For some good years already we’ve witnessed the maturity stage of the computer entertainment industry. Since the mid-80s, when most of us touched microcomputers for the first time; since the times when we used to plug Sinclair, Atari and Commodore home computers into family TVs at homes,since arcade visits – since the very early electronic happiness that has fully captured our minds– 30 years have passed. Lots of things happened just in front of our eyes: powerful development studios were created, industry growth to a size of $70 billion,and the scope of today’s AAA projects is similar to the budgets of some solid movie productions. The gaming industry entered its adulthood, reached a sophisticated level of consistency and took a confident place in today’s world of entertainment. The second generation of players,often our own descendants,are just starting their own video game adventures and only us, a group of 8-bit nostalgia – powered retro-maniacs, feel a bit weird as the kids nowadays don’t even know what a joystick is, how to handle it and why it is being used at all.
Video games, just like movies,music and literature years ago, became derivative. New products change form, but concepts, ideas, features and solutions in most cases remain the same. The large budgets of most impressive projects don’t support high risk; hence proven ideas tend to be refreshed on tens of different ways by mastering imitation and repetition to perfection. Games we play nowadays are beautiful and remarkably refined, but the solutions used in all these strategies, adventures and other role–playing games have been well known for years. There are more and more AAA products that are released on various additional platforms, and everything creative tends to happen a little on the side: in the flats of independent developers and mobile platforms studios. And when all ideas are finally burned, then people move towards products’ remastering. I do not judge whether remastering is desirable.I personally feel it’s a bit like the Cinemaware case – IP already belongs to someone else, there is a clear lack of new solutions,there is a high pressure towards the income, but these are still the same gaming titles we all used to play in the past! It’s still the same Great War I mood of Wings, it’s still the wonderfully crafted medieval world of Defender of the Crown. So why should we complain if our eyes can enjoy childhood-driven pixel themes and ears can rejoice tunes of the most beautiful chip music? It’s all that it now runs on the pocket-size mobile devices and not on the huge CRT TV sets. Well, these days, you have to move forward.
Remastering is a process that cannot be stopped. We just have to adapt and take every thing best from it. We believe it’s an important part of our retro – scene nowadays and we’re heavily focusing on it in #2 of our magazine.
Editorial published in K&A plus, #1.