I am a fighting game enthusiast. So much so, that I’ve bought a sizable portion of fighting games released in the last 10 years. This includes pretty much every main stage title at EVO, a number of deep cut indie fighters, genre oddballs, and even some that I know are flat-out bad. Right now, I’m playing Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r], a game that is alien to even most fighting game fans. In modern times, sampling this many games within a genre feels like an anomaly.
While I think that players still have their preferences, my gut says the total number of players who actually sample a wider selection of titles that a genre has to offer is in decline.
Despite being a life-long gamer, the Roguelike and Rogue-lite sub-genres of games have largely been left untouched until relatively recently. Didn’t even know what the genre was until I heard about it on a podcast well into my adult years. The sound of grinding through randomly-generated dungeons in an RPG where all your progress is lost when you die didn’t sound like my cup of tea.
In recent years, elements of the Roguelike experience have permeated to other genres while also toning down the punishment. For example, games of the Rogue-lite variety often give players some means of permanently improving their situation in order to make future runs a bit easier. As for me, I have little interest in playing a dungeon crawl in any genre, but I was willing to give Rogue-lite games like Into the Breach and 20XX a chance due to being rooted in games I love like Advance Wars and Mega Man.