A new market awaits the game industry

Ever have a moment where you're playing the newest game and realize it just isn't as fun as some of those you used to play half a decade or more ago? I have a lot of those moments. I will be sitting in my room playing Gears of War and realize that it gets boring within the first couple of hours, whereas I used to play Civilization I or Full Throttle for hours on my P75 computer with a basic 15" screen and a small speaker set.

I still go back to those games from time-to-time. The question is, why? Why do we always look back on things in life and say to ourselves, "Those were the good times". Another good example is my current situation in China. This experience has forever changed who I am, and I know a lot has changed. However, I still look back at the "good times" (and they truly were good times) in America when I would spend countless weekends with my LAN friends playing Unreal Tournament, Quake, Total Annihilation, or MMOs like EverQuest. Yet I also know that when I get back home from China it will not be long before I realize China was the "good times", and want to go back. How come we cannot stay in one place for long?

Because humans simply become bored with what is the same. That is why I became bored so quickly with Gears of War, because frankly it is just about the same as every other FPS on the market! Yes, there are some unique points, some good strategy developed into the game, but in the end its really the same. Many older games had more style and thought built into them. Adventure games were all the rage in the 90s, but are practically non-existent today. Even those that do show up from time-to-time are shallow structures of what was once a great genre. Let's bring those old games back in a new and fresh light, without ruining the genre please!

I remember when the movie "Neverending Story III" came out years ago. I was so excited to see the series continue, I happily bought it as soon as it went on store shelves. Upon watching the sequel I never quite looked at the series the same way again. I had developed a bad taste in my mouth from the incredibly horrible remake, that it simply ruined the rest of the series. It took me literally years to watch the originals again with any sort of respect.

That is the problem with many remakes in the game industry today. There are so few that are as good as the originals... so few period. Starcraft 2 is coming out and looks to be promising, but that is being made by Blizzard, one of the few companies that knows a thing or two about game development and success in the market. Hundreds of old games that are long forgotten by past generations, and completely non-existent in the minds of current generations of gamers, are waiting to be remade in a better and bigger way, and sold for a price all over again to those curious.

Allow me to briefly clarify what I mean by a "remake". Some games simply deserve a graphics makeover, while others deserve some tweaks beyond the visuals. My adage is always "don't fix what isn't broken", so as long as developers keep that in mind as well, remakes could be very successful.

The redevelopment of old games could easily progress into an entire new genre of computer games and console games developed over the coming decade. I would call this genre "The Transformers", old games that have been forgotten and are now transformed into new games that are given a new life again on store shelves. A cliche in terms maybe, but a good one I think.

Get to it developers! Find those old games, remake them in a new way, and sell them again to customers looking for fresh and "new" games that set themselves apart from the bland clones we see today.

No comments: