Top 10 Video Game Industry Trends That DIED
VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script written by Nathan Sharp
Well, it was fun while it lasted! These are the fads, crazes, upheavals and ridiculous trends that took the gaming industry by storm, only to clear up and disappear within a few years. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 DEAD Video Game Industry Trends.
Special thanks to our user “David Ram” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comSuggest
Top 10 Dead Video Game Industry Trends
Well, it was fun while it lasted. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten dead video game industry trends.
For this list, we’ll be looking at those trends among the video game industry which were once extremely popular and/or revolutionary which have since significantly declined in popularity to the point of being dead. To be eligible, the trend needs to have once been very popular in the industry but has since died or is in the midst of dying at the time of this video’s release.
#10: Blockbuster Video Exclusives
Remember Blockbuster? (Xref) Or rental stores in general? Yeah, they were fun for a while, and believe it or not, they were powerful and influential enough to actually have exclusive titles! Granted, most of their games were total trash, but the point still stands! Some exclusives were updated versions of previously released games like “ClayFighter: Tournament Edition” for the Super Nintendo, but they also owned completely exclusive titles like “Eek! The Cat” and “Razor Freestyle Scooter.” Like we said, they weren’t very good.
#9: Gimmick 3rd Party Game Controllers
While they made for a fine collector’s item, and while they probably go for some good money on eBay, the bell had tolled for the gimmicky third party controller. These were seemingly being released every week back in Nintendo’s prime with crap like the Power Glove and Roll n’ Rocker being especially notable. They continued throughout the decades, with gimmicky controllers like “Resident Evil 4’s” chainsaw or the Wii bowling ball. While you can still find them here and there for specific games if you look hard enough, the heyday of the third-party controller has long past.
#8: Everything is Zombies
While we definitely hit a pocket of zombie love for a decade or so, the enthusiasm for the undead is finally shuffling to its inevitable death and zombie games are going down with it. While absolutely everything had to be zombie themed a few years ago, including zombie specific games and zombie-centric additions to games like “Red Dead Redemption” and “Call of Duty,” the trend is finally dying. Recent examples include “Dead Rising 4” receiving a lukewarm reaction and Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” failing to sustain mainstream interest. While there are a few holdouts, the undead threat seems to be over.
#7: Live Action FMV Games (and Cutscenes)
Full motion video was once considered a revolutionary feat in gaming, as defenders argued that having actors display the action onscreen would not only legitimize video games as an art form, but also provide a sense of realism unheard of in gaming at the time. Well, seeing as how you don’t see FMV anymore, there’s a reason for its failure. These include the small budgets and subsequent cheesy production values, limited storage space, and the fact that the videos appeared fuzzy and jerky. These days while AAA gaming has steered well away from them, they’re still fun to look back on for some hilariously bad acting.
#6: Arcades on Every Street Corner
Unless you’re in Japan, who still love them some arcades, you’ll be hard pressed to find a functioning, profitable arcade anywhere near where you live. Back in the golden age of arcades, aka the late 70s and early 80s, they were absolutely massive, and a machine could be found within five feet of where you were standing, with titles like “Pac Man,” “Donkey Kong,” and “Space Invaders” making huge waves in pop culture. While there are still arcades out there, they no longer release game-changing titles and are seen as tacky at worst and passive entertainment at best.
#5: “Realistic” Brown Color Palette
For some weird reason, we all accepted that the colour brown was absolutely badass. Grittier games were desaturating the hell out of their colour palettes, and what we were left with was brown-tinted everything, which denoted dramatic realism or something, we don’t really know. Games like “Gears of War,” “Quake,” and “Shadow of the Colossus” definitely experimented with and helped popularize this trope, and it seemed like every action game released in the mid to late 2000s had some form of brown filter applied to it. Luckily for our eyes, this trend seems to have finally died down in recent years.
#4: Hint Hotlines
Before the glorious days of the internet, instant access to knowledge, and the safety of anonymity behind a screen, if you didn’t have a strategy guide or a handy magazine that happened to have the tip you needed, you actually had to call another human being if we were stuck in a video game. Yes, it was harrowing. Various games employed hint hotlines to provide clues and instant gratification for those stuck on a particularly difficult puzzle or for the lost gamer who didn’t know where to go next. Can you imagine how difficult some of those phone calls must have been? It boggles the mind.
#3: Corny Commercials
Remember when we said that gamers were looking to validate video games as an art form? Well, commercials like these weren’t doing them any favors. In the 80s and 90s, video game commercials were, for lack of a better word, dumb, filled with hyperactive screaming children, overzealous graphics and sound effects, and exaggerated voice over work. Since then we seem to have gone in the complete opposite direction, with commercials of creepy baby dolls, melodrama, and big budget action set pieces being the order of the day. Oh well, better than the corn we guess.
#2: Motion Controls
Oh, motion controls. You were supposed to be the next big step in gaming evolution, the new toy to usher in a newfound sense of immersion by seamlessly connecting player to game world. It was a big lie! Instead, we got goofy sports and dancing games and a bunch of other titles that barely even worked. After the Wii’s massive success, Microsoft and Sony tried getting in on the action with the Kinect and Move, but we all know how those turned out. A decade later, Microsoft has all but abandoned the Kinect and Nintendo has moved on to mobile gaming with the Switch.
#1: Mascot Platformers
It’s arguable that the day of console mascots are over, but it’s most certainly undeniable that mascot PLATFORMERS are long dead. Everyone at the time seemingly wanted to cash in on Mario and Sonic’s bandwagon with characters like Gex the Gecko, Croc, Banjo & Kazooie, Crash Bandicoot & Spyro the Dragon. But now a days, the time for Platformers starring Anthropomorphic characters seem to be a thing of the past, as even more recent titles like Yooka-Laylee have struggled to gain mainstream recognition. Mario and Sonic are still going strong, but we can say the same for their contemporaries.