Is the Era of Game Show Video Games Over?

112 12/07/2022

Game shows, like a loyal dog greying around the muzzle, tend to have a permanent place in peoples’ hearts. The likelihood is that they don’t really fit into your schedule anymore but the memories of watching Jeopardy!, The Price is Right, and Wheel of Fortune during those difficult, formative years will stay with you forever. Put another way, they might not be fashionable, but they’re easy to love.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Video games based on game show properties are a different matter. They’ve never been huge sellers, likely due to the fact that they target two different, even polar opposite, audiences at the same time. These are the millennial ranks of video gamers and an older demographic which grew up with TV as their primary source of information. There’s some evidence that the appeal of game shows is universal, though.

Is the Era of Game Show Video Games Over?

Of course, plenty of game shows has made the transition to an interactive format. The website GameRant lists Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (2011), Jeopardy! (2003), and Trivial Pursuit Live! (2015), as among the best examples of their genre but, notably, none of them managed to break 65% on Metacritic. The best game show title of all is Buzz! Quiz TV (2008), with an 80% rating.

It’s worth noting that video games based on game shows aren’t a current concern of developers. Consoles like the Wii, PS2, PS3, and the Nintendo DS seem to have served as the primary platforms for quiz titles, although the PC has more than a few in its vast catalog of games. Oddly enough, though, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the game show no longer has any fans among video gamers.

Deal or No Deal

Game shows have taken advantage of the same technological developments as traditional games, with mobile phone platforms serving as the main destination for these storied franchises. However, the likes of Deal or No Deal and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? have also made inroads into the casino and bingo industry, appearing in branded bingo games on the Buzz Bingo website.

These bingo rooms, which include Deal or No Deal 90 and 75-ball variants, introduce quirks like a special round versus the nefarious Banker for each player who manages to get a full house on their bingo card. It’s a small change but one that will no doubt appeal to fans of the early evening game show, now sadly cancelled in its original UK. Non-game show TV such as the singing contest The Voice also makes an appearance at Buzz Bingo.

So, to answer the question in the title, the era of game shows serving as inspiration for conventional video games may very well have ended around the same time the PS3 fell into decline but the concept continues unabated on Android and iOS, where Jeopardy! lives in a number of different formats, and on bingo sites. It’s a much more fitting destination for game shows, which never truly felt at home on consoles.

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