What Does “Mainstream” Mean?

Hardcore Gamer: Quantic Dreams announced that their game Beyond: Two Souls cleared 1,000,000 in sales in 2013. That’s pretty good for something that got such tepid reviews, but it’s also a game clearly designed for the mainstream public. Pretty 3D with all the graphic flourishes, big-name actors, retail presence, a good marketing push, and all the other bells and whistles that go with a AAA release pushed Beyond: Two Souls to respectable sales.

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kingdip901560d ago

Mainstream means the market in which the makers of consoles/games can make the most money.

Games companies and console manufacturers now make the most money off DEC and online subscriptions so the markets which have the infrastructure in place and the customers who will pay for online services will get served first (US and UK).

Everywhere else's needs come second since hardware sales don't generate enough cash flow without people paying for xbox live and ps+.

As such games that take advantage of Internet connectivity and appeal to the most people who actively play online become mainstream (call of duty, battlefield).

Take the Nintendo wii for example, it sold a ton last gen and it and it's blockbuster games were hardly considered main stream by the industry. They successfully managed to make wii seem niche.

admiralvic1560d ago

"Mainstream means the market in which the makers of consoles/games can make the most money. "

Where in the world did you get this definition from? Mainstream just means a product that will appeal to most people, instead of a select minority.

Like a military shooter is mainstream, since the concepts and appeal is pretty general, which is why we have so many stories / books / movies / tropes related to the subject. A game like Neptunia would not be, because it can only really be enjoyed by a person that is interested in Japanese games, plays a lot of games / knows a lot of the Japanese culture and enjoys moe characters. This is a select minority, thus the game isn't mainstream.

In either case, taking advantage of online doesn't always help and in some cases hurts a game. I think most people would agree that GTA V would have been better if GTA Online wasn't included and even more would state that adding online to GTA was not a factor in it being successful. In the case of CoD, online helps (because it lets people play with others), but it's successful because it's a simple concept and it's easy to pick up and play. More often than not, there are two key elements that go into making a game successful.

Ease of play and choices that cater to a wide demographic instead of a niche one (like Military instead of Undead Space Cowboy). Sometimes games break the mold and gain popularity despite not being the most mainstream idea around, but there are a lot of factors that go into this and if marketing could figure out what makes XYZ so popular, then we would see a lot of games successfully copying the concept of say CoD.

kingdip901560d ago (Edited 1560d ago )

Did you really say people who play Japanese games are a minority? Maybe in America but we are on a worldwide stage here and that's exactly my point.

The potential chinese (now that the cultural bans have been lifted) and Japanese markets are also big, people in countries outside of good Internet infrastructure are also pretty numerous.

Games are called mainstream because they are popular in the countries where they make the most money. Call of duty may be massive in America but if the gamers from other countries who do not wish to or cannot play it then "mainstream" is hardly a label that comes with popularity worldwide.

"Mainstream' games are games marketed to be popular in the west because that's where the money is and since the internet connected games generate more revenue (In regard to online subscriptions and the likelihood of these customers having reliable Internet and access to dlc) that's where I get the idea that Internet = Mainstream.

ShaunCameron1560d ago

And what's this industry that hardly considered Nintendo's blockbusters mainstream?

cyguration1560d ago

Meanstream = catering to casual noobs who will pay for anything.

CorndogBurglar1560d ago

Mainstream is anything that is in the main stream.

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