With last month’s sales having dropped 25% from this time last year, there’s no denying that video games are currently suffering a serious decline.
The current response from most major games developers seems to be lowering the amount of work necessary to release a new game. This is the primary reason for the increase in the number of sequels. It costs less both to make and to market a new game in an already existing franchise than to create something totally new.
This is a strategy that can only last so long. Eventually, gamers will tire of playing the same old game in the same old franchise, and will look for something new. Though this will likely be greeted as a serious problem by many games developers, for the gaming industry as a whole it could be a blessing in disguise.
While sales of console games are in decline, sales in independent and casual games are currently going through a boom period, seeing a strong surge in sales.
What independent games and casual games offer that major console title seem reluctant to is genuine creative development. While games like God of War Ascension failed to offer anything genuinely new, independent games are a hotbed for creativity.
God of War Ascension failed to deliver a genuinely new experience
Games like Fast Than Light, a spaceship simulation roguelike title, have wowed gamers with their originality. Faster Than Light is certainly not alone here. Other titles like Spelunky and Journey (and a whole host of other titles) have genuinely developed gaming and have seen profit as a result.
Games like Faster Than Light and Journey created new gaming experiences and did extremely well as a result
If the current decline in console games leads to a surge in creativity as we are currently witnessing with independent games, the financial bust could very well turn into a creative boom, with more and more titles being released that genuinely create something new. If this is the case, though we gamers may witness the death of many cherished franchises, we will also witness the birth of an entirely new, creativity-driven era in games.