The Guerrilla Resurgence of Space Gaming
When I began this blog last August — and it’s seriously grown since then, thanks to you guys! — I originally thought I’d spend much of my time reviewing older, classic games while looking at the occasional new release that would come my way. In the last several years, it felt like new space games had pretty much been coming out at a trickle, slowly but steadily, and I figured that this trend would continue. Holy crap was I wrong.
I mean, just look at my coming soon list over there. It’s as long as my arm, and that’s with big and small spacey releases. In looking at my list, the last few years didn’t have a ton of space games released, but now it feels like I’m drowning in them, and I can thank (or blame?) all this primarily on one thing: Kickstarter.
Since space gaming saw a demise in interest around 2000, most space games have come from independent developers or eastern European developers and publishers, and I couldn’t be more grateful for them all. They helped keep the genre alive when it could’ve been lost completely. Making a game makes time and money, however, and while we can’t give developers and publishers time, Kickstarter has shown them we certainly can give them money.
With games like StarDrive and FTL being runaway successes, and the recent Starlight Inception coming in with a photo finish, more and more developers apparently are seeing that yes, there IS a demand for space games, and if we like what we see, we WILL pay for it. While this has always been true — as we’ll put our money up for any good space games regardless of source — now Kickstarter I think is showing developers that if they build a good, compelling product, the money will follow.
Even without Kickstarter, it still feels like we’re seeing a resurgence in space gaming coming from all angles. Indies as well as small and medium sized publishers seem to be putting out even more space games these days, and I’m totally feeling like I’m drowning in them, in a good way. It seems as if more people are noticing that, hey, there’s this largely untapped genre of games that people still want to play, AND are willing to pay for it!
I have to honestly say, to all of these developers who are now making space games and adding to this resurgence, thank you. It’s an overwhelmingly amazing thing to see all of these space games appearing on my radar, and I can’t be alone in feeling just giddy with all of the possibilities.
Now, I could also be bitter and ask, “Where was all this ten years ago, dangit?” but I won’t. Right now, I’m just going to bask and revel in this amazing time, not only to be a fan of space games, but of games in general. I think we truly either are in or are entering a new golden age of gaming, and if so, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
What do you guys think, by the way? Are we in a new golden era of space gaming, or is it just a fad that will sadly pass? I’d love to read what y’all think about this. Thanks for reading the thoughts of a raving space game addict. :)