The lines between the individual elements of pop culture have blurred considerably in recent times, making it possible for genres and franchises to become popular through film, literature and various gaming channels.
Take the Western genre, for example, which enjoyed a stellar return to the silver screen in the form of Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant Django Unchained in 2012. This not only re-imagined the Wild West for the digital age, but it also spawned a number of similar films such as The Hateful Eight, The Revenant and Bone Tomahawk.
How Red Dead Redemption Has Sparked a Similar Revival in Western Gaming
More specifically, it was the acclaimed success and cult popularity of Red Dead Redemption 2 (which still awaits an official release date) that triggered a resurgence in Western gaming. Since then, we have seen a number of development ideas released into the mainstream, including the suggestion that the next Far Cry title may actually simulate a spaghetti Western and revitalize a truly classic genre.
We have also seen the launch of the crowdfunded Wild West Online project, which is an MMO (Massively multiplayer online) game that has been directly inspired by Red Dead Redemption. In fact, the developers behind the project launched the initiative after they grew tired waiting for the release of a sequel, so they refined their own proposition and turned into an interactive desktop experience.
The influence of the Western genre has even reached the world of online casino gaming, although admittedly it has a natural hook in this sector. Virtual casino brands such as Europalace offer a burgeoning range of Western-themed games, for example, including the increasingly popular Western Frontier. With more slots and poker-themed titles set to hit the market over time, the impact of Red Dead Redemption is being felt far beyond the console gaming platform.
The Last Word: What Next for the Western Genre
It is interesting to note that the original Red Dead Redemption title failed to impact on mainstream gamers, although it did manage to build something of a cult following. The resurrection of the Western genre on the silver screen has helped to successfully drive the promotion of the sequel, however, as has the game’s close affinity to the popular Grand Theft Auto 5.
With the sequel now already being discussed in casual gaming circles, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a title that has clearly helped to popularizeWestern-themed experiences. It also has the potential to serve as a catalyst for further growth and diversification in the genre, particularly as globally-renowned franchises like Far Cry continue to explore Western themes.