In The New Generation, The Real Winners Will Be Gamers
It's fun to ask: "Who's gonna win?" It always incites plenty of passionate, entertaining discussion and arguments in video game communities around the Internet.
Many gamers have theories regarding the ultimate "winner" and "loser" in the upcoming generation. However, when analyzing the near future of the gaming industry, one can't help but zero in on a guaranteed winner:
The gamers themselves.
As much as we've all lamented a certain changing of the guard, which has involved the significant - if not drastic - alteration of beloved franchises, we should realize that the new era of gaming will reach new heights in variety and diversity. Although we wish certain blockbuster franchises didn't rule the planet and result in terms like "annualization," we feel a sense of freedom when looking ahead. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the industry going full-on digital, and I believe we've got a long way to go in the artistic realm. Quantic Dream, Naughty Dog, Thatgamecompany and Kojima Productions can't do it all by themselves, ya know.
That being said, look what awaits us. There will be everything from small bite-size games of every genre and type available in digital format. There's extra content for almost every new game that continues to add replay value long after the initial release. There's the online multiplayer component for games, which will be bigger and more robust than ever before. The added technological wizardry will not only enhance things like AI and realistic physics, but it will also give game designers room to grow. At any given time, we can turn on one of our new consoles and play almost exactly what we want. If we look, we should be able to find it.
Old-school stuff is making a serious comeback, especially in the growing realm of indie development. Platformers, old-fashioned RPGs, top-down action goodness, puzzlers, strategy blended with action, and innovation and creativity; it's all just waiting to be sampled. In everything from the smallest, humblest virtual attempt to the biggest AAA productions we will be the winners. Honestly, we're rapidly reaching the point where if you can't find anything you want to play, you just don't like video games. For those who are old enough to remember, there is no comparison to the old days. We often put the Golden Age of gaming on a pedestal but really, we all remember, don't we...? Think back, if you please.
We remember searching vainly through store shelves for a game to rent or buy. A game that A. we haven't already played several times before, and B. doesn't look so atrocious it'd be downright laughable. Sure, I don't have my big-budget turn-based RPGs anymore. And there is more evidence that various unwanted trends from the film industry are leaking into gaming. But if we put that aside for a moment and look to the future with open, optimistic eyes, we see a vast expanse of possibility. And in that vast expanse is a veritable treasure trove of interactive experiences. Maybe we should just be thankful for that.
9/2/2013 10:00:13 PM Ben Dutka