Gaming - Remakes and Remasters

Gaming - Remakes and Remasters

We’re in the golden age of video gaming remakes and remasters. And that’s not even counting the multitude of spiritual successors and reboots. Almost every month in the last year has been highlighted with a high-profile remake, Dead Space, Resident Evil 4, and Metroid Prime have all graced our screens in the first quarter of 2023 with many more to come: Max Payne 1 & 2, Advanced Wars, Final Fantasy 7 and the list goes on.

I think the most recent flood of high-quality remakes is the confluence of two market forces that actually don’t have that much to do with each other.

Waiting for the next big thing:

Gaming like all industries, particularly those in the tech space, ebbs and flows alongside trends. Fighting games dominated the late 80’s and early 90’s, with the rise of computer gaming paving the way for 1st person shooters or as they were known during their time “Doom” clones. In the 2010s, the gaming buzzword has been “Games-as-a-service” – games such as Destiny, Fortnite, and Roblox where the goal is to hook consumers with an experience they can play in perpetuity…for a price of course. Battle passes, skins, and other character cosmetics have been the bread and butter for the most profitable game franchises in the last 5 years, even landing some companies in hot water (Epic FTC Lawsuit). GaaS like all gaming trends before it, has become a bit of a casino where you either hit big – or lose the house.

DC’s Gotham Knights and Marvel’s Avengers are the latest to fall victim to chasing the GaaS dragon, and several other studios have followed suit. With interest in GaaS waning, as gamers simply don’t have unlimited time to play every game forever despite what the developers and publishers would like us to do, we’re in a bit of a lurch waiting for the next thing. Some thought it would NFTs or the Metaverse but neither of those have become the money printing machine publishers had hoped for.

A signal of this holding pattern is the smattering of proven IP receiving remakes for modern gamers. Reduce costs and development times by leveraging a game that’s already done the heavy lifting and sold well in the first place. Reinvigorate lapsed gamers and ignite interest in the modern social sphere, video game remakes have become another profitable engine for publishers to stave off the impending recession as they wait for gaming’s next big thing.


Outside the corporatism of it all, nostalgia is the other critical factor when looking at the remaster renaissance we’ve been able to enjoy. Many “players” have become designers, program managers, and artists in the video game industry. Allowing the influence of games from their youth to permeate into the gaming zeitgeist. Beyond the talent endemic to gaming - Gen Z and Alpha have also entered the workforce and with their newfound disposable income have entered the same nostalgia trap of finding ways to relive their youth.

A quick glance at eBay’s secondhand console market reveals a sudden renewed interest in videogames and videogame consoles from the 2000s. The youth seem to have a penchant for purchasing PS2’s with copies of Guitar Hero 2, or a used Xbox 360 and a copy of Modern Warfare 2 (the first one…thanks Activision). Revisiting games from your youth can be a sobering experience as you realize Modern Warfare 2 kind of looks like a mobile game by today’s standards. If only there were a way to play these classic games on modern hardware, playing and looking the way we remember them rather than with all the blemishes we were too naïve to notice


Written by: BigBrother Jay

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