06.08.12

Why the death of the Hollywood Western augurs the end of modern shooters.

At Brainy Gamer, Michael Abbott turns to film to predict what the spate of samey shooters means for modern games. He looks to the demise of Westerns despite their widespread popularity in the 50s:

Westerns began to disappear in the late 1960s for reasons relevant to modern game developers: 1) Genre fatigue and homologous products; 2) High cost of production; 3) Public outcry over violence; 4) Narrow target audience.

Each of these factors apply to contemporary shooter games, but the most threatening is the mind-numbing sameness of these games. We’ve reached a saturation point where the dismissive cliché has become a valid claim: they all look the same. When a genre sustains itself by promoting minor tweaks as revolutionary features - and its hardcore fans claim ownership that typically resists change - death looms.