How video game companies are making money off your childhood

A variety of Nintendo handheld consoles and games. Photo: Tayla Swales


As Pokémon GO rose to popularity this year, people around the world were hit with a sense of nostalgia from the mobile application.

During its peak, Pokémon GO was estimated to have around 9.5 million daily users around the world and was worth $29 billion.

Including original first generation Pokémon that were originally introduced in 1996, Aussies were keen to relive their childhood through an updated platform, as many would not have access to old gaming systems.

Nintendo will add to the sense of nostalgia next week as they release the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) Classic Edition with console pre-orders already sold out across Australia.

On EB Game’s website alone, as the second batch of pre-orders was open, they sold out in under a minute.

The NES Classic Edition is a replica of the original NES console first released in 1986. The Classic Edition comes with preinstalled games including favourites such as Donkey Kong, Kirby’s Adventure, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Pac-Man and Super Mario Bros.

The Nintendo eShop is an online shopping site accessible from current Nintendo consoles.

In the eshop, users are able to purchase games from earlier systems to play on their current device, with such titles as Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow.

While Nintendo is the largest company to jump on the nostalgia train, the companies behind Xbox and Play Station aren’t far behind.

For an extra fee, users of Xbox and Play Station will be able to play some games from earlier consoles known as backwards compatibility, on current consoles.

Working in an Australian video game store, Dale Hardwick says he loves the idea of bringing old games to new consoles.

“I don’t know how to explain that feeling you get while playing video games I played as a kid,” he said.

“It’s just such an awesome feeling like yeah I remember this! Like rediscovering your first love.

“Almost everyone played those old games as a kid, so why wouldn’t I want to relive that childhood feeling as an adult?”

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