The era of 3D games has started more than 2 decades ago, yet for some reasons the 2D games which are a lot older than that are still going strong. Despite that, many analysts are still asking, do 2D games still have a future on an ever growing market?
The answer is yes. Sure, 3D games are very appealing and they definitely focus on better visuals, but the ones that are created in 2D also have something as well. Nostalgia is a great factor that won’t wear off that easily and because of that many games with a 2D style sell really well. From Stardew Valley to Terraria and many other 2D games, all of them use new mechanics and combine that with a beautiful, 2D based art style in order to offer great results.
Of course, there are some 2D game genres that tend to be more popular than others, but game developers should understand that this is a great market to explore despite the fact that it might seem old and not that filled with much promise.
Instead, the 2D gaming world is delivering a great experience for those that have the time to explore it properly. It does take time and commitment to create AAA games but with 2D games created by indie developers the costs are lowered. 2D gaming makes game design more accessible to developers that have an idea but don’t get the funds they need to bring it to reality. And with many pre-created 2D engines, you just need to place your creativity to the test. There are also dedicated tools and frameworks such as Unity that help you create 2D games without any issue.
So it’s all about commitment rather than anything else at this point. Consumers are always open to new ideas, and that’s why the aforementioned indie, 2D games, have managed to sell around 1 million copies. Braid is another example of a great and successful game created in 2D, alongside Shovel Knight, VVVVVV, Super Meat Boy, Undertale and Binding of Isaac as well as many others.
Success doesn’t come based on the technology you use. It’s all about the story or, if that’s not present, game mechanics. Combining a good story with stellar game mechanics that always impress the user and makes him learn something new is what you need to focus on. Of course, it does take some time for the player to get used to the mechanics, but a 2D title that surprises the player will definitely be more successful than a 3D copycat that uses the same mechanics as dozens of other games.
So no, 2D games aren’t dead, in fact right now they are best sellers and they continue to offer a great ROI for their developers. People like retro based or newly created 2D games with great ideas. It’s all about the experience that you can get from playing the game, and a title as simple as Undertale (at least from a graphical standpoint) managed to sell more than a million copies thanks to that. Any gaming genre can become a hit as long as it works hard on the mechanics and it resonates with gamers, don’t worry about 2D going away any time soon, because they are here to stay!