It’s incredible how the likes of Zelda, Super Mario and Sonic have stood the test of time. The characters are as highly revered as the likes of movie characters and they’ve been passed down generations.

But what’s the secret to their success?

Of course, being great games really helps, to the point that modern gamers are still desperate to play retro games on their own consoles. They follow the correct format that entices players and really allows them to buy into the characters and their story. Additionally, in styling they are unique and memorable. But there’s more than that too.

There are tons of incredible games out there, but only a few have really taken that to the next level, and that’s been done by clever marketing keeping them in the public consciousness. Many games have franchised out beyond the Mega Drive or SNES and really jumped upon their popularity to remain in the spotlight. So, what are the premier ways in which this is being done?

Movies

Video games and movies do go hand-in-hand, but it’s only the very best storylines that make their way onto the silver screen.

By developing movies around video games and their characters, they reach an entirely new audience, from the likes of Tomb Raider and Mortal Kombat to Pokemon and Detective Pikachu, which was released just a few years ago. It did huge favours for the Pokemon brand, reaching a new generation and get people downloading Pokemon Go across the world.

Some have become critically acclaimed, while of course others have really flopped, such as Super Mario Bros, which Bob Hoskins claimed was the worst movie he ever made.

Other movies which have benefitted from movies include Sonic the Hedgehog, Silent Hill and Resident Evil, all of which were a success at the box office.

Other Areas of Gaming

Many retro gaming franchises have also branched out into other areas of gaming, whether that be into the world of the latest consoles or even beyond, such as casino gaming.

Again, it’s an opportunity for them to reach new audiences, with tons of slot machines now based upon retro games. Brands such as bet365 have a wealth of different video game themed slots, with many more inspired by particular games such as Tomb Raider and Street Fighter.

The beauty of them too, is that you’ll find top brands have plenty of promotions to entice people into such games too, with bet365 bet credits or enhanced payments particular draws for customers.

What is then being found is that people are playing such slots and it’s providing an entry into the retro games, movies and other areas of franchising, boosting their audience, reputation and keeping them in the consciousness for the next generation.

Merchandise

Then there’s the biggie, merchandising. All over the world you’ll find items of clothing with Sonic or Pikachu plastered on it, while in more recent times the likes of Fortnite have really thrived from the merchandise on offer.

Super Mario has been one of the biggest sellers of merchandise and in many cases they accompany the games. The Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit has been released ahead of this Christmas which brings the popular character live to your living room on a scalextric style track, in which is controlled by your Nintendo device. Not only is it keeping retro gaming alive, it’s also taking it into the future, and that’s the ability this type of merchandise has.

Of course, there’s plenty of other successes too. Pokemon cards really drove the Pokemon games forward, with cards bought at a local newsagent being the entry level to leading people into buying the games and investing in further merchandise such as figurines, cuddly toys and clothing. And then of course, the movie!

Pokemon is perhaps the best example of merchandising really driving a game forward and 14 years after its first game release is still going strong.

Old School Gamer (568 Posts)

This is the general editors account for Old School Gamer Magazine. Press releases and other general information sent to Old School Gamer are often posted here.