EditorialRole Playing

Originality vs Familiarity: The Dual-Edged Sword of Anime-based Games

Anime and gaming!

Anime-based games have surged in popularity for the past couple of years, captivating players with their unique art styles and familiar storylines. However, as these games become more prevalent, I start to wonder about their impact on originality in game development and begin to question if anime-based games are taking off originality and innovation. In this article, I’ll delve into the growing influence of Anime in gaming and explore whether it’s enhancing creativity or leading to a lack of innovation in the industry.

The appeal of anime in gaming

Anime has been a major influence in gaming for a long time, even before mobile games became a thing. I’m a big fan of anime. The artwork is really special and each one can bring something new and unique to the table. When we talk about how anime and gaming connect, it’s clear that they’ve been influencing each other a lot lately.

Anime is inspiring the creation of anime-based or anime-inspired games, which is pretty cool. Plus, a popular game that features anime art styles that are now being turned into their anime series. It’s definitely a really exciting time for fans of both anime and gaming.

Anime inspired games
Image via Netmarble, Garena International II, and Perfect World Games

The connection between popular anime series and their corresponding games has been a massive driving force behind the rise of Anime-based games. Titles like Black Clover M: Rise of the Wizard King, One Punch Man: World, and Solo Leveling: ARISE have gained immense popularity not only due to their beloved anime counterparts but also because they’re genuinely well-crafted games. This symbiotic relationship between anime and gaming showcases how much impact a well-known franchise can have on a game’s success and fanbase.

Mobile Legends Anime skins
Image via MOONTON Games

Moreover, the incorporation of gacha mechanics in many anime-based games has played a significant role in attracting fans. The feature of gacha, with its element of surprise and collectible nature, has proven to be a compelling factor for many players. This trend gained substantial traction following the success of Genshin Impact, a game with an anime-inspired art style that took the gaming world by storm upon its 2020 release.

The combination of Genshin Impact’s gacha system, stunning visuals, and innovative gameplay propelled its success and paved the way for similar approaches in other anime-based games. This shift has influenced the gaming landscape and contributed to the evolution of gacha gaming as a thriving sub-genre within the industry.

Additionally, popular MOBA games such as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang have increasingly featured collaborations with anime franchises. For instance, they’ve partnered with Jujutsu Kaisen, Attack on Titan, and The King of Fighters. These collaborations highlight the growing intersection of anime and gaming, contributing to the rise in popularity of both mediums among fans.

The rise of anime-style games

If you’re a fan of anime-inspired games, then the rise of titles like Wuthering Waves and the upcoming Zenless Zone Zero is something to keep an eye on. While these games may not be directly inspired by specific anime series, they embody the aesthetic and storytelling elements that define the anime genre. Wuthering Waves, with its dynamic combat system and visually appealing graphics, captures the essence of anime-style action RPGs, drawing players into a world filled with diverse characters and exciting gameplay.

Wuthering Waves and Zenless Zone Zero
Image via Kuro Games and HoYoverse

Similarly, Zenless Zone Zero, set to release soon, promises to deliver a top-notch gaming experience within the Gacha genre. From its futuristic art style to its unique character designs, Zenless Zone Zero embodies the vibrant and captivating visuals often associated with anime. The game’s focus on engaging storytelling, coupled with strategic gameplay mechanics, further solidifies its position as a prime example of anime-style games making waves in the gaming industry.

These games showcase how the anime aesthetic has transcended beyond just anime adaptations, influencing game developers to create immersive worlds and compelling narratives that resonate with fans of the genre. Whether you’re diving into intense combat in Wuthering Waves or eagerly awaiting the release of Zenless Zone Zero for its Gacha excellence, these titles represent the evolving landscape of anime-inspired gaming, offering experiences that capture the spirit of anime in interactive and exciting ways.

Adaptation vs. Innovation

Anime adaptations in gaming can be a double-edged sword when it comes to innovation. On one hand, adapting an existing anime into a game can sometimes lead to a lack of innovation, as developers may prioritize staying faithful to the source material rather than introducing new and creative gameplay elements. This can result in games that feel repetitive or too similar to their anime counterparts, potentially stifling innovation within the gaming industry.

Genshin Impact Version 4.6 Arlecchino
Image by HoYoverse

However, anime adaptations can also bring innovation by introducing unique mechanics or storytelling techniques that enhance the gaming experience. For instance, some adaptations may explore alternative storylines or delve deeper into the lore of the anime universe, providing fans with new perspectives and surprises. Additionally, adaptations can introduce innovative gameplay features that complement the themes and aesthetics of the anime.

I can also share that in a recent interview that we conducted with Netmarble, the team behind the Solo Leveling game discussed the balance between adaptation and innovation in anime-based games. They highlighted how adapting an existing anime can sometimes limit innovation, as developers prioritize faithfulness to the source material.

This interview sheds light on the complexities of adaptation versus innovation in the gaming industry. Ultimately, the key lies in striking a balance between staying true to the source material and introducing fresh ideas to ensure that anime-based games continue to evolve and innovate.

Final Thoughts

To answer the question of are anime-based games taking off originality and innovation, there are two sides to this question. On one hand, anime-based games can sometimes be criticized for relying heavily on established characters and storylines, potentially at the expense of originality. These games may prioritize fan service or familiar tropes over innovative gameplay or narrative elements.

On the other hand, anime-based games can also introduce unique mechanics, art styles, and storytelling techniques that might not be as prominent in mainstream games. They can serve as a bridge for fans to engage more deeply with their favorite series or introduce newcomers to the world of anime.

Ultimately, the impact of anime-based games on originality depends on how they are developed and executed. Some games manage to strike a balance between honoring their source material and offering fresh experiences, while others may rely too heavily on existing content. Developers need to find creative ways to leverage anime themes without sacrificing originality in game design.

For more editorials, feel free to check out:

Are anime-based games taking off originality and innovation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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