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Four years have passed since the start of the current generation of consoles and with time the predictions made by industry analysts, journalists and experts based on old obsolete beliefs have been disproved time and time again. The DS and Wii are still alive and kicking, DLC turned out to be a success, the PS3 has yet to fully take off, core games have not been killed or displaced by casual games and digital sales on consoles are a triumph ... on small indie-like games at least.
It’s this very last point that is the most interesting out of all the changes the industry has seen in this gen, the success of the little guy that without bloated budgets or hundreds of people still manage to offer games that overshadow their high cost counterparts.
Their victory is not the result of a demonic pact or passing fad, it’s something that has been prevalent on every critically and commercially successful game (with some exceptions) in history: passion, dedication, the through exploitation of a single brilliant idea, quality and proper execution, which ironically, is something that save for a few big studios seems to have been gradually lost in favor of shinier coats of graphics paint. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that big budget games have traded style for substance. What I’m saying is that the true big budget victors have the aforementioned qualities present at their core along with their cool looks, I’m talking about those games that didn’t conform to the norm, that took a step further out of conventions and that are rightfully deserving of success because of that.
So what was different this time around? Yes, “casual” games and shovelware but that’s not a valid answer for cores. Virtual Console and Wiiware is the answer. The "Davids" that without much resources but burning with creativity and passion could hold the cores attention between the few successful (and quite a bunch of failed) "Goliaths", like World of Goo, Nyx Quest, Mega Man 9, Lost Winds, Swords & Soldiers and the plethora of old classics periodically released in small amounts in the VC that appealed to nostalgia in the hardcore audience.
This promoted blog was written for our April Monthly Musing assignment, "E For Effort." You too could get promoted if you write something about games you hate but respect over on the Community Blogs.
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