content to keep you playing for even longer – the Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass, for example – and keep track of in-game achievements. Buy a single game, and you can easily spend many hours – hundreds, even – and still not be done.
Even though today’s games sell exceptionally well, many players have a hankering for titles that offer simplicity. Games released over the past few decades are by all means worth playing, but they’re noticeably more stripped back than the games that are getting released in 2020. They may not be as advanced in terms of their design and look, they may not have gameplay that’s as intuitive and in-depth, and they may not offer as many hours of gameplay, but they’re still appealing.
Not everyone wants to play a video game that requires so much of their time, invites them to become so immersed in the world it creates, and has complicated gameplay. They enjoy playing older games because they generally have less to do and don’t ask as much of them. Games released in, say, the 80s and 90s may be more straightforward than today’s games, but many people prefer that.
Lack of Monetisation
Monetization is where something is adapted so that a source of revenue can be obtained from it. The video game industry is no stranger to this practice. In recent years, a growing number of developers have been resorting to monetization to generate profits from games. Before this becomes commonplace, you would usually purchase a game, and that was it – a one-time purchase would give you access to a game’s full contents.
Nowadays, once you’ve bought a game, there’s often some other things in addition to that you can purchase. For example, there are the controversial ‘loot boxes,’ where you buy a box using real money and receive a random assortment of items or some other kind of in-game content. Because you’re paying, and there’s no control over what you get, the act of paying for loot boxes has often been described as a form of gambling.
Many games have two forms of content: base content available to everyone who gets the game and extra content. Usually, you can earn a special type of currency while playing the game and use it to buy extra content, which can either help you out or is just purely decorative (character skins, for example). What many games do is let you buy bundles of the in-game currency that you can then spend on extra content.
This practice is frowned upon by some. People think that once you’ve paid for a game, that should be it; you shouldn’t then be encouraged to pay more to access a game’s full offerings. When Crash Bandicoot: Nitro-Fueled was in development, it was announced that the game wasn’t going to have monetization. However, shortly after it came out, monetization was added in the form of in-game currency you can use to purchase character skins and other goodies. This change of mind gained a negative reception among fans.
With older games, there’s practically no monetization. Once you’ve bought the game, you can relax in the knowledge that you can play the game and discover its full content without being pestered to make any additional purchases. Buy the game, and you’ve got everything it offers all on one disc or cartridge. There’s no pressure to spend additional money, and as you play, you won’t feel that you’re missing out on things.
Video games can have a powerful effect on us. We spend huge amounts of time and money on them, and more and more of us are enjoying them. While newer games continue to impress and engage us, there will always be a demand for older titles. Whether it’s a console video game like the early Super Mario games or even early online slots, such as the Archer slot game, older releases can be just as appealing as the newer ones. People enjoy playing games from the last decade or even the few decades before because they can evoke nostalgia feelings. Their gameplay is usually more straightforward, and they don’t always have as much monetization.
If you’re into video games and only stick with the newest releases, do something different and try out an older title for a change. Rediscover games you enjoyed as you grew up, or switch up your gaming experience by taking on games that are simpler yet just as fun and entertaining. There’s a wealth of video games waiting to be played. Just because a game’s been out for a while doesn’t mean it’s not worth playing! Dust off your old console that’s been lying around the house fire it up, and get a taste of some classic video games.