Modern game genres: why some titles are known by one genre, while others seem to combine them?
Have you ever wondered, what type of game is your favourite one? Are you a perfect commander for Romanian army, or an ideal manager for the street cafe? Is your mood lifting every time you finish baking a virtual cake, or do you like to defend humanity from monsters and beasts with supreme powers? Game genres are the best solution to help you find a game perfect for your taste.
The term of Genre was not invented solely for game products. We all know that Shakespeare was unrivaled master of drama, while George Orwell’s story of 1984 is a classical anti-utopia.
In general, the fact of several products in entertainment industry belonging to one genre means that they all have some common basic concepts in one or many aspects. For example, most titles known as Shooter games are exactly that: a game about shooting at someone or something; Racing means that you are most probably going to compete in some sort of racing challenge using a vehicle – spaceship, car, helicopter or dinosaurs.
Time went by, and the amount of games developed each year brought industry to a problem. Most titles, brought to market were either of unique genre, or combined several elements from completely different genres. At the moment, it is a well-known practice to mention all meaningful elements of every genre that may be found in a new game.
But what to do with games that need so many different aspects that the list of genres could take several minutes to read? Two best solutions we have at the moment are to:
- call it Indie game, meaning that game mechanics of this product may be completely different from what average player is used to see in most products on the market;
- or to avoid assigning a genre to game at all, instead deciding to briefly describe its content to player.
Second option is quite risky, as developer is facing a huge risk that players won’t try to understand what his game is about, preferring to take more familiar challenge. But, if author or producer has a firm believe in game’s appeal to player, and mass audience finds it really interesting, this title has a good chance to have a new genre named after it.
The most recent example of such product would be Dark souls, which was originally attributed to RPG genre, now has many follower-games, which are doing their best to achieve such thrilling atmosphere and exciting user experience that original game is well-known for.
So, are genres capable to meet rising needs of modern game gevelopment? Some would say that their days are coming to an end. We in turn think, that while players will need to describe a new game that they’ve just found in a brief, descriptive manner, genres are going to live and evolve to better suite players needs.