It looks like we’re reaching a new high point for high fantasy, and this can be clearly seen in all forms of media whether it’s TV, movies or video games. Game of Thrones is a full-fledged phenomenon that’s both a critical and cultural smash hit, and MTV has been adapting its own fantasy series for teens with The Shannara Chronicles. But this trend has perhaps been most present in video games.
Fantasy has always been been a popular trope for games. The escapist nature of fantasy has long made it a favorite of among role-playing games dating back to the original Dungeons & Dragons. Of course, it continues to remain popular through contemporary franchises such as the Elder Scrolls series and World Of Warcraft.
WoW is back in the headlines thanks to an incredible new expansion that has made the game more fun than ever. The latest expansion in the legendary MMORPG, Legion, is already both a critical and financial success for Blizzard. It was released to rave reviews and sold more than 3.3 million copies in its first day. It has helped to provide a much-needed graphical overhaul to the game while adding a whole new class of character and providing serious updates to the existing classes. Legion is quickly bringing many fans that had long quit on WoW back into the fold while also introducing plenty of new fans to the expansive world of Azeroth.
And the popularity of fantasy only continues to grow beyond the sphere of hardcore gamers. As Game of Thrones has helped to push fantasy well into the mainstream, we see many of the hallmarks of the genre making their presence known outside of traditional RPGs. This can account for the prevalence of fantasy themes in browser gaming platforms with slots and games regularly featuring fantasy tropes including dragons, fairies, sorceresses and more. There’s something universally appealing about fantasy that has helped to keep the genre relevant. Not only that, but the newfound popularity combined with games both casual and hardcore have served to build even more fans across the
This trend will only continue in the future as more big name fantasy titles loom on
the horizon. Among them is an HD remastering of Bethesda’s open-world RPG hit, Skyrim, which is set to hit PCs and consoles in October. The new edition looks drastically better than the original game from four years ago. It should be a welcome upgrade for those looking to return the world of Skyrim or those that never got to experience it the first time around. Sadly, PS4 players will get a decidedly different experience than PC and Xbox users because there will be no mod support for the PS4 version. Still, even without mod support, Skyrim is likely to be one of the biggest games of the holiday season because the original game was just so, so good. Bethesda is about to create an entirely new generation of Dovahkin and, despite owning the original and logging countless hours into it, we’ll still probably get the upgrade.
With both Warcraft: Legion and Skyrim expected to dominate this fall’s sales charts, it’s safe to say that fantasy has firmly established its dominance in pop culture. It’s definitely no longer just something the nerdy pursue in their basements because these days, you look lame if you aren’t a fan of fantasy.