Friday, June 19, 2015

When the old becomes new: Are we running out of ideas?

A look at the endless sequels of classic games
These days it seems that the old is becoming new all over. Take movies for example. Who doesn't remember Jurassic Park? Well now we have Jurassic World. Miss Batman? Now we have a new one coming with Ben Affleck. How about Spider Man? I've lost count of the movies that have come out in the last few years. Let's not get started with X-Men. A similar thing is happening with video games. The mascots and icons of the 90's and 80's still keep coming back for more. Zelda, Mario,Star Fox, and others are having sequels coming for the new Nintendo platform: The Wii U. Let's take a look at a couple of examples.

Starfox Zero brings back the pilot that gave us great flying adventures on the Super Nintendo days

Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze keeps the famous gorilla platforming up the ying-yang

Mario Kart 8 makes sure that the endeared Italian plummer continues to go 0 to 80 in seconds without getting a speeding ticket

So why is it that we don't have much, if any, new memorable and widely known mascots and icons in video games popping up as they did back in the 80's and 90's? I would say the reason is that the kids who grew up with those characters are now grown up, and the industry wants to appeal to those millennials who now have entered the work force relatively recently (and thus have money in their pockets to spend on video games). Of course they are still appealing to kids, but it's just a lucky coincidence that those kids are also enchanted by the very same characters that their older relatives grew up with. With that environment there just isn't much of a need to invent new characters when the old ones recycle flawlessly. It is easy to say that there is a lack of creativity within the industry, or in the world in general. It is easy to say that we just don't have so much imagination as we used to due to our over reliance on technology. I would rather see the phenomenon in terms of economics, and hence, my opinion stands. With that in mind, I invite you to share your own thoughts on this subject. Why is it that there are so many sequels of classic icons? Share your thoughts in the comment section.