Hot Take: Relaxing games will be the next big thing in the gaming world

In the "Hot Pick" content series, we are going to write a series from the language of Yahtzee Croshaw, one of the most knowledgeable and experienced critics and satirists in the game field. Let's take a controversial view of the current state of the game industry and see if there is a problem in the game industry, where its roots go back to. Stay tuned.

BingMag.com Hot Take: Relaxing games will be the next big thing in the gaming world

In the "Hot Pick" content series, we are going to write a series from the language of Yahtzee Croshaw, one of the most knowledgeable and experienced critics and satirists in the game field. Let's take a controversial view of the current state of the game industry and see if there is a problem in the game industry, where its roots go back to. Stay tuned.

In an industry as competitive as AAA, everyone is always looking for the next big thing. I think we are at the moment of entering the next big phenomenon. I'm ready to say that Dark Souls' era of dominance is coming to an end. Personally, I am tired of this style of games. I tried out Thymesia last week and it mostly underwhelmed me. I'm ready for a big change in popular game design to happen in the game industry. The only thing left is for this transformation to actually happen.

From time to time, people ask me what will be the next big phenomenon in the gaming world, and I usually answer above my standard, like a crazy person. I bet: If anyone could predict the next big thing, we'd all be billionaires. But you know what? If a person spends most of his working life as a game journalist and stores a lot of useless information about the game in his mind and is unable to use this experience and information to make an informed guess from time to time, he will be in a lot of pain. So let's think about this question. There's a fairly surefire way to spot the next big thing in mainstream gaming, and that's by looking at what titles have gained popularity in the indie space. Whenever the world of first-rate games needs a few good ideas to steal, it can always count on the indie game market.

Recently, there is a particular game style in the field of indie games that is becoming more and more popular. , a style that I like to call a relaxing game (Cozy Game). The relaxing game has a calm and low-risk narrative, its gameplay depends more on collecting items and completing tasks than skill-based challenges, and its overall tone is friendly and warm. Its graphic style is often cartoonish and pleasant, reminiscent of cheap Cartoon Network serial animations. For example, I recently played Bear and Breakfast, which is a perfect amalgamation of all the clichs of relaxing games. Other examples of games of this style include Powerwash Simulator, Unpacking, Dinkum, My Time at Portia, Spiritfarer, Haven and Stardew Valley.

BingMag.com Hot Take: Relaxing games will be the next big thing in the gaming world

BingMag.com Hot Take: Relaxing games will be the next big thing in the gaming world

I can point to a few other games that borrow elements from relaxing games, but they are not pure examples. Hardspace Shipbreaker has a relaxing sorting-based gameplay, but the plot and story arcs are tense. Citizen Sleeper has clean character design and calm tone, but its plot is dark. The Witness recently reminded of the existence of this game by The Looker, a slightly late release parody has a relaxing vibe, but challenging puzzle-driven gameplay. Now we come to Stray.

BingMag.com Hot Take: Relaxing games will be the next big thing in the gaming world

Stray is a game that is more or less dedicated to the field of first level game development. And it made a lot of noise, because in it you play the role of a funny pish. I know what you want to say. This game is hardly considered "relaxing". Yatzi the Tramp is a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk adventure game full of exciting moments and crazy chases. Yes, but here's the thing, dear audience: when people are talking about a game, they don't call it a "cyberpunk action-adventure game" or a "thriller game". People call it "the game where you can play as a cat". A game where cats are the stars. The game's cyberpunk setting or "press the right button in the right place" gameplay wasn't the game's rather bland focus that made the series turn heads. The reason why the game is so popular is that you play as a cute cat and people like to curl up and sleep in the role of this cat.

BingMag.com Hot Take: Relaxing games will be the next big thing in the gaming world

Relaxing games are not a new phenomenon. Minecraft has relaxing features and has been a huge phenomenon for years. Harvest Moon and The Sims are among the old (or old school) examples. If you are looking for a very old example, you can refer to Little Computer People. But personally, I feel that in the world of independent games, I have seen the release of a huge number of We are games of this style. In the past, these games were known as titles for non-professional gamers, little boys and girls, but apparently these prejudices have largely disappeared.

BingMag.com Hot Take: Relaxing games will be the next big thing in the gaming world

It's easy to theorize about why relaxing games are growing in popularity. I don't think it's a controversial statement to say that we live in turbulent times. Many people are pessimistic about the future and feel powerless to change the situation. I apologize in advance for my attempt at amateurish and speculative psychology, but when people are dealing with such feelings, they turn to video games to reduce their effect, and in such situations, they are looking for two things: 1. Power Fantasy (Power Fantasy). The number of games that provide power fantasy is endless; Perhaps this is another reason for the increasing popularity of Boomer Shooter games - shooters inspired by 90s shooters. 2. Escapism: People want to escape from a painful reality through something that reassures them that everything will be okay and things will get better. Sometimes it's a game that tells you to stop reading the news headlines with a panicked look and water the damn flowers. Which direction is the wind blowing? Perhaps we are entering the era of relaxing games. But this information is completely useless to you, isn't it? Because the first-rate gaming industry can't be relaxing and it's its own fault. The industry itself has determined this system to make top-notch games. This industry itself insists that its games must have amazing scenes, flashy action, mind-blowing graphics, and a budget of several hundred million dollars with cheesy trailers to hypnotize all the nerds in the audience. All these elements are incompatible with relaxing games. Multi-hundred million dollar games cannot be quiet and refined. Five hundred people crunching to death are in no position to make a game that relieves stress. After all, when you're going to spend that much money on a game, what else can you spend it on but flashy action scenes? A hyper-realistic design of steam coming out of a mug of hot chocolate? That's not going to convince anyone to buy a Geforce RTX 3080 graphics card.

If the next big phenomenon in the gaming industry is going to be relaxing games, and top-tier gaming studios can't take a bite out of this table. - Because they have grown so much that they can't do anything else except to build the same combat environments - I'm the one who gets cold. It's like watching a fat, grumpy person who can't get out of his bean bag chair while his dog steals his meatball sandwich. But independent game developers, take care; The rich bastards will find a way sooner or later. Their efforts have already started. Disney is soon to release a game called Disney Dreamlight Valley, which is basically a relaxing life simulator with some copyrighted characters injected into it. This game doesn't seem to be interesting to anyone except those creepy people who still want to go to Disneyland alone after the age of fourteen, but the release of this game is a sign that the super-corporate vultures are flying in the air. Better release your unicorn fishing pixel game as soon as possible.

BingMag.com Hot Take: Relaxing games will be the next big thing in the gaming world

You know I remember this What does it throw? The way video games are depicted in movies and series. For a long time, whenever someone in a movie was playing a video game, they would hold the controller in front of their face and the 8-bit beeps and boops would be heard from the TV. This tradition continued even into the age of modern games. But then video games became wildly popular and movies wanted to be part of the cool kid group, so if anyone is playing a game these days, it's usually something along the lines of Gears of War. I'd like to imagine a head-scratching producer walking into a youth club with his new movie and saying, "Finally, we're showing video games for what they are!" But suddenly the young people turn their backs and then we see them all playing "pet your pony". I like to imagine this scenario. Then I would like to imagine this producer in a state where he takes his hat off his head like old cartoon characters and kicks it under his feet and curses the earth and time.

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