Retro Gaming Strikes Back

Retro Gaming Strikes Back

Mortal Kombat, Contra, Frogger, Metroid, NBA Jam… stop us if any of these titles seem familiar. Amusingly enough, the aforementioned classic video game franchises, while fond reminders of millions’ misspent youth, are also among the hottest new gaming debuts of 2010 and 2011. Credit a resurgence in retro gaming, the practice of dusting off old games and bringing them kicking and screaming into the harsh light of today. But why the sudden rise in support amongst game developers and publishers alike – and on platforms ranging from PC and PS3 to Wii, Xbox 360, iPhone/iPad and Facebook at that? Easy – there’s millions to be made in the business of nostalgia, as we pointed out while taking a deeper look at the current meteoric upswing in interest surrounding the topic in one of our latest columns for CNN.

Per the article, retro video game remakes offer massive appeal to game creators for many reasons, including the fact that they’re generally cheaper to make, faster to build and simpler to generate media attention for since they already have a built-in fan following. Digital game download services (enjoying an upswing in support courtesy of boosts in high-speed broadband connections and growing levels of public awareness) are further enabling publishers to release such outings to shoppers at a much lower cost and brisk pace through dedicated online distribution platforms. As a result, players hungry to revisit the classic characters and series of their youth get to take a brisk waltz down memory lane – many times without even having to get off the couch. As an added bonus, those increasingly turning to services such as WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network looking for a way to stretch every dollar further also often get massive price breaks on these offerings. Case in point: Games like Monkey Island 2: Special Edition or the recent Rocket Knight remake.

Given how profitable a side business that games publishers can find by dusting off old franchises from their back catalog, it’s no wonder that just a few of the offerings due for an extreme makeover shortly include noteworthy names like Castlevania, Bionic Commando, NBA Jam, GoldenEye 007 and Donkey Kong Country. Don’t forget either: From Pac-Man to Space Invaders, Final Fantasy to Tetris, all have long managed to stay on the public radar courtesy of emulators and remakes for handheld platforms and mobile phones. But now, suddenly, with digital game downloads on the rise and the cost of making traditional retail blockbusters skyrocketing, it makes more sense than ever for fans and software publishers alike to experiment with retro revamps. Skim through the article below, and you’ll get a sense of why – at least in the realm of interactive entertainment – everything old is truly new again.

Remakes Offer Classic Games New Life – CNN.com

About Scott Steinberg
Scott Steinberg is CEO of strategic consulting and product testing firm TechSavvy Global, and a noted keynote speaker and business expert. Hailed as a top tech expert and parenting guru by critics from USA Today to NPR, he’s also an on-air analyst for ABC, CBS and CNN.

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