Longevity vs Quick fame
Every game has a relatively vague longevity. Games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends have built solidified their esports empires – and their vast time frames in gamers memories are a huge defining factor. Other games, such as FIFA and Call of Duty, also have success in the esports industry, though their individual games have a much shorter lifespan in comparison, due to their yearly release schedule.
When talking about a games life, we need to first establish what we mean. Sure, a game like Planetside 2 has been around for quite some time now, but the player base has lost almost all new players and relies on a fraction of the players than it once did. This is why their lifespan is, as mentioned before, ‘vague’. Popular games never truly die out until their servers are shut down and no one can play them. You’ll often find online games from ten years ago with a few people still milling about in the lobbies.
So what makes a game work for a long time audience? Their initial price plays a big part – If a game is too expensive, like a certain post apocalyptic themed game in the news currently, their player base may dwindle from the launch of the game, which is obviously never a good sign. Alternatively, free to play games come with their own stigma – with too many players who can drop in without committing to a fee means there will inevitably be under experienced players who have no drive to learn the mechanics of the game and will likely have more cheaters, as they would have to buy the game every time they got banned.
With the new wave of Battle Royale style games, this isn’t so much of a problem, as you won’t get teamed with players who don’t bother to learn the game. Fortnite and Ring of Elysium are both great examples of free to play games getting popular, fast. With no pay to win functions, the companies still make money from people wanting to support the game through cosmetic items.
Clearly, a game with a good lifespan relies on a few factors, all altering the perception in the public eye. Fun game play will only take you so far – in the over saturated world of video games, it either needs to stand out or be something people hold special to their hearts.