Everyone is talking about the end of Game of Thrones today. Many websites, especially game websites are covering it as their top story, if not top five stories. This marks a shift in journalism which has been going on in a while. When pop culture news shifts away from games to entertainment, things can get different for hardcore audiences. Are we in a short phase of entertainment out performing games on the pop culture stage?
Right now, with huge offerings coming in this year such as the Avengers, end of Game of Thrones and new shows from Disney+ the game market seems slow. E3 has seen several major publishers pull out of their floor space and a lot of money from top companies has been going into entertainment development.
This raises the question that games have plateaued for a while? The console cycle has hit a snag with the Xbox and PS4 reaching the end of their years. The Switch has been a solid boost for indie titles and has opened up a huge new market for Nintendo. There are not any huge AAA titles rolling out quickly over the next few months. This pocket creates the boost of entertainment to fill that niche. Have we hit a highpoint in the watchable entertainment era? Some of the best offerings in fantasy and superhero genres have reach an apex. What is next?
Many gamers still look for new opportunities. They find games and stick with them over the years, but ultimately will move to a new offering to try out changes. Games have become static in their designs only shifting slightly on top mechanics. RPGs have changed little and MMOs have dispersed into many game styles across genres. There is still a hunger for the old style of games as WoW Classic and our recent City of Heroes articles suggest. Throw backs to these titles will hit a nostalgia for people to be sure, however, it comes in the falter of no new offerings.
So where will the next top game titles come from? Cyberpunk 2077 is by far the hottest ticket at E3 (don’t worry we will have a full report). Could CD Projekt Red turn the tide and offer up a sci-fi epic that challenges game design as a whole and bring s a host of new features? From our demo last year, it was amazing and had some unbelievable depth like no other game. That is what truly captures an audience. This will be a monster if it launches in 2020 and we will see other major titles follow, perhaps on the tail of the new console cycle.
Two huge games will come out of Bethesda with Elder Scrolls and Starfield both announced last year. However, no news is expected to hit this time around and fans were eagerly awaiting an update. You have another gap in the cycle. Do not worry, if all of these titles plan for an early 2020’s release schedule then in a few years you’ll see a huge change with lots of game offerings.
For now it seems like pop culture is obsessed with the viewing form of entertainment as we gamers scurry about seeking smaller titles to pass the time. That is never a bad thing, some of the best games have come out of these times. It also seems like games based on these hugely popular IPs begin to slow down after they end, with GoT being the prime example. It is doubtful that books or even another TV show will appear anytime soon.
I’ll close on this note, in the late 80s and early 90s there was a massive franchise which saw little to no movement. That was Star Wars. Games launched and the Star Wars RPG was a lynchpin of fandom for many to hold onto such a huge IP. In the years that followed a relaunch of the movies led to the prequels. Love them or hate them, they jumpstarted a new era of Star Wars entertainment which continues to this day. Games can work in a similar fashion, but nothing is worse than being in a drought right now.