The much-hyped launches of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have finally arrived, with most pre-orders being fulfilled by now. For weeks, headlines were awash with the news that the consoles had sold out multiple times over, ushering in a new age of top-class gaming. While the PS5 has very much taken a step forward with a new system and new games, and the XSX is the same experience as the Xbox One, both were very proud to announce their backwards compatibility. People want to be able to play their old games and older games in general, even when there are new games on the horizon. In previous launches of new console generations, it has been all about the next step forward, but especially this year, a love of older, trusted titles has become apparent. Across all long-standing platforms, old games still dominate, proving that great entertainment never gets old, and can even be adapted to the modern scene.
Classic PC titles see an uptick, with eSports still ruled by the old
This year, gaming has greatly increased in popularity – and not because of the PS5 and XSX campaign trails. Many people who are completely new to the scene probably jumped on the newer products, but older players who are returning after some time away invariably turned to the classics. This movement has been exemplified in the data found by G2A, which reports an 851 percent increase in searches for the 1990s-00s classics in the online marketplaces. Among the big beneficiaries here were Age of Empires 2 and Worms Armageddon.
It’s not just in casual PC gaming, either. One of the branches of the gaming industry that continues to be looked at with more and more interest from major investors is that of eSports. The competitive gaming scene has developed into an absolute behemoth of entertainment now, and yet, the title that most people follow, watch, and play is what you’d now deem to be old games.
Released in 2009, the multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends is still the king of the ring. It has the most well-established eSports scene and the most devout audience. Most impressively, this old franchise is using its eSports popularity as a vehicle to expand, with the new console-based game Ruined King set to expand the universe next year. Alongside LoL, there’s also the 2013-released Dota 2, and 2012’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which are as well-played as they are watched.
Kicking it back to the old reliable scene of browser gaming
For community-driven, accessible gaming, browser play is still one of the most popular platforms in the industry. While the number of browser gaming platforms has dwindled, somewhat, those that built classic appeal continue to boast solid user numbers. The prime example of this is RuneScape. The almighty MMORPG has seen its player base tick up bump by bump since November 2018, despite its original 2001 launch, showing a mid-November daily peak of over 175,000 total players this year.
Browser gaming sites have an affinity for offering the classics, which is quite possibly down to the capacity of the platform itself. Classic or retro games tend to provide fun through their simple gameplay and easy controls, which is why the most storied casino games have become popular online.
As described by the Asiabet breakdown of online baccarat in India, the online card game is easy to play, thrilling, and has a super-low house edge. As such, it’s as accessible as we’ve come to expect from games that are playable via browsers. People who want simple, classic gaming can quickly and conveniently find it through online browsers. The site operators recognise that this is the expectation of the players, so they keep their games simple in their mechanics, offering easy-accessed fun. Furthermore, this site guides the rules and strategies of the game for new players. The game even offers live dealer variants for those who want a more immersive experience.
Keeping the origins of eSports alive and well
Although it would take decades for the term to be coined, eSports originated in the arcade halls, with people queuing up around the corner to battle for high scores on Space Invaders, and against each other on Street Fighter II. The arcades were once the pinnacle of gaming, but convenient home gaming took over around the turn of the Millennium.
With the console, PC, and browser game developers running away with new gaming innovations, it’s not difficult to pinpoint why arcade gaming faded. However, determined not to allow the classic, industry-changing titles get lost to time, Hamster is on a mission to bring them to modern gamers. Available on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and the Nintendo Switch, the Arcade Archives line spans nearly 200 titles that have been tweaked to deliver the arcade experience on modern consoles. Given the number of games they’ve released, and the favourably low prices, it stands to reason that the ports continue to sell well.
Across the storied platforms of gaming, classic titles and older releases continue to draw in players from around the world, despite it being such a big year for new hardware.