Like many other forms of entertainment, video games are an ever-changing thing. The landscape is constantly evolving.
Sometimes video game genres disappear thanks to technology—text adventures making way for graphic adventures, for example. More frequently, video game genres disappear because tastes change from year to year, generation to generation.
This means that, inevitably, we end up leaving certain types of video games behind. Here are some once-popular video game genres that dropped off for one reason or another.
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 Wars series 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… sadly.
5. Third-Party Mascot Platformer
Remember Glover? “You’ve gotta love the glove!”
No? Well, even if you don’t, you probably remember the endless third-party platformer games from 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.
Which Genres Will Fall in the Future?
All of the above video game genres are still around, just nowhere near as popular as they used to be. And as unthinkable as it may seem, video game genres that are incredibly popular now probably won’t stick around forever.
Which of today’s video game genres are going to fade first? It’s impossible to say with any certainty, but if I had to guess… I’d say Battle Royales. The sheer oversaturation will probably see plenty of people becoming sick of them in a few years.