COG Considers: Adding “Punk” to Your Game Means $$$
One of the biggest upcoming games for the past like 8 years has been Cyberpunk 2077. Even when it seems like its at our doorsteps, it manages to slip away. Undoubtedly, it looks really good. There are a lot of interesting things that it has going on. I mean, CD Projekt Red has made all The Witcher games which have been met with critical acclaim. There are also a couple of other games called Cloudpunk and Frostpunk that have popped up in the last couple of years. Call me crazy, but I’m starting to see a pattern.
[Motif]punk: If you have a interesting element in your game, just slap “punk” onto the end of it and you got yourself a winner. This trend goes beyond games as well. Obviously, the Steampunk aesthetic is also super popular. Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Cloudpunk, Frostpunk; what is it about these things that draw people to them? Other than the word “punk”, the connecting theme is that society is changed or molded around this one thing, and that makes its world wildly different from the others.
The term Cyberpunk is often portrayed or described as a society where technological advances outpace societal advances. This usually means awesome robot arms and guns, but dystopian living conditions. That goes for Steampunk as well; you have airships and cool mechanics, but you live in a world where everyone looks like that insufferable guy in high school that loved Steampunk. If you look carefully, you can find other examples of this trend, minus the “punk” title. Take the Fallout series for example; living there sucks, but there are a ton of cool things that have been done in that world despite that. It would be interesting to look into an alternate reality where it was called Radpunk or something and see how successful it is. Waterworld also comes to mind.
Considering classic movies and video games that share this “punk” mentality, but don’t have the “punk” title, it appears that you don’t need the word to make a good product. However, there are some examples like Cloudpunk and Frostpunk that really seem to be cashing in on that Cyberpunk 2077 hype. That kind of thing isn’t unique to this trend either though. When zombies got really popular, everything was a zombie game. When PUBG became the biggest game on the internet, everything was a battle royale, but those can be left for another time for COG to Consider.
What are some other trends in game titles you have noticed? Let us know in the comments below.