It’s amazing how out of touch “big” companies can be these days with what they believe consumers like us want. The proof is in the pudding as they say.
Take a look at two recent Kickstarters which are bringing back classic style games and have found stunning success on the first day of the campaign. They’ve been so overwhelmingly successful that the teams are actually running out of stretch goals to add. Better yet? Both campaigns call upon genres that have since been “abandoned” by the bigger companies due to the mindset that consumers don’t want those types of experiences anymore. Apparently, that sort of thinking is dead wrong.
When paired with Nintendo, Rare was pumping out hits left and right. With franchises like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64 leading the way for 3-D platformers back in the day, the genre has fallen on hard times as of late. A handful of former developers at Rare have formed a new studio known as Playtonic Games. Their big plan? Single handedly revive the entire 3-D platformer genre with their new game, Yooka-Laylee, which harkens back to the old Banjo days. After launching their Kickstarter on May 1, the company has seen unparalleled success and financial windfall from a very strong force of people who want to see this genre revived. It’s pretty clear that people are excited to see what this new studio can do. It’s off to a fantastic start.
For more on this game: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playtonic/yooka-laylee-a-3d-platformer-rare-vival
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Koji Igarashi, better known as the father of the Metroidvania style game during his time working on all of those classic Castlevania games at Konami, recently took to Kickstarter to raise funds for a new game he has been working on since leaving Konami. In his video, he explains that he was told this style of game wouldn’t work and that no one cared about this genre anymore. With his Kickstarter blowing past it’s half a million dollar goal in less than a day after going live, I think fans have proven that theory to be incorrect. Currently, Iga’s team is having trouble keeping up with the demand as stretch goal, after stretch goal have been defeated one by one. With a healthy amount of time left on the Kickstarter, it’ll be interesting to see where the madness ends.
For more on this game: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iga/bloodstained-ritual-of-the-night?ref=nav_search
To be fair, the two examples above come from talented and experienced game designers who already have a well documented legacy in the industry. Still, I can’t help but feel that isn’t the reason why these Kickstarters have flown past all expectations. Based on the numbers alone, there’s a hunger and a craving for these types of games. With the success these two campaigns have had, hopefully the big boys will finally get in tune with what fans want rather than dismissing certain games entirely.