The growth experienced by the video game industry over the past 30 years has been spectacular. Far away is the time of 8-bit games, of developments in the hands of small teams in a garage and of betting on a profession of uncertain future. Today, the videogame industry is the one with the most money moving around the world, and this is due in large part to the evolution in the way videogames are treated.
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The 80s was a key time for video games. The popularity of recreational games, the emergence of science fiction or the opening of globalization contributed to videogames beginning to experience changes that would take over decades to become what they are today. Video games were still in their stage of self-discovery, in their childhood, and if there was one genre that emerged during this decade, it was the arcades. The arcades became the meeting point for many of the players of the time.
Video game companies like Nintendo wanted its games to be stamped from the beginning. They did not create arcade video games, designed to be played over and over again until they were perfected, but they chose to include a background, to endow their games with something else, with a story that guided their gameplay. Nintendo managed to contribute to the industry more than a grain of sand, since what it did was a turning point in the history of video games and the establishment of a new way of doing them. Thus, the well-known The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros or Donkey Kong were born, which took Nintendo to the top of videogame production.
Already in the 90s, videogames experienced an evolution towards a more adult environment. The consoles were imposed on the arcade machines and video games began to incorporate a content more oriented to the experiences for a player, paying more attention to the narrative. Thus, the last decade of the twentieth century we saw how pure arcade gave way to new experiences: FPS, platform games, RPGs, survival-horror and all this, of course, accompanied by the great novelty of the era: 3D.
The diversity of genres gave rise to the expansion of the medium. Video games were becoming a force to be reckoned with thanks to the advancement of technology and the commitment of companies like Sony and Microsoft to support the creation of new experiences for players.
Innovation was breaking through and the narrative began to gain more and more prominence. The stories were important for the player to connect and empathize with the characters and get more into the experience. The large number of genres available, coupled with the possibility of having a video game console at home, made the number of players grow and that many studios were interested not only to offer entertaining and varied gameplay, but to introduce a narrative in their video games.
The 21st century
With the 21st century came the maturity of the videogame industry. That video games had already become a mass phenomenon was something undeniable. Millions of players dedicate hours and hours on their favorite videogames, and the industry enjoys a very diverse competition that only encourages its growth.
Online gaming reached an all-time high during this period, with a great number of new games either being online-only or offering interactive online options, making it possible for friends to enjoy games together even when far apart. With the rise of online gaming also came the rise of online casinos like Casino.com UK, which cater to a more adult crowd and make it possible for fans of the game to enjoy it from anywhere through their mobile devices.
Gone are the days of the arcade machines in which purely arcade video games were the only options available to players. In many aspects, the videogame begins to look much like the experience a cinema offers, providing that touch of interactivity that the cinema cannot, combined with other resources, offering a wide range of genres and opportunities to explore.
Nowadays, the possibilities of the video game are endless. There are games that opt for a narrative approach that prevails over the gameplay, and there are others who prefer that it is the mechanics that carry the weight of the game on their shoulders. There is no vision more accurate or better than the other.
The narrative and the gameplay can go perfectly hand in hand, or can prevail one over the other to a greater or lesser extent. This does not mean that there is a better or more correct option than the other, but there are several options to choose from. To this day, there are studies that opt for more narrative experiences than mechanics, studies that choose to prioritize the gameplay and studies that create a balance between both. And they all bring something new to the industry. It is already a decision of the players whether to opt for the narrative, for the gameplay or for both.