Hero Shooters dominated the gaming industry for what seemed like forever! Their reign seemed impossible to defeat as more and more developers pumped out Hero Shooter after Hero Shooter, some good, some… uh, terrible. Regardless, it seemed like every ten minutes, there was another one in your face, but has their reign finally come to an end? Has their pedestal been cracked, or is it falling down altogether? Have they been actually replaced by the Battle Royale genre? In this article, I’ll answer everything you need to know about all of that and much more!
What Are Hero Shooters?
Before we get into anything more complicated, let’s cover the absolute basics: what, exactly, are Hero Shooters? Well, basically, you play as a certain hero and shoot things. Yes, really. It’s that basic. It’s a subgenre of shooters in general, but with a twist: you play as a certain character. Overwatch is a great example, where you have a whole cast of colorful characters in which everyone plays slightly differently. It doesn’t exactly matter about the weapons, because you can’t compare Roadhog’s gun to Tracer’s. They are simply an extension of the character themselves, making their play styles much more important than any one factor.
Why Did They Get So Popular?
Hero Shooters jumped to popularity a while back. There are a few reasons for this, but the biggest one is the attachment to the characters and the connection you can form. That might sound weird, but it’s really quite true! You can grow very fond of, and very skilled at, certain characters. Instead of boasting that you have a certain weapon or another, you can proudly (or unproudly) declare that you are a Hanzo main, to continue with the Overwatch theme. Since each character is so different and since they often display different abilities, there’s bound to be one that stands out as simply more fun to the gamer.
Also, let’s not be blind to the fact that the gaming industry loves to copy things. If games about puppies were popular, every single game would be about puppies for a while. Since these shooters were all the rage for so long, of course you had tons of them! Some missed the boat or never took off in popularity, but others, like Overwatch, Apex Legends, Paladins, and so forth have cemented a solid fan base who remains fairly loyal.
Are Hero Shooters Dying Out?
Yes. Yes, they are. I’ll cut right to the chase. Yes, Hero Shooters are dying off and being replaced by other game modes, noticeably in the Battle Royale genre. I hate to drop the news on you like that, but that’s the cold reality.
Why Are They Dying Out?
This is the obvious follow-up question and I have a less obvious follow-up answer for you. Well, maybe obvious. Maybe not. There’s a variety of reasons that the Hero Shooters are being replaced. Here’s some of the top ones:
Old Hat. The gaming industry is always a battle for being fresh and unique, and let’s face the truth: Hero Shooters, though fun, have been around a long time and a lot of people are tired of them. They want something new and exciting that will thrill them as much as the first time they played, and Hero Shooters… well, they’ve played them too much for them to do that anymore.
Swaying Interests. Even if a super cool Hero Shooter came out right now, it probably wouldn’t hit with that much acclaim because there is a feeling that they are dying off, and as such, many gamers won’t want to get into it. They prefer to follow the popular vote, and what they are hearing is that other games are the future.
Battle Royale is Fun. They’re very easy to get burned out to, but they are also super fun! They provide a great alternative to Hero Shooters; the Battle Royale genre is actively very fun.
Developers are Choosing Battle Royales. Developers are reading the room, so to speak, and since they are putting out fewer and fewer Hero Shooters, they’re putting the final nail in that coffin.
Can Hero Shooters Survive?
You may be bummed about this article, and I understand that. Some of my favorite memories were from Hero Shooters. But here’s the good news: Hero Shooters can survive. An excellent example of a new Hero Shooter is Valorant. It can go two ways: it can be dismissed and forgotten, proving that Hero Shooters are a thing of the past, or embraced and become popular. Really, it’s as simple as that: if gamers want Hero Shooters to stick around, play them and developers will continue to support them.