Why Gamers Are Returning To The Classics
Video games are played everywhere and by everybody nowadays. Whether it’s dedicated professionals, casual enthusiasts on the latest gaming consoles or players picking up their smartphone for a few minutes of entertainment on the daily commute, gaming, in some form, has become a staple of modern life. Yet, despite advances in graphics, gameplay and immersion, there has been a rise in players returning to classic consoles to satisfy a thirst for nostalgia.   

Retrogaming Goes Mainstream
Retrogaming, previously a pursuit of video game enthusiasts predominantly, has gone mainstream. In the past, playing old platforms was the privilege of those who had collected or preserved their discontinued technology. Known as vintage retrogaming, it meant you still had to have your SNES, for instance, in working order. But with retrogaming “emulation”, a growing market featuring new platforms like the Sega Mega Drive Flashback, players can purchase a brand new console that’s loaded with classic games presented largely in their original form. It has helped the classics go mainstream.

The craze has influenced developers who are now actively creating games for old consoles. Meanwhile, the internet, according to George Dunford, the director at Ferrous Digital, in his piece “The future is behind you: the new life of retrogaming” is helping to showcase the classic age and preserve its heritage, resulting in old games’ appeal growing. And, as new developers pick up the licenses for discontinued favourites, a new generation is helping develop their reputation in the age of augmented reality and 3D.

Why Retro Games Are Making A Comeback
When games entered our homes in the 1980s and 1990s, kids and adults alike were hooked. Super Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog became pop culture heroes. While nostalgia has a huge part to play in why players are looking backwards instead of forwards, we must remember how well designed and clever older console games were. Of course, there were limitations to the graphics and processing power that, when compared to today’s games, shows a huge gulf in scale and gameplay potential, but designers were able to work within those constrains to capture our imaginations.

A throwback to a bygone era, classic console games have come back onto the market. For those who junked their old NES and Sega Mega Drive consoles, the big names in the industry have put their old platforms back on shop shelves to give us the chance to relive our youth. And people are taking advantage of that.

For those that stuck with their discontinued consoles, picking up old games second hand has proven to be far less expensive than brand new releases for the PS4. Some retrogamers still possess tape-loading devices like the Commodore 64 or the 8-bit home computer Amstrad CPC with its Hitachi’s 3-inch floppy disk drive. While these devices may not offer the excitement of today’s stylish releases, they’re a piece of history that fans love to showcase, especially to fellow enthusiasts and even their children, to show what games were like before they were born.

The popularity of retro games has impacted the market in a number of ways. There’s been a rise in merchandising, for example. Apps like Pokemon Go have taken a modern, mainstream platform and reignited the appeal of Pokemon Cards. Classics have also remained collectable with a new and sealed version of 1987’s Final Fantasy selling on ebay for $4,000 while original, unopened copies of 1997’s GoldenEye and 1999’s Donkey Kong 64 are worth thousands of dollars.

In addition, there are new versions of discontinued platforms such as the Atari Flashback, the Sega Mega Drive Flashback, and the Nintendo Minis, while games like Crash Bandicoot are being remade for new gamers. We’ve also seen retro-style games like Red Tiger’s Arcade Bomb, an online video slot featuring classic fruit symbols on its reels and graphics that recall playing a ZX Spectrum in the 1990s, become hugely popular at online casinos.

It’s Not Just Nostalgia
Remembering what it was like playing video games as children is one of the reasons players love to dust off the old consoles but the simplicity of the gameplay boasted a charm you don’t get with today’s high-definition releases. Despite being straightforward to play, there was a cleverness to these games that still resonates with players. The fact major game developers have supported the enthusiasm for old platforms shows what a huge market it is.