The Gaming Industry Needs To Be Less Reliant on Nostalgia and Remakes

With more and more games getting the remake treatment, do developers with unique ideas need to be given more of a chance?

By JakeJeremy, Posted 26 May 2020

Just to clarify before I begin, I enjoy remakes, remasters and nostalgia in gaming. When the Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy was released I grabbed a copy and gleefully returned to N Sanity Beach where I spent (a lot) of time as a kid on my PlayStation 1 in the late nineties.

It almost seems unfair to take a shot at Final Fantasy 7, but right now it is the top dog in the gaming world and one of the main reasons for this editorial. Again, for clarity? I am a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series and adored FF7, both on my aforementioned PlayStation 1 and the new beautiful Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake, PS4, Nostalgia, RPG, Reliant

The real issue that we face is one of a lack of innovation. Of course Final Fantasy 7 is a game steeped in a wonderful lore and has legions of fans clamouring for the opportunity to re-enter that universe, which they now can. BUT, at what point do we need to move one from the nostalgic approach to gaming development and start trusting developers to innovate again?

Take the PS1 that I mentioned before. When the console was first introduced it brought with it 32 bits of graphical brilliance (hey, it WAS brilliant back then) and the ability to save your progress on a memory card. Yes, a memory card! No longer were gamers confined to entering passcodes or (shock horror) leaving the Megadrive on all day while you went out to work or school. 

This new hardware gave developers the opportunity to go beyond the limitations that the previous generation of consoles (the Super Nintendo and Sega Megadrive/Genesis) imposed and truly innovate into a new 3D world.

But the main aspect of the console? It was an entirely new, unproven platform and it needed to create fresh new stars to appeal to a brand new audience. Nintendo had the well established Mario franchise to lean on and as such Super Mario 64 was a mega hit on their Nintendo 64 console...but what if the innovative minds behind the likes of Tomb Raider, Crash Bandicoot, Silent Hill, Resident Evil et al weren't looking forward? What if they were looking backwards for their inspiration?

Gaming in 2020 is a very different beast than it was in the mid to late nineties. The audience for gaming is now far more broad and has a much bigger reach in terms of demographic. The large majority of gamers from that time still have an affinity for the SNES, Megadrive and PS1 and that is why these consoles have been re-created with HDMI output over the past few years.

Maybe the gap in console development is closing? Compare the difference between a SNES and PS1 to that of a PS3 and PS4, they're lightyears different.

The real driving force behind these remakes and nostalgia-thons is of course profit. Final Fantasy 7  Remake has drawn huge critical acclaim and is a massive commercial success to boot, but if games developers continue to look backwards and the market continues to demand more gaming really going to move forward as quickly as it once did? 

At what point do publishers need to start taking more chances and developing new IPs to capture a new audience? Hopefully they do at some point in the near future, otherwise the games industry is at risk of stagnating.

Jake Skudder, Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Square Enix
Genres: RPG
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2020-04-10

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