For the past few decades, the strategy genre within the gaming industry has enjoyed sustained popularity. According to a report by Statista from 2018, a study into video game sales in the United States showcased that strategic creations accounted for 3.7 percent of the country’s total sales. Interestingly, however, because of the genre’s diversity, it often overlaps with various other gaming types, including massively multiplayer online titles, racing, and sports.
While many games may not fit under the genre of being solely focused around a traditional strategy format, titles such as F1 2020, for example, are immensely strategic despite being classified as a racing title. At present, this is the case with a wide array of modern developments. So, let’s take a look at whether the strategy genre is becoming a staple of contemporary pop culture.
Why Is the Genre So Popular?
There’s a growing belief that during the early 2000s, the strategy genre endured something of a decline. Throughout the 90s, titles such as Age of Empires and Warcraft: Orcs and Humans took the sector to new, unprecedented heights. In many ways, when you consider the pre-existing popularity of old-school strategy titles, it’s hardly surprising that the genre has recently made a comeback. Regarding player trends, retro developments have once again come to the forefront of the gaming market. This is evident from the recreation and distribution of the NES Classic Edition, which has assisted in bringing a strong nostalgia element into gaming.
Strategy games are also benefiting from advancements surrounding video game streaming platforms. Although it’s classified as an MMO, Vox describes Valve Corporation’s development as being a battle-centered style of strategy game. At the time of writing, the title is continuing to grow on Twitch, the world’s leading live-streaming platform for video games. As of September 14th, Twitch Tracker was stating that the title enjoyed a 7.7 percent growth in viewership over the previous month regarding concurrent viewers. As a result, the total now sits at an average of 55,400.
Titles like Dota 2 and League of Legends have enabled the sector to establish itself as a core player in the competitive gaming industry. Esports Earnings report that the 2013 title is the top game concerning awarded prize money, with a combined sum of approximately $226.7 million. League of Legends, on the other hand, has paid out $78.6 million, placing it as the fourth-highest eSports game in this metric.
A Sector Aided by Diversity
In relation to the diversity of purely strategy-classified titles, there are numerous variants that prospective players can immerse themselves in. As per Juego Studios, there are two main categories within the genre; real-time and turn-based strategy games. While remaining strategic, the two subcategories adopt different formats that are representative of their names. For example, Cities: Skylines is a turn-based variant that isn’t considered to be an RTS despite integrating a time-orientated concept.
As mentioned above, the strategy isn’t limited to genre. While F1 2020 and League of Leagues are both remarkably different, strategic planning is instrumental in both titles. This is also true of Sports Interactive’s Football Manager franchise, which is a management simulation. Despite not being defined as a strategy game, few can argue that the series heavily adopts a tactical approach similar to that of traditional strategic developments.
Web-based and mobile advancements have also been integral to the genre’s success. Along with mainstream markets, the growth of mobile platforms has allowed for the emergence of diverse genres, including online casino gaming. In recent years, the industry has taken the smartphone world by storm, with forecasts now anticipating that it will be worth more than $100 billion by 2025.
Even with digital variants of traditional table-based casino games, the strategy is paramount to success. While poker is known for its tactical nature, roulette also requires considerable thought. Although roulette is one of the easiest games you can play at online casinos, understanding the fundamentals, such as the format variants and types of bets, is pivotal. With American, European, and French styles to choose between, each has its own house edge, with the former coming in at 5.26 percent. Additionally, given that inside and outside bets offer mixed probabilities, adopting a strategy can heighten the chances of success, especially when playing online.
Integrated into Numerous Gaming Genres
Ultimately, there can be no doubt that strategic gaming styles have become staples of pop culture. Because many of the industry’s most-popular titles integrate strategy in some form or another, few can argue that the approach isn’t an instrumental component of contemporary gaming. As such, the style will likely retain its appeal for much of the next decade and beyond.