Still, a small part of me agrees with Mr. Bushnell's bold sentiment. You'll cry yourself to sleep tonight when I remind you that last year's best-selling UK title was Zumba Fitness, not the brilliant Super Mario Rehash 5000 or Zelda: Cool Sky Story Bro. Still, breakout titles like Minecraft, Katamari Damacy, and Angry Birds prove that "the hook" of a pure and fun game can outsell a mass-market budgeted copycat production. It's a reminder that classic games weren't just greatly designed. They were first and unique, and our insatiable appetites for something new is what makes us love and remember those oldies.
Classics like Frogger, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders would seed countless sequels and clones. These games were mind-blowing at the time, but more importantly they were first to deliver a unique gameplay experience you couldn't buy anywhere else. Even the best-selling Wii titles of today aren't sequels: they're games that exploit new gameplay mechanics. Today's jaded gamer can choose a thousand titles exploiting the same root game mechanic, and that is kind of sad.
Perhaps the next time I sit down with another game design team whose working another World War II shooter or better-than-Warcraft hopeful, I should just interject: "Stop! It's been done! Where's the beef?"
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