There’s much to celebrate when it comes to retro gaming and their fans. Nintendo announced the NES Classic Mini: a fit in the palm of your hand NES with 30 games on board, HDMI hook up, and classic NES controller.

And like the days of old, once rival to plumber loving game company, Sega announced a new sequel in their famed blue blur franchise, Sonic Mania. A 2D love letter that is being called the sequel that “fans deserve”.

Much of this strategy is two fold. Sure releasing past titles to a new generation is an easy grab for cash. Players who enjoy the latest of Super Mario 3D World or Mario Maker want to know what the plumber was up to in the past 30 years before now. For Sonic, those who booed and jeered Sonic Boom would like to experience something that’s not as… unpleasant.

Either way, everyone wins. It gives those who have multiple copies of the 30 titles listed on the NES Classic Mini to be reminded of them once again and maybe give a chance to replay them. It helps the parents who grew up with those games a chance to play them with their kids because god knows trying to play NES games on an HDTV is a hassle.

Nostalgia is a powerful device when marketing a video game and it doesn’t have to stop with just mainstream AAA titles. Indie games as well have seen a surge of nostalgia with the remakes of games like System Shock 2, King’s Quest, or even more recent titles like the Binding of Isaac. Giving people that extra kick in the memory bank reminds them that great games like this existed before and will continue to have a place on their shelves in the future.

It’s easy to lose focus on the past when you are so concentrated on the future. The next game. The next release. It’s easy to forget that a lot of people will probably play the game that came out ten years ago first before the one that’s been out for ten days. Money is a big proponent. Your older titles will likely drop dramatically in price hoping to have someone buy in to hook them. But giving them a makeover, a bundle, or even an easier way to play is a small effort in showcasing your work.

I wouldn’t go George Lucas Special Editions on them, but a little elbow grease never hurt anything and if that justifies an extra five or ten bucks on the head, then why not?

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Eric M Hunter

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