The video game industry has quickly become the go-to entertainment choice for many. According to the NPD Group, 244 million people in the US played video games in 2020, marking an increase of 32 million gamers since 2018.
Here are a few reasons why the popularity of video games continues to rise:
- Video games enable players a fun way to connect with family and friends
- To live out a fantasy, such as running a city on SimCity or being of a military unit in Call of Duty
- There are thousands of intriguing games and spin-offs to choose from to suit all interests
It’s usually in a gaming companies’ interest to create spin-offs of successful games to cash in on a video game’s popularity.
While some games have ‘sequels’ that have barely changed from the original game. Other spin-offs have exceeded the reach of the original game, became an integral part of the franchise, or proved to be really good in their own right.
Spin-off: Apex Legends
Set in a futuristic universe, Titanfall is a fast-paced shooter where players can control a giant, armored mech-suit. The Titanfall series is incredible in its own right, but its spin-off Apex Legends has overshadowed the original game almost entirely.
Unlike Titanfall, the battle royale caught on with a wider audience and became a major player in its genre. Though it continues to fight for second place behind the ever-popular Fortnite, it still enjoys a large player base.
Its initial popularity was partly driven by partnerships with streamers, but it still made more of an impact than Titanfall ever did, even supporting an active esports scene today.
Spin-off: World of Warcraft
The Warcraft franchise was renowned in its own right, with Warcraft 3 being held up as one of the best real-time strategy games ever made. But its success didn’t compare to the spin-off known as World of Warcraft, which became a pop culture phenomenon and continues to define the MMORPG genre.
Thanks to its detailed fantasy world full of deep lore, mythical creatures, and a plethora of quests, this highly addictive MMO continues to captivate gamers with its endless content. It has eclipsed the popularity of the original game of Warcraft and become what many people believe is the primary game in the franchise.
Half-Life is still regarded as one of the best shooters of all time thanks to its tight gameplay and intriguing story. Though it isn’t typically associated with the series, Portal actually takes place within the same world as Half-Life.
Unlike Half-Life, Portal isn’t around blasting brain-stealing aliens with assault rifles and shotguns. Instead, the player is required to work through a series of thought-provoking puzzles with a gun that, as the name suggests, creates portals.
Although Portal only makes passing references to Half-Life in the game’s dialog and musical numbers, players don’t seem to mind and find the game intriguing and addictive in its own right.
Original: Tomb Raider
Spin-off: Tomb Raider Online Slot Game
Lara Croft was one of the most iconic characters in gaming for a time, with her popularity dragging Tomb Raider out of video games and into comics, novels, and even live action movies.
A notable spin-off of Tomb Raider is Tomb Raider Online Slots, crafted by Microgame. Here adults can immerse themselves in the action with the potential of winning real money.
Despite the game’s age, this old slot still holds up, with an attractive theme that gets players to spin the reels. If you’re yet to experience the adventurous Tomb Raider slot game, now is a perfect time to do so as Betway is offering a generous £50 bonus to all newcomers who play this slot game classic.
Original: Donkey Kong
Spin-off: Donkey Kong Country
If you were a kid in the 1970s, it’s likely playing Donkey Kong at the arcade was a favorite pastime of yours. Donkey Kong helped Nintendo gain a reputation as a significant player in the gaming market. However, Donkey Kong’s success later faded as Donkey Kong’s playable character, eventually named Mario, caught the spotlight.
But gaming company Rare helped Donkey Kong realize his full potential as a character by reviving the ape and making him the star of his own series in 1994. The game had a unique graphical style that emulated 3D characters with pre-rendered graphics. Though it looks a bit dated today, the visuals were unrivaled by other games at the time.
Rare took Donkey Kong and made him a unique character rather than a flat villain. As such, the spin-off is much more appealing than the original.
Original: Mario Bros
Spin-off: Super Mario Bros
The classic pack-in game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Mario Bros., isn’t actually the first game in the franchise. That honor goes to the 1983 arcade game, which was reimagined as a PVP minigame for Super Mario Bros. 3.
After a few years, Nintendo created Super Mario Bros., which became one of the most-played video games in history and the preferred option for many compared to Mario Bros. Who knew a game about two plumbers exterminating creatures in sewers would go so far?
Original: Resident Evil
Spin-off: Resident Evil: Revelations
Resident evil entered the gaming world in 1996. The game features a haunted mansion full of secrets that players are forced into exploring. A slew of sequels, spin-offs, and a host of remakes followed, but the game suffered a sharp decline in popularity with the co-op-focused Resident Evil 5 and generally awful Resident Evil 6.
The game experienced a major upswing with the release of Resident Evil 7 but ahead of that was an underrated gem in the spin-off, Resident Evil: Revelations. Revelations effectively laid the framework for the remake of Resident Evil 2 that would become some of the biggest games of 2019.
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