Ever wondered why right now, you’re not playing Kings Quest 22 or Day of the Japanese Tentacle? Well there’s one game that you can point your calloused clicking finger at in blame, one iconic title that is responsible for the decline of such genre games, and according to industry veteran Ron Gilbert, that particular click-killer is Doom.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Gilbert elaborated on the drop-off in sales from the mid nineties of such games, but reminding players that “Adventure games never really died”.
Adventure games never really died. They kept selling the same number of units that they’ve always sold. The problem is that everything else was selling more units. They reached more of this stagnation rather than a dip.
I blame Doom, because before Doom came out, games were a lot slower paced and people were a lot more interested in thinking and strategy. These are very kind of slow moving games and you just sort of absorb yourself into it. You just kind of enjoy the moment of being in the game.
And then Doom came out… it was visceral, and it was fast, and you shot stuff, and gibs flew off of everything, and it just kind of flipped a lot of people’s thinking a little bit, and also attracted a much bigger audience into games.
With the adventure game people stayed, they never left. But there were all these other people that kind of came and things like Doom just sort of started to dominate.
The gaming industry is much bigger today than what it was back then. It’s an industry of big budget titles, visceral experiences and casual moments of fun. Does that mean that there’s no place for the point ‘n click genre these days though?
Not at all, based on sales from classic and reworked titles such as Sam and Max, The Walking Dead and Monkey Island. It’s more a niche genre though, but it’ll always be there, much like an arthouse film in an ocean of movies that double as a 90 minute advert for explosions and car porn.
As for Gilbert, he’s currently working on a new game by the name of The Cave, which will scratch that point ‘n click itch some of you may have.
Last Updated: September 11, 2012