“How do you know this, Master Malstrom? Do you see the future?”
I do! And it is done by observing patterns of the past.
I remember reading something about the history of the Turbografx 16 that crystallized the term ‘gaming constituency’. What happens on a console is that a hit game breaks out. People buy the console for that hit game. Then, these gamers want more of what that hit game offered. Many game companies provide that itch for that console. These gamers become a ‘gamer constituency’.
For the Turbografx 16, there were 3, maybe 4, gaming constituencies. After the success of Blazing Lazers, a constituency of shmup fans was born on the system. So the Turbografx 16 became ‘shmup land’ because that is what the install base bought. Related to those shmup players, there were hardcore arcade gamers who loved games like Legendary Axe or Ninja Spirits and wanted hardcore arcade games. On the CD system, Y’s 1 and 2 was a hit which brought in a RPG constituency. And last, there was the Bomberman constituency of gamers on the system who did nothing but play the 3 bomberman TG 16 games religiously.
On the Wii, Wii Sports created a type of ‘party game constituency’ which third parties rushed to fill.
Super Mario Brothers on the NES created the massive, massive platformer constituency. NES has too many constituencies to go into.
The SNES, for example, has a RPG constituency. Which game brought that on? Maybe Final Fantasy IV? I don’t know. But a group of SNES gamers kept buying RPG games.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s success means the install base of the Switch are gamers who love adventure and RPG games. Companies like Bethesda must be very, very excited. Expect Skyrim to sell very well. I wouldn’t be surprised if more such ports come in because it is too lucrative not to.
BoW “Wow!” is carving out an install base of adventure game constituency. While I am sure there will be more hit games on Switch carving out another constituency, it is safe to say that Switch will become an adventure game powerhouse console.