Why Narrative-heavy Video Games Matter to the Industry

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The video game industry has come a long way. People used to enjoy having the means to move around chunky pixels on their TV and all the bleep and bloop sound effects that came with it. Games back then also put a lot of pressure on the player’s skills, but you will be rewarded with high scores if you are able to withstand it. Today, you have hardware powerful enough to render realistic graphics. Recreating the quartz countertops in your kitchen or a messy bedroom in the virtual world would be no sweat even for modern consoles.

The ability of modern hardware to create rich imagery has also opened up the industry to more narrative-driven games. The fact that a lot of these titles sell well is enough for them to garner attention, but there are other reasons why they are important to the industry as a whole.

Talent Showcase

Making the modern video game blockbuster could have you employ hundreds of people covering management, programming, creative, and other duties. You need that much manpower to produce top-tier presentation and have everything working right out of the gate with no noticeable bugs. But narrative games attract other talents, with voice actors being the most prominent ones. They can help enhance the performer’s portfolio. If one gets tied to a big video game project, they can get noticed and get jobs from animated shows or movies. Likewise, well-known voices from other entertainment industries can bring over star power to a game, which will help hype it up leading to its release.

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Mainstream Attention

Video games and Hollywood have seen a fair share of its products and talents cross over each other. Since the latter is synonymous with the well-established entertainment industry recognized worldwide, being tied to them in any way can help get you mainstream attention. There are celebrities out there that sing the praises of why they enjoy playing interactive games. Some of them are even asked to become official endorsers of some titles, and in some instances, their likenesses are included in the game as bonus content. Grabbing the biggest movie or TV licenses are also big deals for game publishers, and the industries involved are likely to benefit from the large audience they command.

Respect from Other Entertainment Industries

Well-known personalities like Kiefer Sutherland and Keanu Reeves have been involved in huge video game projects. It would be hard to imagine something of this magnitude a few decades back, but video games have produced enough high-quality that it has garnered the respect of other entertainment industries. Game director Hideo Kojima, known for his work on the highly-cinematic Metal Gear series, is an example of this idea. He has had major Hollywood talent recognize his body of work and some of them have even worked on his games. Guillermo del Toro, best known for the dark fantasy flick Pan’s Labyrinth, sees Kojima as a peer and has vowed to collaborate with him on a future project. This is the type of camaraderie that can bring fresh ideas to both sides of the camp.

There is nothing wrong with video games taking a page from the world of cinema. Having a great narrative presentation adds to the game’s immersion. Those who love watching movies, at some point, would want to take the opportunity to take in the reins and take control of the lead character’s fate. The high level of interactivity is something that is inherent to video games, and this it what sets it apart from the rest.

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