arstechnica's gamer blog Opposable Thumbs has a thought provoking post speculating the downfall of the "Hard Core" gamer. The theory arises from Next-Gen's analysis of the 100 top selling games of 2005. Sports and licensed titles made up almost half of the top 100. This appears to be on the rise.
Gaming used to be on the fringe and it is increasingly more and more mainstream. Of course sales numbers are going to reflect much more pedestrian tastes of the population as a whole. I mean how else can you explain the popularity of NASCAR and Professional Wrestling. Heck, I love interactive fiction. Back in the day people who used and loved computers, were also the same sort of , dare I say, nerdy folks who loved reading.
Video Games have been out of the hands of the intellectual elite for many decades now. People love sports. People love movies. As gaming becomes more and more popular it is only natural that the sales figures reflect this. Instead of lamenting the fall and cursing our Madden ridden future, we should embrace this next generation of fun. Did I mention that I am a huge fan of WarioWare: Smooth Moves? Is the future really so bleak?
Simply because casual gaming is on the rise, this does not mean that hard core gaming is on the decline. Hardcore gamers have always been the minority anyway.
I wouldn't expect mainstream companies or top selling titles to reflect the hard core gaming community.
Sure, everyone has different opinions by which they determine the difference between casual and hardcore gamers. I consider a hard core gamer to be someone that really goes beyond normal gameplay to study, collect, or talk about games. If someone is a regular at Mobygames, I'd consider them to be a hard core gamer.
If you know developer names or talk about the economic status quo of your favorite company, you're probably a hard core gamer. If you create mods or levels, or join a team, clan, guild so you can multiplay and compete, you're a hard core gamer. If you play an MMO regularly, you're hardcore. That's just my opinion.
Lol Another hard core gaming is dying article.
That more casual gamers and Wii-owning kids jump on board now doesn't mean that the hardcore population is going anywhere. Besides, doesn't this surge of mainstream appeal happen every now and then? Specially around console launch dates?
Compared to the main stream, anything "hard core" is on the verge of dying. That's practically what defines something as being hard core in the first place!
And with games like Oblivion and Gothic 3 still coming out, I'm not worried. There'll be games for all types in the future too.
Yes, the nerdy folks who love reading mass-produced science fiction paperbacks, listened to Weird Al and preferred Coca-Cola to red wine. That kind of intellectual élite.
(Edited by Zovni (9426), Feb 14, 2007)Re: Hardcore Gamers on the Decline?
Zovni (9426), Feb 14, 2007
What the hell is your problem with Weird Al Yankovich?
"You're as useless as a jpg to Hellen Keller!" :D :D
Well, being "hardcore" isn't that much about the genres. Games like Pro Evolution Soccer (and even FIFA now), Football Manager or FIFA Manager can be incredibly deep and may require total devotion from a player, yet they're still sports games. In fact, some fans complain of the increasingly higher entry level for these games now. Only a few of them remain "pick and play" titles like in the 90s, and most of them are bargain-bin pushers (speaking from a stricly football oriented viewpoint).
Also, remember that not all gamers that came from the 8 and 16-bit eras are looking for 60-hour epics. Most of them are still looking for the same short arcade gaming experience, or just can't spend 50 or 60 hours to finish a game - I still rate a game that I want to play from end to end over and over for 60 hours than one that takes me 60 years to finish once, for instance.