“Are boss fights dead?” was the question at hand last week at the inaugural Video Games Debate Club held at The Yard: Williamsburg.
Video games have evolved over the decades from cultural marginalia to an industry which is now larger in dollars than the film industry. And not just the sales, the way games are played has changed. Where games used to be arcade-style, with each level culminating in a boss that must be defeated, many games these days have a narrative completely apart from challenges and boss fights.
“They once existed in a much more glorious time,” Collin Cummings, one of the debaters, argued in his opening statement. “But they are now dead. The top 10 games on Steam … none have boss fights. I guess we could say based on empirical data the boss fight era is over.”
Cummings was the organizer of the event, and is the cofounder of the game development startup Playwell. Playwell aims to make it easier for regular people to break into the video game industry by providing instruction and mentorship on how to make and sell games.
The event at The Yard’s coworking and office space location in Brooklyn was one of the group’s first, and featured Yard member Milo Lee, of Equity Arcade, as one of the debaters.
“More games that come out that are artistic don’t have boss fights,” Lee said. “Even the most famous boss is a joke. Bowser! Now you can play Wii Tennis with him!”