We’re in the sunset phase of the decade and you’ll be finding games of the decade lists all over the internet chronicling the best games that have come out in this generation. Besides just the standout games, each gaming generation teaches us something different about the industry at large or just us as gamers. This generation is no different and I think there’s a whole bunch of lessons we can learn that might be important moving forward. Let’s take a look at five of them right now.
If it was made, it’ll be remade
This generation has undoubtedly been the generation of remasters and remakes. When the two major consoles were just releasing we were already porting over games from the previous generation, packaging it up nicely and selling it again for full price. At one point it got a little ridiculous and every month you would find remasters littering the game releases lists. Even if a game wasn’t that big of a hit there was still a remaster because it could only be beneficial to have the game be on multiple platforms.
Remakes were also something that came into prominence this generation, even though they were much less frequent than remasters. Some of the overhauled classic titles were amazing such as Shadow of the Colossus and Resident Evil 2, but you could definitely see that some games banking hard on the nostalgia factor. With the next generation, I’m hoping that backwards compatibility will buck this trend of remasters since we don’t really have to worry about upping the resolution anymore and hopefully we can just port over our whole libraries when the time comes and not have to buy GTA V for the sixth time.
Graphics are getting crazy
When Killzone Shadow Fall released when the PS4 came out, I was instantly blown away by the sheer beauty that was possible on the machine. The Xbox 360 and PS3 were capable in their own right, but nothing even came close to what these new consoles could achieve. Right now in 2019 we just expect every game coming out to look mindblowing and games like Red Dead Redemption 2 truly stretch the limits of realism.
The next generation is going to have a tough time making extra leaps in graphics technology. Ray tracing will make things very interesting in terms of lighting, but graphics seem to have reached a bit of a peak. Perhaps I’m ignorant of what will be coming our way and we’ll have these astounding looking games that we didn’t even think were possible, but if things look the same as they do now, it wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. Just please up the framerate, 30 FPS is so last-gen.
Digital has come and is here to stay
Buying physical disks was still a common practice when the generation started and there was significant pushback for going digital. Microsoft tried to make the Xbox One a digital-focused console and it was met with considerable backlash even though some of the concepts were well ahead of their time. However, with internet improving all over and uncapped data plans becoming more affordable, digital started slowing creeping in and taking over our lives.
I know for a fact that about 95% of the games I own now are digital. Game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass allow us to hop between big-budget titles by paying a measly sum each month and it’s just become way too convenient to buy a game online, have it download and you can play it without getting up and switching disks. Even though games are becoming terrifyingly large, I think this is but the start for digital. The next generation will surely continue these digital trends and I don’t think we’re very far from an all-digital future.
We still can’t trust publishers
Game publishers have always hovered in the realm of corruption and it was never easy to trust them, but in this generation, we saw some truly egregious displays of greed. Microtransactions started becoming a thing and when the executive sharks smelled money in the water, everything started having microtransactions. More and more elaborate ways have been concocted to get money out of us and this stampeding greed caused a few publishers to go from loved to despised.
I would have done anything for Bethesda and each one of their games ended up somewhere in my favourites, but they pulled a complete 180 and became everything I hate. Fallout 76 showed me their true colours and the extent to which they’re willing to go to extract money out of us. EA ruined BioWare and Anthem was such a circus that it still stings just thinking about it. Publishers are getting very ambitious in their greed and this generation showed us that they have no real remorse for their actions. It’ll be extremely important to go into the next generation knowing this since I think it’s only going to get worse from here.
Gaming has grown immeasurably
Our little hobby has really transcended into a different beast. It was the most profitable entertainment industry in the world for a while, but now we are reaching new heights. Games such as Fortnite have truly broken into the mainstream and because there are so many options to play games now, everyone is getting in on the action. Gaming went from something nerds play to everyone having a console in their living room and the growth has been staggering.
Companies are getting larger, productions are getting more insane, mainstream media is picking up on gaming events, esports has become frighteningly large and basically anyone can become a gamer because we now have computers in our pockets. We still have some unchecked greed happening all over, but gaming is in an immensely strong position right now and it’s going to keep growing and growing. We learned a lot from this generation and it’s been a lot of good times, but the future awaits and boy is it looking exciting. What did you learn this generation?