How Video Game Genres Are Changing

It can be difficult to see how things are changing until enough time has passed where you can look back at the beginning and see how different it is to where you’re currently standing. Famous and well-liked video game genres can feel as though they’re that way because people like them the way they are, but on closer inspection, you can see that these are shifting in response to audiences and trends, and the landscape now is actually massively different to how it was ten years ago.

While certain genres that were popular then might also be popular now, and in fact this is often the case, the games within those genres are so different that the entire umbrella term feels massively different.

Open World Games

Landmark titles in the past, such as Skyrim and older Grand Theft Auto titles, went a long way in convincing various developers that open world was the way forward, and this quickly became the case, with a massive influx of games in that style. However, over time, the market became saturated, and these open worlds began to feel as though they were that way for no particular reason, with massive amounts of content packaged into the map to make the game as big as possible.

This trend has seen some change in recent times with games such as Breath of the Wild, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Elden Ring that look to make the map appealing to explore simply by the virtue of being enticing. However, the older style of open world still persists in many games, such as modern Assassin’s Creed titles, meaning that there may still be a strong market for it. 

Multiplayer Shooters

Similarly, titles back around the early 2010s, mainly from the Call of Duty franchise, saw a massive number of players online, encouraging other companies to try and follow this model. The military shooter has since given way to titles such as Fortnite, which are much more arcade-driven in nature and even more broad in appeal.

This broad appeal might be something that’s driven by the free-to-play format and its availability on platforms such as mobile, which is swiftly becoming a more viable gaming venue itself thanks to improving hardware and a variety of available genres, such as open world games of its own and the best online casinos Australia.

New Entries

Of course, not all of the modern popular genres are what they were ten years ago, and some have risen to the top thanks to new breakout titles. The souls-like is one of these, and since the booming popularity of FromSoftware’s Souls series, many developers have tried to emulate this experience in their own titles which borrow key aspects of these games. That’s not all, though, and while the Metroidvania might not be explicitly new (being named after games from the 90s), its incorporation into certain popular indie titles has seen it undergo something of a renaissance.

As popular games come to redefine genres and subsequent titles look to re-create that success over and over again, these cycles repeat themselves, leaving room for other genres to reinvent themselves. 

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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