There was a pretty large fuss when CD Projekt Red revealed precisely how much you could customize the protagonist in Cyberpunk 2077, to the point that it included a few genitalia options.
Watch Dog: Legion excited some when it was revealed that you could hack a car and have it drive over foes.
The Sniper Elite franchise continues to show rounds eviscerating the inside of your foes when effectively engaged from maximum distance.
Yet this somewhat grotesque relationship that the gaming industry tends to have with what developers hearken as ‘realism’ and ‘no-holds-barred immersion’ tends to convey the wrong relationship with more mature themes and gaming as a whole. These titles typically aren’t popular due primarily to the amount of obscene content offered, but that it is there as an additive to the overall flavor of the title.
Looking at Katamari Damacy, the title rolled over everything in its time to become a massive classic about just trying to roll up the entire world (and eventually, the galaxy). There was nothing obscene about it, although it readily hinged on a few outlandish concepts that could arguably be better understood with the help of a few hallucinogens.
— Annapurna Interactive (@A_i) December 3, 2020
The title Katamari Damacy has easily outlasted its colleagues: it released in March of 2004 for PlayStation 2 in Japan, and has since graced multiple platforms with its simple and heartwarming gameplay that is easy to understand and hard to master.
So when Wattam came out in late 2019 for the PlayStation 4, and a year later (December 18) for Steam, it is a bit bizarre to speculate on precisely how little fanfare the adorable adventure/sandbox has received. It currently has a whopping 50 reviews after five days on the market with 84% recommending the title; the characters are adorable and whimsical, split-screen cooperation makes it a wonderful game to force your kids to join you on, and the overall design smacks of the Katamari Damacy that has been heralded for such a long time.
Still, pedigree can clearly mean very little without a boisterous marketing budget within the gaming industry: Assassin’s Creed continues to sell well despite becoming Historical Fiction Simulator with iffy plots, bastardized history, and single-player microtransactions, while faceless battle-royale title #310 games tons of players immediately (unless you’re asking players to pay for every match), and the industry regurgitates franchises with the same mechanics for eons.
Meanwhile, creative and innovative titles flounder in obscurity without massive publisher budgets that have frankly raised the bar of spending to get your game noticed so high that it’s a near miracle if you can get lifted off the ground.
Among Us might as well not have existed until early 2020, and the number of titles that languish in obscurity while bringing interesting ideas is growing ever-higher by the week.