Retro games have clearly picked up speed. In addition to all the indie games or AAA titles, it is now primarily nostalgic gaming experiences that gamers are interested in. This is now also confirmed by the association of the German games industry "Game" with data from a corresponding YouGov survey.

There are different types of games: Looking back, some fans are happy that video games look realistic and detailed today, while others wish they could go back to the good old days, when games were pixelated but no less effective. Retro gaming is an ongoing trend, as indicated by the sales of retro consoles in the past: Sony, Nintendo, Sega - they all have resurrected their game boxes from yesteryear as new old mini versions.

Retro games: A third of gaming fans are interested in them

Around 14 million Germans are interested in retro gaming, that is the conclusion of the YouGov survey, the results of which were published by the “Game” association. That's more than a third of all players. Retro games is therefore not the niche that is often assumed, but a large market. The fact that the AAA titles still dominate is not least due to the meanwhile one-sided reporting: Retro is neglected, often dismissed as nostalgic enthusiasm. The desire for the good old games days is obviously a big one.

Mario, Sonic, Zelda, Sim Tower, Ecco the Dolphin - old games can still inspire today. There are brands and figures that still exist today. Even the frustrations of a shinobi are wished back by some players. In many cases, retro also means: It has to be really old and not just made to look old.

Survey data support this: “Playing games on older platforms is particularly popular,” summarizes the game association. Seven percent of computer and video game players, that is more than three million people, buy original consoles and games to enjoy the classics.

A further six percent of the players resorted to a new edition of a classic games console. This is probably due to financial reasons, among other things: Real retro consoles are rare and cost a lot of money if they are in good condition. They are collectibles, not just toys. Saving foxes rely accordingly on the modern versions, in which the games are included. Real retro fans have to buy expensive titles, for example on old cartridges.

Around every eleventh gamer (9 percent) also buys retro games in the form of new editions for the games console or PC they are currently using. Furthermore, four percent of gamers and thus around 1,5 million of them have subscribed to a service in order to be able to access old games.

“Retro games are trendy, can often be played in quick rounds and many gamers like to get involved with the nostalgic feeling. We also see many game developers and manufacturers who are reissuing popular classic games or the iconic consoles of the 80s and 90s in a retro look with modern hardware in order to serve this great interest," says Felix Falk, Managing Director of the game.

It is almost strange that younger game fans are also interested in retro: According to a survey, 40 percent of 16 to 24 year olds stated that they are interested in retro games. The proportion of 25 to 34 year olds and 35 to 44 year olds is even higher at 50 and 45 percent, respectively, who grew up with many of the well-known classic games.

Retro charm is not only to be equated with nostalgia. It's about game style, conception, gameplay, sound and more - some developers still try to capture this atmosphere in pixel games today. Sometimes fans even band together to release games that still appear on NES cartridges today. Funding campaigns of this kind are found on a regular basis Crowdfunding-Platforms like Kickstarter and Co. And on the approaching one Gamescom? The trade fair is a reflection of the scene: in Cologne, too, there are countless offers for everything to do with retro games – most of the time people play diligently there.

Retro games
More than a third of German gamers are interested in retro gaming. Image: Game eV

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