Friday, July 12, 2013

Video game industry embraces the apocalypse

These are boom times for apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories to be told in TV series and movies. But such grim worldviews have been common in video games for years.
However, the number of video games set in post-apocalyptic times has been elevated the last three years.
In the 1990s, the industry released an average of six post-apocalyptic video games a year. In the 2000s, the number ticked up to nearly nine a year.
In the first three years of the current decade, we’re at record levels for the genre. In 2011, 19 post-apocalyptic video games were released. In 2012, 17 such games came out. And so far this year, 15 games have been released or are due out. (My numbers are based on game summaries on Wikipedia.)
This year’s post-apocalyptic video games include “The Last of Us” for Sony’s PlayStation 3. The critically acclaimed game sold 3.4 million copies worldwide in just its first three weeks of release, according to Forbes.
“The Last of Us” received a Metacritic score of 95 out of 100, for a rating of “universal acclaim,” based on 95 reviews.
Some titles in the post-apocalyptic genre have spawned multiple games, including “Fallout,” “Resistance” and “The Walking Dead.”
Upcoming post-apocalyptic games include “Wasteland 2,” expected in October; “Dead Rising 3,” due out in November; and “Mad Max,” set for release on April 30, 2014.

Related reading:

The End is Nigh: The Ten Best Post-Apocalyptic Video Games (Forbes; Dec. 18, 2012)

IGN’s Best Post-Apocalyptic Gaming (IGN; Dec. 21, 2012)

Top 10 Post Apocalyptic Games of All Time (Gameranx; June 14, 2013)

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