Why are history's best-selling platform games so successful? How important is a solid reward structure? Can a control tutorial negatively affect game sales? Answers to these questions and more are contained with this extensive Gamasutra-published survey on the genre.
This unprecedentedly detailed summing-up of the platform game genre was originally created in 2003 by journalist and game designer Daniel Boutros, but this special 2006 version includes much additional information and is publicly released for the first time.
The original introduction explains:
"...Marketing circles are reportedly deliberating that platform games – as a genre - are not as attractive to consumers as they once were. We believe it’s not an issue of genre, but an issue of effective design principles of past being forgotten.
Thanks to Naughty Dog and Insomniac, the PS2 has been awash with well-produced platform games and we’ve also recently been blessed by new outings from Mario and Sonic on Gamecube. However, although they’ve all been successful in their own respects, these games have failed to match the astronomical sales success enjoyed by their predecessors.
To prove our point, we’ll use the best selling games of each top-selling platform game series and compare them alongside the recent next-generation updates."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic
, including a gigantic amount of analysis and specifics on the genre (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).