New Jawn

With the Activision/Blizzard layoffs last week, it is clear that gaming has taken another turn, this time likely into the post-boom normalcy. As a skateboarder, I watched as the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise built a previously unimagined base of skateboarders, rocketing our subculture to unseen heights; giving rise to new companies, more pro skateboarders, larger mainstream exposure and endorsements, then within a few short years skating was just another thing in the mainstream nexus, the industry dipped, companies shutdown, and though skateboarding is still widely more popularized now than in 1998 (pre THPS) we are unlikely to watch our “thing” get thrown on that popularity roller coaster again anytime soon. Craft beer is actually enduring this ride right now as well.

Gaming has just passed through the eye of this needle. Before LoL, Overwatch, Minecraft, and Fortnite, in the near prehistoric times of EverQuest and the first launch of WoW – gaming wasn’t a fad, it wasn’t “cool” as defined by the mainstream, hell it wasn’t even all that common. Very few would have predicted the sky rocket like propulsion that shot through this industry in the mid 2000s. With the advent of PvP servers on consoles, the normal Halo playing controller jocks realized that online gaming was just better. Way better.

Over the following years, and the release of many titles on both console and PC formats, the n00bs rushed to become the top of the heap in just about any FPS they could get their paws on. The bubble grew. Lately, there has been some stagnation in the gaming world even among the hardcore keyboard and mouse set. Over stimulation with things like the Overwatch League, Blizzard TV, and Fortnite dance crazes seem to have taken their toll on the harder to impress gamers, leaving these mediums to the younger more impressionable set who aren’t beholden to traditional media, lack the attention span or bank accounts to keep pumping money into the industry. I’m not saying that the industry is going anywhere, but we have seen the fight for elbow room within the indie developer sector intensify, and it’s hard to watch Blizzard shed hundreds of employees at once and think that there isn’t some larger course correction happening.

All in all I think that in the next few years we will see the sensationalizing of our community space settle a bit before we ultimately get back to business as (un)usual.

Much Love. Feel free to tell me off in the comments.