Thye gaming industry is no stranger to seeing the current market flood with a bunch of similar types of games around the same time. Take, for example, the launch of the Wii back in 2006 saw the Wii market filled with quick, hard to control motion sensor focused games like Red Steel and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Further, there was one type of game that continuously popped up on the Wii because of the popularity of Wii Sports – mini-game collections focusing on multiplayer and a small amount of different game types and modes. The issue got so bad that Target and Gamestop once sent out a memo in 2010 asking game publishers to no longer approach their stores with mini-game collections.
However, there is an older trend that has dominated the video game market almost since it’s inception. A game type so large and massive it can encompass almost any type of gameplay imaginable, yet seemingly falls back into the same overused tropes every few years – First person shooters. Beginning back in the early 1990’s with games like Doom and Quake for PC, then moving to consoles with Perfect Dark and Goldeneye 007 for N64, the flood gates had opened. In it’s original incarnations, many First person shooters seemed unique at the time, especially when you have games like Turok, where you take on hordes of dinosaurs in an ancient jungle, to compare to a game like Duke Nukem 64, a game that consists of lewd humor and fighting cops that are literally portrayed as pig monsters. Soon, though, almost every popular shooter became focused around World War II. Allied Assault and the popular Call of Duty series brought players into the world of their favorite action movies like Saving Private Ryan and Pearl Harbor.
In the years after, the early 200’s, World War 2 shooters became the norm. The number of times gamers have stormed the beaches of Normandy or silently stalked through German streets snapping Nazi’s necks can not possibly be counted. Soon, this became a trned, and every body started to notice. Quickly growing weary, franchises had to find other ways to cope. In 2009, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare began a new trend of realistic, modern day shooters, beginning a new genre oversaturation. Soon after, Team Fortress opened the doors for class-based shooters, bringing in dozens of games like Destiny and Titianfall.
This has been a constant problem for the industry. There are periods of growth and periods of stagnation, and even moments of relapse. For instance, there is now calls for a return to World War 2 shooters due to the surge of technological power the gaming industry has experienced the last 5 years. This is not limited to shooters and mini-game collections, those are just 2 of the most obvious examples that could be pointed at on a timeline. Innovation is key to creating new and interesting content for users to experience, and if the same games are being re-created over and over by different studios with a slightly different color of paint, then what is the purpose? Well, it’s fairly obvious the purpose is the big pile of cash at the end of the headshot rainbow. Gamers need to demand more variety, and pblishers need to stop cranking out games on a tri to bi-yearly schedule just to meet deadlines and quotas. Do work that you enjoy and at the end of the day makes you proud, instead of working to create Call of Turok 6: Modern Dinosaur Fortress 007.