There’s little denying that the two biggest surprises in the gaming world for 2016 were the popularity of Pokémon Go and Super Mario Run. As one of the most innovative interactive game’s thus far, Pokémon Go captured the imagination of over 500 million people worldwide, who downloaded the game and took to the streets, looking to capture the game’s characters. Likewise, Super Mario Run had 40 millions downloads on its first day of release.
Setting aside any new innovations that made these games popular, there is something about these game that is touching a desire to play retro games with retro characters. Let’s look at a couple of possible explanations for this new revelation.
With video gaming still in it’s infancy at about 20-25 years old, the gaming industry has finally reached a point where some of its fare is finally old enough to be considered retro. Clearly, titles like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Pokémon and Super Mario still have some relevance in the industry. It’s like paying respect to Elvis Presley or the Beatles for how they influenced the music industry. These are, in fact, the games that got it all started.
Another phenomenon that seems to be directing gamers toward retro games is a great desire to get something a little simpler from their gaming experience. Today’s games have become so complicated that is takes hundreds of hours to learn a game’s nuances. The games of yesteryear were far less complicated, allowing the gamer to jump right in and start making progress towards the game’s goal. There’s also something to be said for a solitaire gaming experience in a world were everything is designed for multi-player groups.
The bottom line is gamers are seeking convenience when they want to settle in and play video games for a short period of time. As long as names like Pokémon Go and Super Mario Run are an option, it looks like the retro trend is here to stay.