Adventure games have fallen out of favour with consumers due to the rise of first person shooters, Ron Gilbert has claimed.
The man who ‘invented’ the point and click game is currently working a new adventure title, thinly disguised behind a veil of platforming mechanics.
The Cave is being developed at Double Fine, which became the standard-bearer of adventure games this spring when it launched its $3.3 million Kickstarter campaign to fund a game of a genre long considered defunct.
But Gilbert says the death of the genre is just a myth.
"Adventure games never really died," he told Eurogamer.
"They kept selling the same number of units that they’ve always sold. The problem is that everything else was selling more units. They reached more of this stagnation rather than a dip."
This isn’t the first time Gilbert has made this claim, but this time he was more precise as to where exactly the blame lay for taking attention away from his medium of choice.
"I blame Doom.Before Doom came out, games were a lot slower paced and people were a lot more interested in thinking and strategy."
It’s not just adventure games that suffered, either. Games like Civilization and Ultima faded into the background as real-time trumped turn based at market, he said.
"These are very kind of slow moving games and you just sort of absorb yourself into it. You just kind of enjoy the moment of being in the game," continued Gilbert.
"And then Doom came out… it was visceral, and it was fast, and you shot stuff, and gibs flew off of everything. And it just kind of flipped a lot of people’s thinking a little bit, and also attracted a much bigger audience into games.
"With the adventure game people stayed, they never left. But there were all these other people that kind of came and things like Doom just sort of started to dominate."
With more adventure games making headlines, and triple-A titles like X-Com and Dragon Age taking a more old-school turn based approach, it may be that times have changed again.
Gilbert says that there could be several reasons for that: the widening market caused by the smartphone craze, or even gamers simply getting older and wanting to share the same sorts of games they played with their kids.
Either way, it seems adventure games are back, and hopefully here to stay.