Do you think new genres can still be a thing?



  • It's something I ponder quite often. Ours is an industry that is rather adolescent compared to the rest of the entertainment medium spectrum. Even still, I feel an equilibrium has been reached within the past few generations that has led to everything being able to fit into certain genre guidelines. You'll occasionally get a Minecraft come along that seemingly defies fitting into the boundaries, but for the most part a new game can be quickly identified as being a "first person shooter," or "turn based strategy." The point of discussion here is if there is enough originality in future ideas for games to release that grant us pause when defining what they are, how they play etc. and perhaps bear witness to entirely new genres with the same impact and far-reaching influences of when the FPS or platformer or rogue-like was popularized.

    As a quick aside, I do not thing the latest Battle Royale zeitgeist counts as a genre. If anything, it is simply a new game mode fitted into the molds of various shooter types.



  • @smoothrunes I think indies are often inventing new genres, but they just aren't fun or don't take off.



  • @smoothrunes If you aren't willing to accept something like Battle Royale as a new genre, then I think you are right and we will never see a new type of genre since we can simply be reductive avout it's qualities until it fits into an already established genre.



  • @mbun Yeah, I don't think it really counts much as a genre if it never takes off and spawns imitators. If you can count on one hand the number of games that fit under a certain type, there isn't really enough to establish it as its own thing.

    @El-Shmiablo I try to be inclusive and open minded about it but simply put, BRs were fostered under an already established genre (FPS). They came about as a mod in a series (ArmA) much in the same way that Warcraft spawned MOBAs. I think at best I can include them as sub-genres, operating under an umbrella of a parent genre. I think there's a large difference between classifying something like PUBG or Fortnite when compared to a truly bizarre title like Katamari Damacy or Noby Noby Boy. The first two came in part thanks to previously established models, whereas games like the last two sort of just poof into existence because of someone's crazy imagination.



  • @smoothrunes said in Do you think new genres can still be a thing?:

    don't think it really counts much as a genre if it never takes off and spawns imitators
    compared to a truly bizarre title like Katamari Damacy or Noby Noby Boy

    You don't seem to be following your own rules. Besides sequels, I don't think there's exactly Katamari Damacy imitators, and I definitely know nothing like Noby Noby Boy.



  • @mbun I never specified that KD or NNB had a genre though.



  • @smoothrunes KD amd NNB are subsets of the puzzle, art and platforming genres.

    See? Everything can be reduced to a base form if you want to be reductive enough.

    If BR cam only be classified as a shooter, can Metroidvanias only be classified as platformer? What is they have a heavy emphasis on shooting?



  • There will always be pillars of a genre that sort of act as the glue to anything that is attached to it, but sure new genres can appear and at the very least, new trends can appear across genres.

    Then there are Soul's qualities that almost put Souls into a sub-genre of Third Person Action/RPG. Sure, there are plenty of third person action games but how many play like Souls? Slower, lock-on, distance is important, the type of weapon is extremely important, your weight affects mobility, different environments affect mobility, etc? Not too many and the ones that do play like Souls stand out like a sore thumb. I think Nioh is a game in the "Souls genre" whereas other TPA games are not.



  • @el-shmiablo I get what you're saying, but the point I'm trying to get across is like. COD and Battlefield will be getting BR added to them this year. So I still think it classifies more as a mode than a genre, same way that horde modes can be their own thing but still exist within a genre as one select game type.



  • @smoothrunes I just think games are evolving into other genres to stay fresh. Assassins Creed now has more in common with The Witcher than it does most games in Stealth Action genre. Is OnRush still a racing game even though it has more im common with team based hero shooters?



  • @el-shmiablo

    Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu has more in common with a cell phone social game than it does with the game it is trying to remake.

    Idk if I had a point there...



  • @smoothrunes

    To address to original question posed by the OP

    The point of discussion here is if there is enough originality in future ideas for games to release that grant us pause when defining what they are, how they play etc.

    My answer to this question is "Yes". There is an untapped reservoir of originality for video games that, given practical limits of commercialization and the steady genesis of new game types caused by technological advancement, we are probably never going to run out of.

    and perhaps bear witness to entirely new genres with the same impact and far-reaching influences of when the FPS or platformer or rogue-like was popularized.

    My answer to this question though is: "I don't know". Because one can have a brilliantly original game, implement its design specifics near perfectly, and then throw a lot of money at it to cloak it in top shelf graphics, all without any gaurantee that after being released it will be received in one way or another. Stated another way, I don't believe the "impact and far-reaching influence" is a function of of the 1's and 0's on the disc, it is also highly dependent on the culture into which the game is released and what other games are being released alongside it. So I find the answer impossible to predict, although if we're speaking strictly in the near term future then I understand the skeptical position that there were only be a paltry handful of new such game types, given the historical trend. I won't make a prediction either way myself though, since what the future holds still contanis plenty of uncertainty.

    Yeah, I don't think it really counts much as a genre if it never takes off and spawns imitators. If you can count on one hand the number of games that fit under a certain type, there isn't really enough to establish it as its own thing.

    I think this one of the more insightful sentences in the thread that I want to draw more attention towards. What is a "genre"? One intentionally unorthodox view of the world looks at such questions as a subset of the broader linguistic lens: we give names to things so we don't have to refer to them using long winded sentences and paragraphs. Noby Noby Boy doesn't have a genre name because there isn't a linguistic need for it. (At least not until other games get made that share similarities that strike the observer.) Doom (1993) has a genre name, beacuse there was a linguistic need for it.


  • Global Moderator

    The question is almost, do we NEED new genres I think?

    I mean now and then we get new ideas coming along and I think we will keep seeing that, but whats the point of sticking out as "new" just for the sake of it? Also as humans we like to slot things in different piles to keep things in order.

    I mean just look at film as a medium, that has been around for quite a few more years than games. Yet we still get new exciting films.

    We still will get mix matches and crossover between genres, one day we might get something completely new, who knows, but to be fair we already have a lot of good genres.



  • @lotias said:

    whats the point of sticking out as "new" just for the sake of it?

    People gravitate towards N E W things, even if the new thing is worse than something before. There's devs these days who won't make sequels to a franchise until they can think of something N E W to freshen up the perfectly already beloved gameplay, and critics will bash an incredible game if there's nothing super N E W to separate it from a game that came before.



  • @mbun I can't tell if you are being totally sarcastic or not.



  • @el-shmiablo Not sarcastic, just bitter.


  • Global Moderator

    @mbun I kinda see where you are coming from. I see devs testing new things, but its mainly to try and improve rather than just doing new for the sake of it. I mean there are many times where we think that something is "perfect" only to then be proven wrong.



  • Yes, videogames are still a young art form, as technology moves forward so do videogames, and there'll be a new generation of great developers that will take advantage of that to get something new out of it. It's hard to see that happening, for sure, but that's just natural. I mean, can you predict what will you be thinking of in the next 24 hours? Innovation will come, it just needs a catalyst that we know nothing about.



  • there are still genre's. It's just that they overlap more because technology has become better.



  • I would argue that you dont have to look too far to see new "genres" in the past few years. The survival sim genre cannot be pigeon holed within another genre (a la Battle Royale per your example) as it spans multiple gameplay types (FPS, third person, side scrolling etc). Case in point, the Forest, Don't Starve, State of Decay, the Flame and the Flood would all be in a survival genre which is relatively new over the past few years and have wildly different mechanics despite a common theme of exploration, crafting, and survival at their core.

    So yes, we may not know what the next genre will be but they have arisen in the recent past and no reason to think there isn't another one coming over the horizon.