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Like many other forms of entertainment, games are an ever changing thing. It’s not just the technology either: the types of games we’re playing change on a generation by generation or even year by year basis. This means that, inevitably, we end up leaving certain types of games behind.
Sometimes game genres go away thanks to technology: text adventures making way for graphic adventures, for example. We’re not going to look at those types here. Instead, we’re going to look at game genres that are gone because they’ve dropped off in popularity.
1. Real-Time Strategy
Unless your name is Starcraft, you probably haven’t had a good time for the last decade or two as a real-time strategy game. While they still exist for the hardcore strategy market, the period when real-time strategy games fought for shelf space with other popular games are long gone.
2. Space Sim
Virtual reality has given somewhat of a second wind to space sims, but they’re still nowhere as popular as they used to be. Perhaps it’s because people threw out their flight-sim sticks and don’t care to buy new ones, but space sims like the Colony Warsseries even used to come out for consoles. You’ll find space shooters a plenty, but almost none with sim elements.
3. Point-and-Click Adventure
Point-and-click style adventure games had a resurgence somewhat recently, with games like Double Fine’s Broken Age and others selling well. This must have been an anomaly, as these games seemed to come and go, with more interactive adventure games like those by Telltale games filling the gap.
4. Arcade Racing
Racing games featuring cars seem to have split into two very distinct camps. On one side, you have open world racers like the Forza Horizon series and recent Need For Speed games. On the other, you have sim racers like the standard Forza series and the Gran Turismo games. It seems that more arcade style racing games like the Burnout or Project Gotham Racing games have all but disappeared.
5. Third-Party Mascot Platformer
Remember Glover? “You’ve gotta love the glove!” No? Well, even if you don’t, you probably remember one of the seemingly endless third-party platformer games that existed during the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 2 eras. Croc, Rascal, Gex, Ty The Tasmanian Tiger, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg. I could go on, but games like these are practically gone compared to the late ’90s and early 2000s.
6. Big-Budget MMORPG
MMORPGs are similar to the once-popular term “RPG elements.” Elements of these games have been picked apart and included in many other games, meaning the special nature they once had doesn’t seem so special anymore. It’s possible we’ll see another hit MMORPG at some point in the future, but right now that doesn’t seem especially likely.
7. Plastic Instrument Rhythm Games
When was the last time you held a plastic guitar? If you’re like most people, it probably wasn’t within the last few years. For a while, the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises sold like hotcakes, but sometime between the tail end of the last generation of consoles and the beginning of this one, they started to disappear and they haven’t been seen or heard from since.
What Genres Will Fall Off in the Future?
All of the above game genres are still around, just nowhere near as popular as they used to be. This doesn’t just apply to the past, either. As unthinkable as it may seem, genres that are incredibly popular now probably won’t stick around forever.
What genres aren’t going to stick around? It’s impossible to say with any sort of certainty, but if I had to guess, I’d say Battle Royales. Yes, battle royale games are super popular right now, but the sheer oversaturation will probably see plenty of people becoming sick of them after a few years.