Quick Gaming Takeaways from the Last Decade - Part 1Dec 28, 2019 | 1 Votes
It’s an understatement to say that the past decade in gaming was a huge one. It brought about huge unforeseen surprises and trends that revolutionized and changed the way we all play, regardless of our preferred platform. For starters, we’ve enjoyed games with movie-like visuals and presentation while playing co-op and PvP games with our friends anytime, anywhere.
We have a lot to look forward to. At the same time though, we won’t run out of things to look back on. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some of the key takeaways in gaming in the last decade:
The 8th (and 9th) console generation
The concept of console generations is an iffy and complicated issue. The Nintendo Wii U, released in 2012, ushered in the 8th gaming generation. In the succeeding year, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released by Sony. Meanwhile, we stepped into the 9th-generation with the entry of the Nintendo Switch in 2018. The next PlayStation and Xbox will make its way into our homes and hands in 2020.
Numbers and technicalities aside, this generation brought in hundreds of new games and thousands of memorable experiences not only in the games themselves. We’ve gone through numerous controversies like the rocky release of Xbox One and major improvements like crossplay. With all that has happened in the past decade, hard to come into terms that the current generation is coming to close.
Mobile gaming revolution
Though we’ve all enjoyed Snake and Space Impact on our Nokia N3310s in 2000, mobile gaming didn’t take off until 2010 and beyond. Instead of pixel-based and blocky titles akin to the era of the Atari, we’re now enjoying full-blown MOBAs and MMORPGs that would put 2000-2010 PC games to shame. The rise of mobile gaming also meant that people who wouldn’t consider themselves full-blown gamers will have access to the mobile app stores’ massive gaming library.
Impact and convenience of portable gaming
Portable gaming is also one of the highlights of the decade. The biggest game that took advantage of this is arguably Pokemon Go, a game where you catch Pokemon in your neighborhood using your phone’s GPS. Moreover, with the improvements in mobile internet technology, you can also play with your friends in MOBA games and other shared experiences.
More importantly, console gaming on the go was also a huge deal. The PlayStation Vita was an outstanding handheld, considering that it had remote play (which lets you stream and play games from PS3 and PS4) and a massive library of JRPGs. Though a hybrid, the Nintendo Switch is played more via handheld than in docked mode.
Better cinematic experiences and voice acting
Voice acting in games in the late 90s and early 2000s were arguably subpar. Sure, there were great performances (David Hayter as Snake and Paul Mercier as Leon Kennedy in RE4) but at the time, voice acting in games was at its infancy. The last decade saw the rise of better cinematic experiences and voice acting with the actor actors delivering award-winning performances.
It’s important to note that most of the actors’ voices we hear in big-budget games today have also worked on dubbing Japanese anime, western animated movies and shows, and even live-action films and TV series. For example, actors like Troy Baker, Laura Bailey, Ashley Burch, and Matthew Mercer are almost in every major triple-A game and all of them had anime roles in the past. Even actors like Norman Reedus (Death Stranding) and Kiefer Sutherland (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain) dove into the fray.
Apart from voices, motion capture technology improved along with graphics. In turn, this brought about nearly-realistic facial expressions and animations in games, as well as movie-like experiences. God of War (2018) and The Last of Us are prime examples, as well as in GTA V.
Games as a service and microtransactions
Among the biggest trends in gaming in 2019 is the “games as a service” (GAAS) model through microtransactions. In a nutshell, GAAS focuses on monetizing games after their initial release. This has been prevalent in freemium mobile games that encourage you to purchase energy and boosters to hasten building queues, as well as character skins and other cosmetics
This model also made its way in console games with varying results and reception. Ubisoft monetized games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. Though the implementation on the former was fantastic with DLC and cosmetics items, the one on the latter was awful. The most successful GAAS models were implemented by Epic Games in Fortnite and Respawn Entertainment in Apex Legends. You could place NBA 2K and FIFA in the mix, also their practices are more profit-based than actually delivering a great experience to their players.
So, what do you think are some of the biggest gaming trends and key takeaways in the last decade? Don’t worry, we’ll be discussing more in the next part, like the rise of VR and indie game development, as well as esports and streaming.