Game mechanics, themes, features, and characters come and go almost daily now, and yet it’s still very clear to see which creations turned into influencers of industry trends. Now a few years removed, it’s become obvious that the decade between 2009 and 2019 was one of game-changing titles, literally.
It wasn’t just in gaming, either, with the time frame now looking to be one of particularly inspiring content across entertainment. There was just something about the ten years that encouraged developers to go bold and creatives to think outside of the box. So, which titles continue to have their fingerprints on the games being released today?
2009 to 2019: An age of now-legendary games
We’ll start with the game that continues to be ported to each new platform, bar mobile, and has the world still awaiting its sequel: Skyrim. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, as it’s fully named, changed everything. Building on the groundwork of its 2006 predecessor, Oblivion, Bethesda Game Studios went big on promotion and even bigger in-game. The fantasy-themed, open-world, action RPG set the standard and forced big-name, unimaginative publishers to attempt to incorporate such elements into their releases.
However, Skyrim wasn’t so influential in its inception that it became a genre of its own, unlike FromSoftware’s Souls series. Starting with 2009’s Demon’s Souls, the style of play, and particularly the challenges posed around each corner, spawned the term “Soulslike,” which even the likes of The Legend of Zelda has built its way into since. The loosely linked series is still very active in the gamerverse, with each new release encouraging more copycat action.
Perhaps the most publically discussed in the mainstream, however, is the battle royale trend. With the idea drawn from the Koushun Takami novel Battle Royale, the last-person-standing style turned out to be incredibly fun as a game. The first most notable game to craft and implement this was H1Z1, the eternally early access Steam game with more name changes than modes hit the store in 2015. However, by the time that it left early access as a dedicated Z1 Battle Royale, Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had already muscled into the mainstream to take the novel idea public, ushering a wave of similar modes.
An entertainment industry abuzz with trend-setters
Easily the most influential media property of the 2009-2019 era, standing as the highest-grossing movie of all time for about a decade, is Avatar. James Cameron’s movie was a revelation, combining the stunning colors of Pandora with lots of action to make 3D peak at cinemas. It was niche before and heavily pushed after its late 2009 release, and even though few will back it as a good addition to the cinematic experience, with Avatar, it was all-but essential.
In the realms of online casino gaming, the early years of the decade laid the foundations of the oceans of games out there today. Easily the most influential of the hundreds of slots released is Barcrest’s Rainbow Riches. The 2009 release popularised the lucky Irish theme in online slots and the use of multiple bonus feature games. It’s even seen several crossovers into other areas of online gaming, such as with Rainbow Riches Bingo, Rainbow Riches Megaways, and Slingo Rainbow Riches.
Souls, Skyrim, and the battle royale titles continue to influence the world of gaming, and all of them are still very playable today thanks to the innovations that led to the massive popularity of each title.