Winter Of Our Discontent Made Glorious Summer ...

By Rosemary Young and Gordon Aplin (January, 2000)
The opening editorial to our last issue It's Official ... Adventure game players don't exist! was, we admit, just a little depressing, but at the time things were looking rather bleak. In the six months or so since we wrote that editorial there have been many positive developments. So here at last is our happy editorial on the future of Adventure games and we are very pleased to start this New Year off on a brighter note :-).

Contrary to persistent rumours of its imminent demise the Adventure genre is alive and well and is currently holidaying in Europe where it is evidently having a wonderful time! Many of the games we have recently played or are looking forward to playing (some already released) are from European developers. These include, to name just a few, Amerzone, Rent-A-Hero, Discworld Noir, Traitors Gate, Dracula Resurrection, The Longest Journey, Schism, Simon the Sorcerer 3, Gilbert Goodmate, The Real Neverending Story, Faust, Atlantis II, Aztec and Time Machine. (The last four are all from Cryo who stubbornly refuse to reply to our e-mails, thus demonstrating that they at least don't believe that the Adventure genre needs all the friends it can get!)

More good news is that major North American publishers such as SouthPeak and DreamCatcher will be publishing some of these games along with their own fine titles and we applaud them for showing continuing faith in the Adventure genre.

Also, the last six months has seen the emergence of the Adventure Coalition made up of a number of web sites with the common purpose of supporting and promoting Adventure games. More importantly, Adventure game fans have become more united and visible and are voicing their concerns and encouragement to publishers, developers, reviewing sites and numerous forums. This is great to see and suggests the beginnings of a 'grass-roots' movement that publishers, developers and certain magazine and web site editors may well find difficult to ignore.

Despite the continuing problems with marketing all this surely gives us hope that the Adventure genre has begun to turn the corner and is set to make a steady, if not spectacular, comeback. The signs are already there that some segments of the computer game industry are prepared to shed their blinkers and recognise that there is a huge market outside of the narrow demographics they have traditionally targeted.

We are constantly amazed at the number of e-mails we get from readers who simply like to share with us details of their age, gender, game playing background and stories of how they became hooked on adventure games. Many are female, over 25 and were introduced to adventure games by a friend or significant other. Many have been playing games for less than a year. They generally stumbled across Quandary because they were motivated to actively seek out information on adventure games because their needs were not being met through traditional sources. There is a message here for those in the industry who are prepared to heed it.

Finally, we would like to thank all the publishers and distributors who supported us over the years and especially thank, you, our readers for your continuing support and encouragement.

Copyright © Rosemary Young and Gordon Aplin 2000. All rights reserved.