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Retro Games are Making a Comeback

No matter how many unique weapons, complex objectives, intricate storylines, or virtual acres of free-roaming space are available in these new-fangled state-of-the-art console epics, sometimes you just need to take it back to the simplicity of old-school games.

For those who don’t have the time or patience to lead a character on an epic quest across endless plains of virtual terrain in The Witcher or Assassin’s Creed, a quick blast on Streets of Rage or Sonic the Hedgehog is more than sufficient. A lot of retro games have been given modern-day twists, and others have been re-released altogether to appease simplicity-seeking gamers.

Bringing Back Memories

In 21st-century culture, there is a tendency to take old ideas that were successful and give them a contemporary twist. This has been evident in cinema, with Marvel Studios being a prime example. They purloined classic storylines from the source material and geared them towards a mass audience, while still managing to incorporate enough elements of nostalgia to attract fans of the classic comics.

The same could be said for Pokémon GO, which brought in an older fan base that could have been predominantly made up of fans of the original games for Game Boy. This is underlined by research into player demographics: 71% of players in the first month were aged between 30 and 50.

A third example is online bingo. In the late 1900s, bingo was huge across the UK, with the bingo hall being synonymous with British culture in a similar fashion to the pub. After the smoking ban, a lot of the old-school halls lost clientele and closed down, but the game was reborn in an online setting. Now sites like William Hill bingo aim to give customers the same experiences they used to enjoy, but with options to play newer versions of the game as well. A few of the modern incarnations of the game include Rainbow Riches Bingo, Deal or No Deal Bingo, and Community Bingo. and the social atmosphere has been kept up with online chat rooms where players can interact with each other and the chat hosts.

The Prime Time for a Rebirth

The cases above highlight the potential market for sentimental gaming, and this is why Sega has recently brought the Mega Drive back into production. Amazingly, the consoles actually equal the PlayStation 4 in terms of annual sales in Brazil. Most gamers would probably love to have the option to play some of their favorite old-school games from time to time, but many will have either lost their childhood consoles or allowed them to collect so much dust they no longer function. The news of the Mega Drive returning to mass production is sure to appease a large number of gamers.

This was certainly the case for the release of Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition which sold out moments after its launch earlier this month. The console plays 30 classic games from the 80s and is certain to attract players who want to evoke pleasurable memories, along with others who want to learn about the famous games of the past.

With the games of today requiring so much effort, commitment and skill, sometimes it’s just nice to kick back with a straightforward game that reminds you of your childhood. Bring on the renaissance.

Feature image credit – “P1060948” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by kibyegon

Carl Williams

It is time gaming journalism takes its rightful place as proper sources and not fanboys giving free advertising. If you wish to support writers like Carl please use the links below.

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