In 2008, single-player based PC games which can be played without internet were enjoying their last glories. SPORE, Red Alert 3 and Crysis received a lot of attentions. I was crazy about these games as a 2nd year high school student. Although all of these 3 games included some online features, more or less, after 2008, PC games can be hardly played without internet. The complexity of games also reached its peak that year. There were not many PC games as complex as SPORE after 2008. From 2008 to 2014, the systems of games have been easier and easier, to following the tendency of mobile platforms, graphic designs, and also people’s wants.
In the past 6 years, some unexpected successes happened in the gaming industry. Angry Birds, a mobile game based on an old flash web game of Armor Games became the most popular game in the world, and things were becoming more weird when the Flappy Bird got an even bigger hit on SNSs. Some critics may think Ingress by Google will become a big success with the coherence of gamification and LBS, but the fact is its target users become more and more narrow and finally only geeks left in this game. In contrast, one MMORPG still gets its position on the top 5 revenue ranking of online games in the world just after its 10th anniversary. Its title is Maplestory.
As an early player of Maplestory, I didn’t find any changes or enhancements of the graphical design or the system in Maplestory during the past 10 years. This is because this Family Computer style side-scrolling MMORPG can never become outdated. The cute characters and easy controlling system have attracted many female players, achieving a gender balance for this game to continuously harvest new players.
It’s the time to make a brief summary and think about the game 6 years later. Firstly, what is the game which most people would like to download and start to play after 6 years? Although the performance of the mobile devices are becoming higher, the tendency for the complexity of the games is seems like in a different way. The one-touch principle for mobile games will be continued since there are more commuters in the cities thanks to the expansion of cities in the developing countries. In other hand, the graphic design of the games should be cute and make people feel relaxed. This would become more attractive to the increasing number of office workers and female players, resulting a more balanced game community within these games. Secondly, what is the game which people would like to be engaged in? The rise of Clan Rush created another chance for mobile games, that is creativity. With the creation in the game, players can be more engaged in games and devote more time and money to the game, making the update of these games faster because of the sufficient income. As well as the recently popular multi-platform card game HearthStone by Blizzard, which requires a lot of the editing process for the decks you use during the game. This game encourages players to form communities online or offline to do the research on the decks and the strategies. The randomization of the card game also makes each game a different game, and the instability of winning or losing like gambling, making the players would like to play this game once and once.
So, my expectations for the games in 2020 will be like this:
- Cute characters and easy controlling at first, but with the time the players participated in the game increases, the game is requiring more creativity from the players to do more things for themselves in the game.
- Always new experiences will be brought to players in the same game, when more gambling and randomization aspects will be added into the game.
- The SAO-style (Virtual reality with helmets) games will begin to get into the market, but it can hardly get its first audience.
- The World of Warcraft style MMORPG will quit the market, at least it will lose more than half of its customers.