The video game industry is defined by the constant state of progress in which it thrives. Technological innovations drive better graphics, bigger worlds, more life-like scenarios and characters, and the creation of an ever more immersive experience for players.
In just a few decades, creatives – and the players themselves – have transformed the industry into one of the most profitable, creative and advanced in the world. But, in spite of so much progress, many games continue to echo themes, trends and styles evocative of the early days of gaming. From recurring characters to minigames that continue to remind us of the older days of arcade gaming and the revival of old gaming platforms, read more below about the ways in which nostalgia continues to play a key role in new releases.
- The Casino
A precursor even to the first-generation video arcade, the classic games of chance and skill continue to feature across the most modern video game franchises. 2k Sports’ latest iteration of a classic spanning two decades, NBA 2k21, offers a prime example of the lasting legacy video games can create for themselves, evidenced by its continued use of slots with in-game currency. The same can be seen echoed in Witcher’s Gwent minigame, Grand Theft Auto and Fall Out New Vegas; all feature minigames evocative of one of the longest lasting genres in gaming.
Afterall, the casino itself has demonstrated a remarkable propensity to evolve with technology, and to remain a crowd favourite rooted in both nostalgia and modern luxury. While the halls of Vegas and Macau remain prime destinations for high-rolling players, the online market offers an incredibly versatile and immersive experience. With lots of chances with Starburst slots, video poker, and digitised table games, players have unmatched variety and versatility at their fingertips, and our passion for these games continues to be reflected in the wider milieu of gaming.
2. The Arcade
Decades after its original release in 1980, Pac-Man continues to be recrafted and reimagined into new adaptations. Donkey Kong, who first made it in the arcade in the early eighties, remains one of the most popular characters of all time, and has featured or cameoed in countless games over the last thirty years. The story remains the same for Space Invaders – another arcade classic – which was recently adapted into a cross over with the mid-eighties favourite, Arkanoid.
The first iteration of Tetris appeared more than thirty-five years ago, and, at that time, it existed only on the Electronika 60, but it was quickly adapted for the arcade. Since then, iterations for all platforms, from the original Gameboy to the Xbox and mobile gaming, have continued its legacy as one of the most popular games of all time.
3. Retro Graphics
In spite of significant technological progress and the introduction of new features, from motion detection to virtual reality, many of the games we love continue to capture the same lo-fi graphics many of us played decades ago. They share space with productions so advanced that they capture emotion and movement with an almost unnerving realism.
Two dimensional creations like Junkboy, award-winning Baba is You, best-seller Minecraft, and Shovel Knight have all stood alongside hyper realistic masterpieces, and the juxtaposition is a clear sign of a market thriving on both innovation, and a nostalgia for the simplicity and minimalism of video gaming’s earliest styles.
In such a creative industry, innovation needn’t be driven solely by advancements in technology, and the lasting connection forged between players and the games themselves means that creativity doesn’t need to be linear. The shelves will continue to reflect our fondness for simplicity, as well as our lasting interest in innovation and modernity.