We Finally Got A Game Drought

2020 was finally able to give us a break from constantly releasing showstoppers.

By Daavpuke, Posted 07 Jun 2020

Whether it's intentional or not, 2020 was finally able to give us all something that was sort of necessary: a break from constantly releasing showstoppers. For a while now, video games have been on a hot streak, with at least one major title dominating the conversation every week. With the global pandemic and subsequent delays, however, it's finally been possible to branch out into certain games, without the feeling of missing out (FOMO) inevitably showing up.

One of the only large games to pierce that barrier has been Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a Nintendo Switch exclusive. The slice of life simulator arrived at the apex of the pandemic, allowing people to escape to a paradise island while locked up in quarantine.

2020, Video Game, Game Drought, Valorant, Female, Showstoppers

For those without a Switch or for people who couldn't get access to one, because of scalpers sucking the market dry, there have only been one or two titles with major backing behind them. That drought means that we've finally been able to do what we've always wanted to do, which is tackle the backlog. The question is: Have we dug into older releases? Did anyone take the time to actually go back to some bangers they missed out on the first time around? It's not like there wasn't a surplus of time, but as some people have finally realized, just the time factor isn't always enough. Whether it's avolition or choice paralysis, getting started with a new game or even an old save can be hard. Taking that step feels like leaping into the unknown and that comes with a lot of uncertainty that can stop us from taking the plunge altogether. In an attempt to make our time matter, we waste it by being indecisive.

On the other side, the advent of Games as a Service (GaaS) have spoiled us with continuous and perpetual updates. Like a comfort blanket, we have built an expectation that whenever we press the play button, we'll get served exactly what we want, forever. It's much easier to go grind the new Apex Legends season or even go try to get godlike at Call of Duty: Warzone, than it is to pop in the new Trails of Cold Steel. Additionally, with the arrival of Valorant, the giant market of comfort shooters has now expanded that much more, with a gigantic company like Riot Games at the helm. If there's one company that knows how to keep player retention high, it's the one behind the decade-old League of Legends.

Chances are that anyone who has one or several GaaS installed also has played those somewhat recently. There's always an event or a battle pass to keep pouring time into. With that familiarity always in mind, it becomes easier to return to the known quantity every time. That means, however, that it's becoming increasingly harder to tackle that backlog of shame, as those unknowns fall further into obscurity. Why did we all have to play that Outer Wilds game again? What was it about? Wait, wasn't it The Outer Worlds? Sure, finding out is just a search away, but it's the exact same amount of steps to load up Overwatch instead.

Even with a game drought, in terms of releases, the concept that no new games are coming out is slowly fading away. It's possible to always stay connected to at least one game. With that, going back to something else is becoming harder; it's not just you. Just from a muscle memory standpoint, gaming is becoming more addictive. So, let this bear as a reminder that starting a new game might be scary, but that doesn't need to be a bad thing. In fact, the change can act as a palate cleanser from the habits we're developing. Feel free to detox from whatever GaaS you're compulsively playing now and start something fresh. Play for two uninterrupted hours, with no phones and no screens, then see if it's worth continuing. Do so right after reading this, then return later to tell us what game you cracked open in the comments. We'd love to hear it.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed

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General Information



Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Riot Games
Developer(s): Riot Games
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Multiplayer
Release Date: 2020

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