It all started with arcade games
It all started in the arcades and casinos. In the days before online gaming or even console gaming, entertainment was away from home. All new game releases were on big, bulky arcade machines. Fighting games might have simulator boxing gloves, racing games, comfy seats, and a steering wheel. While arcade machines still give an extra dimension to gameplay, it now feels alien to have to leave the house just to be able to play a game.
When the first console games were developed, they were glitchy pixelated versions of what was on offer in the arcade. These days the quality of the graphics would make most people wary of the game’s legitimacy. However, early video game players were just glad to have an interactive screen-based title.
Street Fighter’s Story
Takashi Nishiyama conceived Street Fighter after working on the beat ’em-up game Kung Fu Master. He wanted the game to have a narrative like the Bruce Lee films that had inspired him. Capcom recruited Nishiyama, and two versions of Street Fighter were made for the arcade. There was a regular tabletop game for the Japanese market and an upright version for overseas markets. There were rubberized, pressure-sensitive pads to determine the strength and speed of the attacks. At the time, this was ground-breaking technology. Street Fighter became one of the highest-grossing arcade games of the late 80s. It made it into our homes in 1998 on consoles like the Spectrum ZX and the Commodore 64. Taking control of a young martial arts fighter named Ryu, players flocked to compete in the Street Fighter tournaments.
Tetris was invented slightly earlier than Street Fighter by Alexey Pajitnov in 1985. The aim of the game was to rotate varying size blocks to fit into an uninterrupted horizontal sequence on the screen. The objective was to complete the layers and eliminate the rows. The further the player got, the faster the blocks fell. Tetris also had dedicated arcade machines. However, it broke into the collective consciousness when it rose to stardom thanks to being featured on the Nintendo Gameboy. The simplicity of Tetris made it compelling to play, and it was one of the first games that had a broader appeal than platform scrolling or beat ’em-up titles
Streetfighter has been far from Capcom’s only success. Resident Evil came into being almost a decade later, and things had moved on a good deal in that time. Home consoles were now everywhere, and gaming was widely accepted as a leisure pastime. It is Capcom’s best-ever-selling title, and over 107 million game units have been sold.
It is hard to decide if its phenomenal success was due to the licensing deals or whether the arrangements came about due to the title’s popularity. It is, without a doubt, an unrivaled franchise. One has to assume that Capcom learned a lot from the success of its earlier titles and applied the same formula to Resident Evil. The game spawned a host of other titles. In addition, there have been comic book series and novelizations. Hollywood made an action film series that netted $102 million at the box office, and there have been animated CGI movies, at least one stage play, and an expansive range of merchandise.
Turning gameplay on its head
It is easy to forget how revolutionary these games were. However, it was hard for the people selling them to break out of the niche markets where the games were popular. They were mostly the preserve of teenage boys, and many parents worried that their children would turn into couch potatoes and never leave their rooms again.
Thinking outside the box for the marketing departments
The marketing teams knew they needed to extend the appeal of the games and widen the target audience. They had a multiprong attack which included tying up with big brands to produce third-party promotional activity. In addition, they licensed the game titles to be used in other environments. This is how the casino games came into being.
Many types of gaming
The improving technology behind video game titles and the advent of new gaming consoles meant slot games were also revolutionized. Traditionally, these had also been stand-alone machines found in bars and casinos, but increasingly these games have become available to play online. So it made sense to bring popular gaming titles to the video slots. They were familiar with titles and characters to attract casino players. In addition, a branded game offered players reassurance of the legitimacy of the casino. The fact that an online casino had the rights to a big-name title like Tetris or Street Fight would be a good way for a player to check for trust signals that it was a safe online casino at which to gamble. It proved to be a win-win for the game developers and the casino platforms.
Comfort in familiarity
People who grew up playing in arcades or on early home computers might find the level of sophistication of online games overwhelming. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if something is a live-action film or a game. This is because the standard of animation and CGI in gaming is so good these days. However, there is something reassuringly familiar with a martial arts high kick or a colored block on a casino game screen.