Over time, certain genres of video games become more popular, promptly have more money poured into them by studios who recognize this trend, and fall off due to oversaturation. That’s not to say that every single genre is doomed to fail – first-person shooters are still going strong, after all – but it’s the general rhythm that trends can often seem to take.
In today’s gaming landscape, though, which gaming genres are receiving the most attention? It’s a question worth asking, as games are only seeming to be getting bigger and bigger. With the longer development cycles present, this can mean that developers risk missing the trends they were trying to chase completely.
After the juggernaut success of Elden Ring, it’s hard not to include the souls-like in the list of genres that are gaining popular attention. To say that it only came out of Elden Ring’s success is itself disingenuous – souls-likes have been gaining a lot of popular attention for a while, and it’s a style of gameplay that developers outside of FromSoftware have been trying to replicate for a long time. However, if Elden Ring’s success showcased anything, it’s that people are not remotely tired of what these developers have to offer. As long as FromSoftware continue to deliver quality installments under this umbrella, it’s likely that other developers will be trying to include similar elements in their own games.
With so many already doing so, however, it’s natural to ask how long before the bubble bursts.
Mobile gaming has always been a form of the medium that has been considered different from what is thought of alongside consoles and PC games. The success often seems to come from microtransactions and freemium models, which leads to a naturally different gameplay loop. While online casinos present the player with games that aren’t necessarily locked to mobile platforms, the apps that are often deployed by these outlets make them natural fits. The short, concise gameplay loops can make the games the ideal candidate for a moment of downtime.
While some people might consider these to be quite different from even other mobile games, the monetary aspect of real pokies online brings them quite closely in line with the kind of monetization that players can expect to find with most successful free-to-download titles.
Rogue-like games have been popular for well over a decade now, back when you could expect to find titles like The Binding of Isaac or FTL: Faster Than Light gaining traction. However, even then, these were considered small indie hits. With 2020’s Hades sweeping game of the year awards, and the critically acclaimed Returnal coming out in the same year, it’s safe to say that the genre is something that has transcended niche attention and been brought to the mainstream. Part of this is due to the kind of transformations that games like Hades have brought, where losing a run doesn’t mean that you make no progress at all. Not feeling so disheartened about losing a run can encourage a player to keep going and try again.