Retrogaming is the term used to describe the use of so-called “old” video games. It is no longer a secret that vintage is the big trend of the moment in all fields, including videogames. This phenomenon, initially linked to the nostalgia and passion of Generation X (those born in the 70s and 80s), is booming.
It’s in the old pots…
Retrogaming enthusiasts like to use the old adage that “it was better before”. While this is not necessarily true, it is clear that today’s nostalgic 40-year-olds are not the only ones to have succumbed to the charm of retro video games. And the mastodons of the videogame market have understood this. When it comes to retrogaming, there is a before and after November 11, 2016. It is indeed on this historic date for aficionados that a well-known Japanese firm, surfing on the renewed public interest in its past glories, is re-releasing one of its mythical video game consoles. The success is well and truly there. Other well-known companies are following suit and are also experiencing a triumphant return of their former licenses. Both the nostalgic and the youngest are conquered. Many of today’s game developers even use pixel art and chiptune, bringing the 8-bit and 16-bit era back into fashion.
The other side of the coin
In reality, retrogaming is not as recent a trend as people think. It has only been known for a few years, but niche parallel markets have existed for a long time. These parallel markets have raised a legal issue that continues to hurt retro video game players. Emulators, for example, are widespread and indeed make it possible to play on illegally downloadable Roma, creating a huge loss of revenue for the companies. On the other hand, investing in consoles to play old games can be very expensive for consumers’ budgets. Finally, the environmental impact of the use of video games is far from negligible, as around 4% of greenhouse gas emissions come from digital technology.
If it represents a windfall for video game companies and enthusiasts, the old video game market also presents certain disadvantages for both from an economic point of view and for the environment.