Why Are Retro Games Popular Amongst Millennials?


Marketers understand that capturing the attention of millennials is crucial, seeing as they purchase a significantly large portion of market goods and are the first to get on board with new trends. However, it’s tough getting their attention let alone keeping it. So, this is where nostalgic marketing comes in to play.

In order to reach millennials, marketers have to be creative and relate to them on a one-to-one basis as they hate being sold to and they prefer brands with substance and engagement. This is why we are seeing a rise in retro/vintage gaming, as marketers are understanding why nostalgic marketing works best, due to it being so personal and engaging as it’s taking this generation on a trip back to the past.

Technology has advanced so much in the past 20 years and although being able to play VR games is fun, nothing can beat the games that you played as you were growing up. It’s interesting to go back and play retro games and look at how much the graphics have changed. The simplicity of old games is hard to beat and even today, they can still provide hours of endless fun.

Nintendo is just one popular example. The NES Classic has sold millions and most millennials would much prefer to play the original Super Mario Brothers on this classic console, as opposed to any of the new additions that have come out. Nostalgia is a hard thing to beat!

The release of Pokemon Go in 2016 reinforced how useful-a-marketing technique nostalgia really is. For millennials who hadn’t thought about, let alone played, Pokemon in years were enchanted by the new game which brought them back to their childhood in a completely new way. Even though the initial craze has died down, Pokemon Go is one of the most popular mobile games, as the below infographic by Liberty Games shows.

As you can see, 23% of females still play it and 17% of males! Although everyone may have their different reasons for playing the game, a large portion of players will remember Pokemon from their childhood.

We all love to reminisce, and that’s exactly what retro games provide. Millennials have grown up with developing technology and so it’s nice to have a break from all the new innovations (that are all pretty similar to one another) and go back to basics.