burgertime.jpgThere’s a very interesting piece by Paul Hyman on the Hollywood Reporter site at the moment talking about the retro gaming phenomenon that seems to be going on, and getting an idea about just who is profiting from them. GameTap and Xbox Live Arcade are both put under the microscope, with Stuart Snider, VP and General Manager of the former noting, "It was our belief that there's an audience out there who wants to play these games on their PC at any time of day, any day of the week”.

More so, he adds, “one of the best features of GameTap” is that the games are untouched from their original versions – something with which Greg Canessa from XBLA disagrees with, remarking that they prefer to “improve” the games that are on their service.

But the most interesting comments come from Director of Game Design and Development at the Rochester Institute of Technology Andrew Phelps, who comments that he sees the current retro trend as a backlash against mainstream games. “For instance,” he says. “When you play Grand Theft Auto or The Sims, the experience takes a while. But retro games are faster, you get to the next level in a minute or two, and the feedback is practically instantaneous. While the more intricate, AAA games are fine for some people on some occasions, other people, especially non-hardcore gamers, just want some immediate, short-term fun”

However, he also notes that the trend is cyclical: “People will get tired of them for a while, come back to them again, and then stop for a while”.

[edited by alistairw]