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Why Have RPGs Become The Dominant Force In Gaming?

With Mass Effect 3, Kingdoms Of Amalur and Skyrim continuing to dominate the current gaming agenda, Mark Butler asks how the once-marginalised RPG genre became such a powerful and popular force.

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Lelldorianx3049d ago (Edited 3049d ago )

I have a feeling that Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Battlefield, Hawken, Red Orchestra, Deus Ex, Wargame, HotS, Fray, and just about every other game on the planet would argue with you.

Nothing has changed. If you look at the genre distribution over the last decade, you'll see that the amount of games per genre (precentage-based) has widely remained static. Just because -you- have noticed RPGs doesn't mean no one else did 10 years ago, like when Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Morrowind, Daggerfall, EverQuest, Planescape, and innumerable other RPGs were popular.

Welcome to the party.

Edit: Oh, and if you really want to go back, games like King's Quest were pretty damn popular as well. There's also a small title called Final Fantasy - oh, and Gauntlet... and Wizards & Warriors... and Legend of the Seven Stars... and, and, and.

shodan743049d ago

While there have always been some big-selling RPGs around, I do think that the last few years has seen a huge boom in the popularity of the genre in general. It's certainly more common now for a big RPG to top the game charts and enter the mainstream consciousness I think and - perhaps somewhat tellingly - RPG mechanics have been turning up in a lot of other genres much more regularly.

ATi_Elite3049d ago (Edited 3049d ago )

Whoa! Where have you been? RPG's have always been THE dominate force in Gaming.

Here's a few oldies but Classic's

Everquest, The Witcher, The Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, Fallout, Zelda, Deus EX, Neverwinter, Ultima, Might and Magic, System Shock 2, Diablo, KOTOR, Sword of Vermilion, Baldur's Gate, and the Grandaddy of video game RPG's........DnD (Dungeon and Dragon's) from 1975!

Each Gen has it's popular genre but RPG's have always been the best bet for gaming cause the genre is a combination of all other genres wrapped in one game with the most in depth game play and the most immersive worlds.

3049d ago
Boody-Bandit3049d ago (Edited 3049d ago )

RPG's may be "ONE" of the driving forces gaming but far from the dominant one. Shooters are "THE" dominant force in gaming not that RPG's. The driving force for me personally and ironically enough is "driving" (racing) games. ;)

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GraveLord3049d ago

They haven't.......lmfao.
The only one that has huge sales is Skyrim. That's it.

Anyway there have always been big selling RPGs. Ever hear of Final Fantasy?

Son_Lee3049d ago

There's just a flux of them right now. They aren't winning the sales market, but they should. Dollar to hour of gameplay ratio is the best in RPGs. If you buy an RPG, you're pretty much guaranteed to get your money's worth length wise.

joab7773049d ago (Edited 3049d ago )

I think that rpgs give gamers more gaming for their money. If u think about it, it's the rpg elements of cod and battlefield that keep players playing, dangling levels, loot, and the proberbial carrot in front of them constantly. He is right about the addictive nature of rpgs as well as the immersion. Bioshock and mass effect were so popular because of their rpg elements, the ability to level up, to gain powers, the story and the environments. Look how popular borderlands was. And yes, sometimes it's fun to take an 8 hour jaunt on a prescripted linear adventure, but it's over quick and leaves me wanting much more. Also, it has alot to do with technology. We know what games are capable of and we want it all in our game. They cgive us an alternate universe to get lost in. We can create our own journey, our own story and it isn't over in 1 night.

They have always been popular to many but i believe that the west has helped to make them more mainstream from bioware, bethesda, blizzard, rockstar, and even the elements of so many fps Juggernaut like cod, battlefield and bioshock. I also believe that it's a trend that will continue. We as gamers and humans want more control not less and no other genre gives that to us more than rpgs and their hybrid genres and their impermeating elements.

Hicken3049d ago

Like others have said, they really AREN'T the dominant force in gaming, nor have they been this entire generation. That honor goes to the FPS genre.

I WISH RPGs were ahead, but it's only been a recent thing that they've moved back into the limelight at all(many great titles like Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, and Valkyria Chronicles languished in the darkness) and, sadly, none of them will sell like Call of Duty will each year.

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