By Rob Fleischer
As a parent who works in the games industry, it’s always fascinating to see which games my kids gravitate towards. In the industry we’re always looking at the wealth of upcoming games, but there are millions of kids (and adults) playing games they bought ages ago. After watching my kids get obsessed with certain newer games over the last few years like Marvel’s Spider-Man or the latest Madden or MLB The Show, I can still always count on them going back to their favorites. In our house it’s Rocket League, Rock Band, Clash of Clans, and Animal Crossing.
From a work perspective it is always exciting to be on the forefront of new and exciting projects, and so many new games have unique hooks and mechanics that have never been seen before. At the end of the day these titles will find their audiences and (hopefully) people will love them! I love finding time to enjoy new games with the family, and when a newly hyped game comes along (like Fall Guys last year), it’s always fun to join the craze.
But it still continues to amaze me when the 4 and 5 year-old games stay hot. It’s not just my kids either, it’s also their buddies. That’s what keeps them going; their groups socialize over games. And with everything they’ve had to endure this past year, it’s been more important than ever for them to have an outlet where they can stay and play with their friends while staying safe.
I continue to wonder ‘how’ and ‘why’ these particular games stay so popular? While there are tons of factors, there’s one simple and obvious one – kids are all having fun playing together. So any game that sticks needs to be accessible, easy enough to pick up and play, and ideally available on multiple systems with crossplay and lots of customization options. At this point I think my son’s spent more time in Fortnite Creative and the Rocket League garage than he has doing homework and studying…much more time. And I’m ok with that! I am thankful for the developers and publishers finding a business model that works for their games and keeps them accessible for the masses.
I think we can all agree that it’s a great time to be a kid!
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