High-impact and influential video games can reach enormous cultural reach. Some inspire entire genres, others become essential touchstones that most gamers find worth at least watching, but not actually playing. Less well-documented, however, are those games that have not only had an impact on the gaming industry.
While it’s not unexpected, given the number of people who play video games and the reach they have in pop culture, some people are still surprised when they hit non-gamers. Whether they influenced events around real people, sparked moral or even legal discussions, or had financial implications for other industries, some games have moved beyond the console and into the real world.
10 Musicians gave concerts in Fortnite
Few video games have been as widespread and notoriously popular as Fortnite, especially the Battle Royale mode. Becoming one of the most played games ever, as well as one of the most profitable, Fortnite invaded pop culture in dozens of different ways, from media appearances to memes.
However, pop culture also reached Fortnite† Most notably, several mainstream musicians have performed concerts in the game. Featuring an avatar portrayed after the musician stepped into the game’s world while their music is playing, the concerts attracted a lot of viewership in the game and were widely covered in the media.
9 Pokemon GO caused a wave of security issues
pokemon is one of the most well-known and enduringly popular game franchises in the world. When it came to the incredibly popular mobile market with Pokemon GO, it garnered an unprecedented amount of interest. Even many non-gamers were intrigued by the possibility of capturing the creatures in real life, and the game became a huge success.
With its unusual, real-world AR format, Pokemon GO caused concern. Experts in the media and even the government became preoccupied with the idea that players were wandering into private property or traffic in their search for Pokémon, and warned them. Only a handful of such incidents occurred, but the anticipation was remarkable.
Sonic the Hedgehog, a popular gaming mascot from the 90s, retained enough interest as a character to elicit widespread reaction when a trailer for a Sonic the hedgehog movie in 2019. However, the reaction was neither joy nor nostalgia, but disgust at the unappealing design the film’s animators had given to the protagonist.
Disappointing aspects of game tweaks were nothing new, but this outrage went further. Sonic’s appearance was one of the most common memes on any social media platform for several days. This impact went even further – with the studio completely re-executing Sonic’s model and creating a much better-received look for the character.
7 Minecraft entered the classroom
One of the best-selling games of all time, Minecraft attracted audiences from all walks of life. With its wide-open sandbox, almost limitless creative possibilities and wide variety of gameplay, the game became a pop culture sensation known all over the world.
in the end, Minecraft left the boundaries of gaming and aspired to become a learning tool. Minecraft: Education Edition hoped to use the unique resources available in the game to improve teaching in addition to the other tools available to a teacher. While it won’t revolutionize education, it has seen some use due to its approachability for both students and educators.
6 Injustice spawned a popular DC comic book
The fighting game Injustice: gods among us took place in an alternate version of the DC universe where Superman turned to evil and established himself as a tyrant over the world. While not a new concept, fans enjoyed the game’s story as it showed a different side to many beloved characters. This story was promoted in a comic book tie-in.
Although the first songs were released before the game, injustice comic book was based on the concepts of the game and designed to accompany the game as a prequel. While the comic never threatened to overshadow the mainstream DC universe, it was popular and had positive reviews for three years.
5 Epidemiologists Study A World of Warcraft Glitch
One of the most infamous episodes in World of Warcraft history was the ‘Corrupted Blood Incident’. A deadly and contagious status effect managed to escape from a boss arena by mistake and swept through the player base. Developers struggled to fix the problem, and for several days the game was overtaken by the incident, with players describing in-game cities as appearing full.
Ultimately, the Corrupted Blood Incident required a rollback of the game to undo the effects and get things under control. Though it was a pandemic ultimately confined to a video game, the incident saw genuine interest from epidemiologists, who wanted to study how human players had responded to the event — both benevolently and maliciously.
4 Street Fighter gave Raul Julia one last beloved role
Many video games have seen film adaptations, most of them unsuccessful and mediocre at best. One such example that could have been equally forgettable if there had not been one actor was 1994 street fighter† Veteran actor Raul Julia joined the cast as his villain, General M. Bison, and delivered a performance that showered even the film’s harshest critics with praise.
This might still not have had much of an impact outside of the game industry had it not been for Julia’s last role. Terminally ill during filming, he died shortly before street fighter’s release. Already a respected actor, street fighter gave Julia one of his most iconic and beloved film roles, which remains one of his best remembered to this day.
3 Manhunt sparked outrage from public figures
Video games have always been viewed with suspicion by the media for their violent content, despite the existence of many games in which there is no murder at all. Few have been more controversial for their level of graphic violence than the game manhunt†
A game where the player controls a convict made to fight with others in snuff movies, man hunter was unusually brutal for its time and some saw it as glorifying violence. Several government ministers and other public figures made headlines by criticizing manhunt,and even laws were passed against it – especially after it was falsely linked to a murder in the UK.
2 Halo 3’s release hurts box office sales
The Halo franchise was one of the most popular of the 2000s, with each of its games being praised and widely played. The last game in the original trilogy, halo 3 was hugely anticipated, with gamers eager to see the conclusion of the story. When it was released, it had an unexpected side effect: box office sales plummeted.
the weekend of halo 3‘s release, box office across America was down 27% from the same time the year before, without many other exceptional circumstances. As such, halo 3 has the honor of taking up so much of gamers’ time that it has even damaged another entertainment industry.
1 Battlefront II has had several countries review their gambling laws
Microtransactions have long been controversial in video games, but the release of Star Wars Battlefront II in 2017 they became a much-discussed social topic. The game’s microtransaction-heavy nature allowed for crucial content such as Darth Vader behind loot boxes and a pay-to-win atmosphere. This caused many to refer to the game as nothing more than a Star Warsthemed casino.
Due to the popular nature of Star Wars, this caused a lot of people to pay attention. Although EA later changed the game’s monetization system, the outcry saw several governments, including Belgium’s, revise their gambling laws to see that minors were adequately protected from predatory microtransactions.
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