In 2022, cozy games went from niche to video game fixture

Funviralpark 2 years ago 0 7

I don’t think I’ve ever won a game as long as I’ve had a GameCube.

When my plane first landed on Delfino Island, super mario sunshine In 2002, my number one priority was completing the tutorials. Pretending to buy fruit from the vendors on the island, it was a chore to complete before wandering freely around the square. Kirby Air Ride But never competed with each other. Treat the game like a life sim like dozens of others, riding your racer around town, running imaginary errands, and performing ridiculously complex acts before which virtual Skyrise is me. We debated whether it belongs to our color Kirby. A social drama between squishy and round characters.

These games were never meant to be played as self-guided open-world experiences. provided.

Open-world games with low stakes and minimal violence have been around for decades, but it’s only recently that they’ve found their own genre called ‘cozy’ or ‘wholesome’ games. That’s it.Game mechanics and objectives such as Stardew Valley, OobletWhen Cozy Grove While they may differ, they share a common vibe that is completely separate from gaming culture and analogous cis men, RGB streamer setups. They encourage spending time in a free world with no competition.

“These players have always been in the industry”

“These players have always been in the industry, and we don’t normally cater to them,” said Matthew Taylor, founder of the Wholesome Games brand and online community. The Barge in an interview on Tuesday. “Maybe that’s why some people are hardcore. animal crossing fan or hardcore Stardew fan. But now they suddenly realize that there are more games in this space that they can enjoy and get more out of. ”

It was just after the pandemic release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons How suddenly my social media feed was filled with influencers with accounts dedicated to these cozy games. Nintendo has sold more than 40 million games for him, which is almost four times more than the previous edition. During this time, creators like Koji K, aka Kennedy, garnered millions of views in videos of Switch consoles snuggling next to blankets and candles covered in Lightroom presets more commonly seen on lifestyle brands’ Instagram grids. I was getting the number of times.

The cozy or “healthy” gaming industry continues to grow even after countries have reopened. His Google search queries for “cozy games” peaked in November of this year, more than two years after the genre became popular online. On PC, Steam has identified games that fall under its own “cozy” rubric, and Netflix recently acquired indie cozy game developer Spry Fox this fall.

“Previously, cozy gaming was not seen as a viable source of income for these companies. The Barge in an interview in December. “This field is really taking off in terms of game development.”

Google search queries for ‘cozy games’ peaked in November this year

Some cozy games like recently released indie titles slightly to the left, It’s based on fun and mundane mechanics like organizing bookshelves and junk drawers.They require enough concentration to keep your attention, but can be picked up and put down at the player’s leisure. animal crossing, players are tasked with simple chores that are not pressured to complete within a specific time frame. Players rarely lose because the stakes are low.

Outside of the indie scene, major developers are starting to incorporate more comfort elements into their games.Nintendo has published two open worlds Pokemon this year’s game Pokemon Legends: Arceus When pokemon scarlet When violetThe game lets players explore carefully crafted environments and have cozy picnics with their Pokémon friends. The game is not as open-ended as other Nintendo titles. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild But the addition to a series that has relied on linear storytelling for decades is a welcome addition.

The latest from Blizzard world of warcraft expansion, dragon flightrolls out an all-new crafting system and includes some more comfortable questlines compared to past releases. dragon flight In the campaign story, players are forced to sit next to a dwarf and listen to him tell his fascinating life story before continuing their quest to save Azeroth.

A combination of factors, including pandemic lockdowns and highly accurate social media algorithms on platforms like TikTok, may have contributed to the rapid spread of the cozy gaming trend. But rather than creating trends, social media made them more accessible, naming and showing their popularity to the dominant studios.

“Having a platform like Twitch and being able to find creators who can actually walk in and see them in that space was also really important to making me feel part of the gaming space. said Jenny Windom of Indie Games.She’s a producer and she’s a member of the Wholesome Games team, she said The Barge.

The World Economic Forum predicts that the gaming industry will be worth more than $320 billion by 2026, with the majority of revenue coming from consumer spending on social and casual games. . Even Facebook’s parent company, Meta, rebranded itself this year in anticipation of an increasing consumer reliance on games for social interaction and entertainment. But not in a cozy and fantastic environment, stardew valley Also Cozy GroveMark Zuckerberg’s metaverse features a soulless world of VR office meetings and avatar design that was supposed to perish with the Xbox 360.

Like the Creator Economy before it, I can’t help but feel like many of the big corporations championing the Metaverse arrived too late in a scene that grew largely through the love and care of the community that built it. Hmm. Cozy gamers have always been around, but it wasn’t until they became a market that the tech giants started taking notice.

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