In this day and age, many people still love the timeless retro games that once sold millions of copies, despite the countless digital versions of titles that sprout everywhere – but why exactly are people fond of them today even though there are far more impressive games with vivid graphics and better 3D effects on the market?
For most people, the joy of reminiscing how it used to feel playing these classic games back in the days is the sole reason for sticking with the retro games. For others, they simply want to go back to the basics when technology was much simpler: pixelated drawings, straightforward characters with short back stories, and clear gameplay. Then the practical ones believe it’s the cheaper option.
Study on Retro Games and Their Audience
A recent study by Currys PC World sheds light on the possible number of retro fans in the gaming community. The research looked at the gaming behavior and habits of those from the United Kingdom, which may answer about how many people are still into retro titles.
The study looked at 10 all-time favorite games: FIFA, Minecraft, Tekken, Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Mario Kart, Overwatch, Pac-Man, and Witcher. Currys PC World collected data from Twitter, YouGov, and Google Trends to observe just how the industry has been faring among British gamers.
The findings saw that the return of retro games in the industry has been welcomed warmly in the industry. As one can notice, 2 of the 10 games mentioned – Mario Kart and Pac-Man – are retro classics which leads to the conclusion that these timeless titles had become increasingly popular over the past years and they have even gained new audiences.
Pac-Man’s Twitter Impression
The potential impression of the addictive game Pac-Man on the microblogging platform did well than other games, surprisingly having a respectable ranking of 3.5 billion from 2014 to 2016. It reached its million impressions in January 2014, which ballooned to 110 million by May 2015, and at the end of that year, the number soared to 2 billion. The Japanese game trails behind FIFA with 32.7 billion, Minecraft with 13.5 billion, and Call of Duty with 7.2 billion.
That’s not all, it is safe to stay that a lot of people still find the iconic game interesting as Pac-Man placed third as the most searched (246,000) in Google in 2017. As per the specifics, the study also took into consideration the demographics and their preference for the retro games, which shows the exact age range of the gamers who are still playing the game.
As expected from a game that was released in 1980, nearly half of the players are 35 years old and above. However, a more telling of how Pac-Man is doing in the younger generation landscape is the 27 percent 17-year-olds and below players, which is the second highest audience of the game.
This means that Pac-Man is not only popular among the generation that witnessed its release in the market more than 30 years ago, but is steadily gaining prominence among the teens and kids, too. Moreover, the study found that 70 percent of those that play the retro game are men against the 30 percent of women players.
Pac-Man is still the third among the games most played by women as per the tweets, following Tekken in the second place and Warcraft and Minecraft at the top.
Mario Kart’s Surprising Audience
Mario Kart, meanwhile, also had impressive potential impressions in the Twitterverse with 13.4 billion, the biggest incline in the years of the study alongside Tekken. Relatively newer games Warcraft with 2 billion, Witcher with 1 billion, and Overwatch, 2.3 billion ate the retro games’ dust.
This classic title boasts 1.5 million impressions per day starting November 2015. In January 2014, it had 2.4 million impressions before climbing up to 12 million two years later. By end of 2016, it raked in 1.48 billion Twitter impressions. There were monthly searches of 27,100 in 2017.
How Mario Kart differs from Pac-Man is the audience as most of the former retro game’s players are 17 and below (34 percent), or those that haven’t been born yet when it was first introduced in 1992. Following this group are the 35-year-olds and above with 28 percent. More men played the game than women, with a 73:27 ratio.