(Last Updated On: November 1, 2014)
Video games are an industry worth somewhere between $81-93 billion, depending on the report you look at, and that number just keeps decreasing. Together with that money comes more immersive worlds, better graphics, and all kinds of tweaks and improvements to the gaming experience.
In spite of all of that, it is normally a few game franchises that bring in the bulk of the money. While gaming studios do throw a couple of new ideas one in a while, when something hits, they keep going back to the same well. This explains why there are new Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty games annually – not to talk about the ridiculous yearly installments in every sport game series. These is all proof that a fun game is sure to be rewarded by gamers, no matter how many times they have played pretty much the same game already.
So how do we explain some of the most unusual hit games of the past few years? I am talking about a coupe of the top-selling games that are lots of fun to play, but really should have never been made since they just sound dumb. You maybe have played one or two yourself.
Down here are some of those games. From oddball masterpieces to half-complete games that in reality are not worth the money, written are some of the games that, despite logic, became successful.
Some pretty crazy things have been made by people in Minecraft. From recreations of famous fictional landmarks, starships, and the entire land of Westeros, to a virtual 3-D printer and functioning virtual hard drives – it looks like the only limit when you are deep in the minecraft pixilated world is your imagination.
Lets look back and recognize what this game is, though. You use a character that can build things with blocks. Virtual blocks. Even Minecraft creator Markus Persson did not see how huge this game would get. In a goodbye letter he wrote after selling the gaming company behind Minecraft to Microsoft, he said “Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either.”
A thing that is crazy is that this game, really virtual legos, was sold to Microsoft for $2.5 billion. Even crazier: Microsoft expects that by the mid 2015, the investment would have paid itself. Whatever our feeling about minecraft, it is incredible that such a simple idea turned out to be such a monumental pay out.
4. Flappy Bird
Oh, the infamous Flappy Bird. It was so frustrating that lots of casual gamers could not stop playing. It was so addictive that its creator, terrified to see what his dark imagination had brought upon, removed it from circulation to try to slow the juggernaut he had created.
Flappy bird is an unusual success story, mostly because it’s a truly horrible game. It has hard controls, the hit boxes on the bird and the pipes makes completely no sense, and there’s no variety. You go back to the beginning and start again from zero when you die.
That is what makes this game unique from others on this list. The other games are weird or superficially bad well that were conducted well and became justifiable success. This game that has already been made (Jetman/ Helicopter), it became an ironic sensation due to how it was done poorly. Take note Indie developers out there. You don’t need to make a bad idea good: You just need to redo a mediocre idea in the worst way.
Here is a little bit of Blizzard history. The gaming company, now best known for the popular and dull World of Warcraft, started with three real-time strategy games that were really the medieval fantasy equivalent of Starcraft.
When the franchise was taken over by the World of Warcraft juggernaut, fans of the RTS series – waiting since then for another installment in the series they love – have had to twiddle their thumbs. However, Blizzard knows fans want more, and that’s why they created Hearthstone, the electronic card game based on the series. Wait, what?
By all accounts, it is ton of fun to play this game, since the basic version is free; there are a lot of opportunities for new players to join in the fun. But, and I need to stress this, you are looking at a screen full of virtual cards. Did they keep the mechanics of a traditional card game the same, but spice it up with animated creatures fighting on a battlefield, spells whizzing through the air and chaos being released? Nope. The devs made up their mind to show you a bunch of cards. Moving cards, but they are still cards.
Still with more than 20 million people playing the game, it would look like the team knew what they were doing.
2. The FIFA World Cup Game
Realistically, a person who likes playing sports video games will only see a great difference (aside from roster updates) every 2-3 years. That said, publishers put out a new edition of sports games annually, and like clockwork, vid fans snaps them. Still, at least these games normally offer a rather complete experience. If we look at FIFA games, that means access to sides from all sorts of leagues, with lots of rooster updates, the ability to customize tournaments, and yes, intentional teams, too.
So what do you get from your continuously (unnecessarily) updated game? You get to play as any of the international teams from qualifying through to the final of the world cup. That is it. The game is a bunch of fun, sure. You also get to play in virtual recreations of the stadiums used in the real life tournament, sure. You know what you don’t get? Being able to get all the other stuff you would find in the complete game. In this niche that preys on sports fandom, the absolute pits are even games like the World Cup game.
1. Kingdom Hearts
I love Kingdom Hearts. It is a lot of fun to play around in this weird world where Disney characters and JRPG heroes exist side by side and fight with the forces of evil. If you are a fan of the series, you know how great the combination works. If you are not, you may be right now scratching your head and wondering how Donald and Goofy can possibly mix well with genderless dudes with keyblades.
The first game was made when some of the Square Enix team (the studio behind Final Fantasy) were trying to think of how to make a game that could compete with the just-released Mario 64. They suggested that the best bet would be Disney characters, and as luck would have it, one of them found a Disney executive in an elevator.
Weird as the concept might be, the series started in a big way, over 20 million copies were sold across several platforms. It you are searching for a game that lets you face Jafar, Ursula the sea witch, and an assortment of Final Fantasy bad guys – and really who is not? – you might want to go and get a copy for yourself.