Strategy Games: How Have They Been Able to Take Over?

You may not think it, but across a wide array of different genres, strategic titles are becoming increasingly popular. Aside from the variation in its implementation, the approach itself has been at the very heart of the eSports sector, with strategy-based games holding numerous records in competitive gaming.

Because of this, we’re going to consider why strategy games have become so popular.

A Strategy-Heavy Approach Has a Competitive Edge

Throughout the years, there has been a continual shift in popular gaming trends, with different genres often coming to the forefront as a result of this. However, over the last few years, franchises and titles that incorporate a strategic approach to gameplay have been able to able to firmly establish themselves within the modern gaming world.

Crucially, this new-found popularity is evident upon looking into the thriving eSports industry. According to reports, the global value of competitive gaming is on course to surpass $1.5 billion by 2023, with strategy-based titles such as Dota 2 and League of Legends playing a pivotal role in this flourishing market. League of Legends, which is a fast-paced, arena-based strategy game, recorded the most hours watched of any eSports event last year during its 2019 World Championship, as it amassed over 137 million viewers, highlighting just how popular the genre has become.

Moreover, the next big eSports title of the year, Dota 2’s International Championships, currently holds the record for the largest prize pool recorded in eSports history. At the time of writing, the Valve development has continuously beaten its total from the previous year, with the 2019 fund coming in at just over $34 million, nearly $9 million more than 2018’s prize pool. The continual growth of the fund, which is somewhat generated by consumer participation in the form of, for example, in-game purchases, illustrates the existing gulf between competitive strategy games and those from other genres.

Why Are They So Popular?

However, the reason that strategic approaches to contemporary video games have been well received within the gaming sector in recent times isn’t purely down to the appeal of multiplayer titles in battle arenas.

After being re-branded in 2004, Football Manager has shown that strategy games can be successful in various genres, including sport. While the premise of the Sports Interactive franchise differs from the above titles which have found success on a competitive level, the tactically-focused series revolves around the need to create, develop, and refine in-game strategies in an attempt to win both matches and championships, in addition to successfully implementing your club vision.

Again, similarly to Dota 2 and League of Legends, there is no set path or pre-determined way of playing the game, with the adopted approach to gameplay dependent on the play style of the individual. Even though there can be no doubts that open-world titles and first-person shooters are two of the most popular genres, they don’t always ensure the same degree of freedom that is allowed within strategy games.

No Sign of Losing Popularity

Ultimately, as highlighted by the total prize fund of Dota 2’s International Championships, the popularity of strategy games is continuing to rise year on year, and there are little signs of that growth slowing up. Aside from having the ability to choose your own path, strategic titles provide a sense of accomplishment that cannot be matched by other genres within the gaming sector.

Austin Barrie

Austin Barrie

Austin Barrie is still early into his career as tech reporter but has already published most of his work in a few books, he obviously talks about them in some of his pieces here.

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