The Unfulfilled Potential of Video Games

This video series primarily focuses on film and television, but every once in a while I like to check-in on the world of video games.
Interactive media has the incredible potential to deliver a wide range of immersive, emotional experiences, yet year after year the gaming industry seems to fall back on one underlying theme — kill or be killed. This year I did a statistical breakdown of all the games featured at Electronic Entertainment Expo press conferences. I found that 82% of all new titles focus on combat as the core gameplay mechanic. Imagine all the stories we’re missing out on because game developers insist on building virtual worlds we experience from behind the barrel of a gun or the blade of a sword.

Incidentally this issue isn’t restricted to big budget AAA titles; a majority of indie games also prioritize combat. I did a quick rundown of the 105 independent games featured in Xbox sizzle reels at E3 over the past 4 years. The results are only very slightly better than the ratios for the industry as a whole. 78 of those 105 games (about 3/4) focus on combat mechanics.

My full statistical breakdown for games in E3 2017 press briefings is available here

Press images of the charts used in this episode are available here.

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