There used to be a certain stigma around gaming, primarily that it is the vocation of lonely male adolescents, which caused many game developers to make their game as appealing as possible to the somewhat niche audience. This left limited the overall variety on offer in triple-A games, limited the potential of the industry, and limited the audience.
Over the last decade or so, the world of gaming has evolved into a completely different beast than it was: it is now a place where everyone can find a game that they can connect with and love. The offering has expanded exponentially to appeal to all audiences, with the competition helping to spur on bigger and better games.
Now is the perfect time for anyone to jump into the excitement.
The classics enhanced
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) December 13, 2018
If you’re one of the many people who didn’t get to play a game that you really wanted to when you were younger, or wish that your parents didn’t throw out your old console – which effectively cut off your access to some of your favorite games – you can now play many of the old greats but in the modern way.
The current generation consoles all feature forms of backward compatibility or access to the classic games of the consoles. With the Xbox One, they boast an ever-increasing list of backward compatible games which can be played via inserting the old disc or downloading them from their store. The PlayStation 4 grants access to Sony’s PlayStation Now library of old games which can be streamed and played.
The Nintendo Switch is the newest of this generation of consoles but has made sure to honor its heritage by offering classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games through their online subscription service. Their line-up of famous titles includes Donkey Kong, Dr Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Ice Hockey, Yoshi, Metroid, Kirby’s Adventure, and Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr Dream.
The wildly popular oldies are also being given a full makeover. In 2017, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy featured the three original Crash Bandicoot games remastered. It was a huge success, allowing developers to do the same with Spyro in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Later in 2019, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fuelled will deliver the authentic experience of the old games but fully remastered with some additional karts and tracks as well as online options.
Competition continues to push greatness
With new technology, a better understanding of technology, and a massive consumer base, the gaming industry has been able to evolve to new heights, spurred on by besting the competition. In the console wars, the innovative Nintendo Switch, which can be played via a television set or as a handheld device with touchscreen functions, has been outselling the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at the same lifetime markers. Now the Switch is here to stay, offering something very different and forcing the other two consoles to step up their respective games.
Competition has always proven to be a good thing in the gaming industry and continues to prove to be in the popular form of online gaming at online casino platforms. Due to the intense levels of competition for every last potential player in the massive audience, online casinos have been forced to offer free stuff to new players. As found by Oddschecker, there are many types of offers presented by almost all gaming platforms: some offer free no deposit, others offer free spins on popular games and some bundle bonus cash with free spins. This strategy forced through competition has developed with video gaming too, as all online subscription services across the Switch, One, and PS4 come with complimentary free games to play each month.
Finally, PC gaming is experiencing some competition within its realm too, with the tyrant Valve launcher Steam being challenged by the upstart Epic Games Store. The Epic Game Store isn’t as advanced as Steam yet, but it’s drawing in developers by offering a much more favorable sales split than Steam, and its attracting players by landing exclusive deals with huge triple-A titles. It’s early days, but as Epic improves and lures more big-name games, Steam will be forced to better its offering to players and developers, ultimately making PC gaming even better for the consumer.
A much more inclusive world of gaming
— Guerrilla (@Guerrilla) September 23, 2018
Old gaming predominantly features male, white or alien protagonists with women being portrayed as hyper-sexualized and often as damsels in distress, while other races were rarely considered, particularly for protagonists. It’s not to say that only white males could enjoy these games, but it did leave a space which may have halted the game’s appeal to others and its ability to immerse other players.
Just over a decade ago, the voices of the unrepresented began to be heard, and developers responded by growing their offering to be greatly more inclusive in their games. Now there are truly immense games which nail it on the diversity front, such as Watch Dogs 2, Guacamelee, and Sleeping Dogs, as well as games which have focussed on offering a new female gaming experience.
The new Tomb Raider trilogy, which started in 2013, was a huge step in the right direction. The game took the most iconic female character in gaming, Lara Croft, who was hyper-sexualized in the original games and transformed her into a much more realistic, modern woman who was just as skilled and strong as she was in the originals. Then came the magnificent open-world game Horizon: Zero Dawn, which has been hailed by Medium as the breakthrough in feminist gaming. Both gaming franchises perfectly executed their strategy and have been adored by all audiences.
Along with Tomb Raider and Horizon: Zero Dawn, there are many more games which allow you to create or select a female to be your protagonist, such as Monster Hunter: World, Overwatch, Apex Legends, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, The Sims 4, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and most probably the highly-anticipated The Outer Worlds. Games like Life is Strange and the incomparable Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – which also explores the realms of psychosis – are less expensive to buy, but offer an incredible gaming experience with female-centric stories nonetheless.
Through the massive level of competition, ever-improving inclusiveness, and the revitalizing of classics, the world of gaming has evolved to become the best that it has ever been for all audiences.