Back in 2015, a study from Syracuse University analysed how grouping video games into genres can be limited. Since then, the industry has expanded exponentially, and the points that the report made are more pertinent than ever. Developers and providers of games have realised that games can span many genres and should be classified in different ways.
Nowadays, the same games can be found in different categories, and this helps put players in touch with what they are looking for. There are huge differences between games and other media like films, where the offerings are still divided easily between genres such as horror, action, and comedy.
Game Platforms Catering to Subgenres
The modern gaming industry has made a clear shift away from broad categorisations for titles in recent years. When players search for titles online, they are less likely to encounter them in brackets like action, adventure, or role-playing. This is because many modern titles cover a wide array of genres.
Games like Grand Theft Auto and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt could be described in various ways. The latter could be a fantasy or a role-playing game, while the former could be an action or a comedy at times.
The fact that there are more platforms than ever has affected the way games are categorised. When players look for a game, they need specific information that quickly tells them if the title is what they are interested in. For instance, a gaming site could have separate tabs for mobile, console, and PC, and then different subcategories within these.
Game platforms often cater for players who want to search for games in diverse ways. For example, some people might browse based on price, while others may look for games based on their main themes.
Video Games More Often Classified Based on Mechanics and Play Styles
If you look through a range of online gaming sites, many platforms now have sections dedicated to specific types of games. For example, free-to-play games are hugely popular in today’s market, and players like to be able to find them all in one place. These options come in a range of genres, and players can browse them within the F2P category.
The titles don’t just exist in this grouping, though, and people in search of other game types can find them as well. For instance, one title may be in the F2P section, but it would also show up to someone looking through a collection of epic fantasy RPGs. Other players may search through strategy games, first-person, shooters, and puzzle options. All of these categories can feature games that span all genres, from fantasy to science fiction.
It’s clear that video game genres have become more nuanced and specific in recent years, and this reflects the ever-evolving nature of the gaming industry. It also highlights how gamers have grown accustomed to searching for titles in new ways. A focus on play style over theme is a departure from other media, and this reflects the unique and interactive nature of gaming.