How classic old games would be marketed today

So we started to think about what would have happened if the games of our collective youth had appeared now. How would the harsh modern climate have affected the way they turned out? The answers, as ever, are below.


As it was marketed in 1986

The 1986 Metroid was a mighty clever game. Not only a fiendish and innovative platform puzzler, it single-handedly - and with cunning stealth - strengthened the position of female game characters by hiding Samus' identity in a suit of Chozo armour until the very end of the game. In an gaming era which didn't accept women as anything other than damsels and rewards for male aggression, Nintendo slipped a strong, stoic and capable female lead past neanderthal preconceptions in a way that the audience simply couldn't argue with, having already bonded with her over countless hours of hardcore adventuring.

As it would be marketed now

As it was marketed in 1992

Excessive violence is so passe. Blood and guts might have been shocking enough to sell a new fighting franchise back in 1992, but these days if your Tetris port doesn't fire two spleens and a kidney at the screen for every line scored, you've probably got a cheerleader's pom-poms where your balls should be.

As it would be marketed now

As it was marketed in 1996

For all of his anachronistic misogyny and knuckle-scraping egotism, Duke Nukem was a weirdly likeable character in '96. We had a broader spread of healthy minded, psychologically balanced protagonists back then, so his blunt, self-aggrandising idiocy made him a fairly amusing breath of fresh air. An ironic parody of the previous decade's cinematic heroes even; men whose spurious gunfire could barely be heard over the sound of sloshing testosterone within their own skulls (which were themselves made not of bone, but of specially thickened muscle).

As it would be marketed now

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.