Gaming isn’t for Kids Anymore: Spurring the Remaster Revolution

Gaming isn’t for Kids Anymore

This year, remastered versions of Splinter Cell, Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill 2, Dead Space, Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp, Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and  Lollipop Chainsaw are all expected to sell well due to the popularity of the originals.

There’s a lingering stigma that video games are for children, but one survey has found significant data to run contrary to this. As it turns out, younger demographics in the US and UK are less likely to play long spells each week, even regularly pick up a controller, or turn on a computer to game. Beyond the raw data, another trend in the gaming industry lends to an increase in older people playing remastered releases the most.

New Wave of Adult Gamers

New Wave of Adult Gamers

Through surveys of 1,000 professed gamers in the UK and 1,000 more in the US, ExpressVPN’s research found that Millennials are more dedicated to gaming than Gen Z. This puts the core audience as those in their late 20s to early 40s rather than as many would guess, teenagers to early 20-year-olds.

Millennials are much more likely than gamers of Gen Z to play at night. That is more likely because of other commitments, such as work, but importantly, 59 percent of Millennials also note that they don’t mind doing so even if it disrupts their sleep. Older gamers are also more likely to play late into the night.

A significant difference between the Gen Z and the Millennial generation is that the older group grew up as the home video game industry did, from arcades or even the first home consoles to now. They’ve seen how the industry has developed from 1994’s PlayStation to the still-in-demand PlayStation 5 of 2020.

Gen Z has always had the internet to explore, and because social media is a cost-free form of entertainment, mobile gaming and freemium titles would be the preference. As new consoles cost $500 and new games cost $70 a piece, the premium form of entertainment can appear far too costly for those accustomed to free smartphone entertainment.

Narrowing the Target Audience

Narrowing the Target Audience

As explored in the article, the practice is a win-win for players and studios. Development is lower in cost and less time-consuming, and remastered games continue to sell very well. Crash Bandicoot became the most downloaded game on the PlayStation Store after its remastered release.

All of Halo (2001), Sonic (1991), Resident Evil 2 (1998), Mass Effect (2007), Uncharted (2007), Spyro (1998), The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002), Doom (1993), Crash Team Racing (1999), Tomb Raider (1996), Super Mario 64 (1996), and Super Mario Sunshine (2002) have been remade successfully – both in terms of sales and praise.

In late 2022, Nintendo’s unique approach to its online service by incorporating ports and remakes of classic games was declared a rousing success. The ShackNews report on the announcement relays that, by including NES and Super NES games with its online-enabling subscription, the service now has over 36 million members.

The Nintendo Switch subscription includes Game Boy Advance titles, like Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988) and Metroid Fusion (2002). The F-Zero Maximum Velocity (2001) and Fire Emblem (2003) join the growing ranks of games aimed at hitting the nostalgia factor among Millennial gamers.

As researchers and marketing begin thinking more about gamers, it’s clear that the common misconception of the group being mostly youngpeople needs to change, as it’s those born in the 80s and 90s who command the industry.

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