Video games are here to stay! What started as a hobby for just a handful of fans who appreciated a digital interactive experience has morphed itself into a multi-billion-dollar industry. PC games and arcade games in the 80′s laid down much of the groundwork for the arrival of gaming in a big way.
The 90′s was the time when console games helped games reach into the main-stream market. Now as it stands, PC games and games console has ushered in a new era of gaming dominance over movies, TV and dare I say even books (truth be told there still is a huge gulf between those two).
If we take a closer look at this medium, we find that there is one quality that sets itself apart from its competitors: changing trends at a break-neck pace. Every few years a new trend gets introduced that proves beneficial to gaming in general. Let’s take a look at a few trends that have occurred in the last 15 years.
The arrival of 3D gaming due to Super Mario 64 in 1996 changed the entire direction of video games. Cartridge based console games being discarded for CDs and DVDs and later Blue Ray formats. Online gaming took off in a huge way on PC’s back in the early 90’s and then in the late 2000’s on consoles as well.
Use of memory cards replaced battery saves, and later built-in hard drives took hold of consoles. Motion technology ushered a new era of physically interactive gaming. Digital distribution became a reality and now is indeed the future.
There are still so many trends I could have mentioned, but you get the picture. Trends come thick and fast in the video gaming industry and its kudos to the game developers and fans who adapt to new ways very readily. So as the current generation consoles are drawing to a close and PC gaming once again had a great time of it, there is yet again a new trend raising its head, which will definitely bring in change.
Better or worse remains to be seen, but it certainly has A LOT of potential, which will bring fans and developers a little closer than before.
Kickstarter. What is Kickstarter you might ask? It’s a business venture by three guys wherein games, movies, books and other sorts are funded by the public. The whole concept follows the crowd funding model where the general public can donate financially for completion of such projects.
In terms of game development this is a huge oil field because Kickstarter takes away the traditional form of investment and hence all restrictions as well. This phenomenon is set to take the game industry by storm in the next couple of years.
Take a gander at the Kickstarter webpage and you will be stunned at how much people have taken to this new trend and are willing to part with their own money to back games and even a new videogame console. The biggest success story right now is that of the new Android based game console Ouya, which has gathered 8 million dollars and now is well on its way for release sometimes next year or so.
The reason Ouya got such support was due to the console itself, a machine that ENCOURAGES gamers to take their machine apart and fiddle with its innards. Many big companies have sounded off in support of it as well.
I am very excited to read what the developers of Ouya are trying to achieve and am surprised how the console and its Kickstarter push has caught everyone off guard, and I suspect this will be a hot talking point in the foreseeable future.