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Industry Talk: How To Revive Previous-Generation Gaming

August 27, 2012

The following is derived from the article of the same name. Such article was written by me and published at the following URL:

In this article, I argued that gaming from the previous generation brought us a unique combination of intimacy and the early stages of social integration. Along with that came several qualities/genres/approaches to gaming that we’ve missed out with the current console generation of PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. Here are some of standout examples that we’re missing in gaming today.

Third-Party Console Exclusives
Dead Rising and Demon’s Souls simply didn’t have the potential to sell consoles like last generation’s Grand Theft Autos (PS2 exclusive upon launch), Knights of the Old Republic, and Final Fantasy X. Today’s hardware platforms feature more identical lineups of third-party games. It’s difficult to determine how influenced third-party developers will be by the next generation of hardware innovations, but at the way multi-platform titles sell now, it’s unlikely we’ll get a bevy of third-party hardware sellers upon launch in 2013/2014.

3D Action Platformers
3dAPs hit their stride early in the previous generation with Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Oddworld, and more. With a third-person action revival in recent years (Uncharted, Gears of War, and the upcoming Tomb Raider), much of the platforming went back to 2D. That said, handhelds look to be the next direction for most 3dAPs — particularly for Sony.

Extreme Sports Games
There was a time when every sport represented in the X-Games had its video game counterpart, and many of these titles/franchises — Tony Hawk, SSX, ATV Offroad Fury, etc. — were very successful and received critical acclaim. Apart from Skate and SSX, extreme sports games were left off the map this time around. One reason is because extreme sports has found other effective ways to market itself. In addition, many of the genre’s studios have either fallen by the wayside (Neversoft, Tony Hawk franchise) or have bigger fish to fry (EA Black Box, Need for Speed franchise).

Aggressive Inline (2002) scored an 85 on Metacritic based on 31 critics’ reviews.

Star Wars
Star Wars games still come out at a frequent rate, but many of these titles are lacking in original content when compared to their predecessors. KOTOR, Empire at War, Battlefront, and Republic Commando all brought something different to the table and fared well among gamers & reviewers. Star Wars is still going strong after 35 years, and with the upcoming Star Wars 1313 as well as an overwhelming demand for the next true KOTOR, it’s likely Star Wars will reign supreme in licensed game content.

Split-Screen Multiplayer
The emphasis of online multiplayer has devalued the need for split-screen. Motion-controlled gaming remains an exception, but we’ve still yet to get an answer to this: What core-gamer franchises can be successful in a motion-controlled system? And furthermore, how can multiplayer be integrated into such titles? It’s something we have no precursor to thus far on any of the main consoles, so it looks like split-screen is in a sort of purgatory.

Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Survival-Horror
Once survival-horror trailblazers, Capcom and Konami have left one of the most passionate audiences in the gaming community’s fears un-quenched. Resident Evil 6 is due out this October, but since horror-based games like Dead Island and Left 4 Dead can give us constant action with an occasional spook,the classic survival-horror approach could be on the outside looking in.

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