The FPS/RPG hybrid genre of video games has become quite a popular trend over the last few years in mainstream triple A titles. The success that these games have had is staggering, considering titles like Fallout 3, Mass Effect, Borderlands and BioShock. These titles were enormously successful, sparking entire multi-million dollar franchises. They are perhaps the most well known of the big FPS/RPG hybrids and all, interestingly, were released between 2007-2009. This stretch of a few years has seen the FPS/RPG hybrid (also referred to as the RPS for Role-playing shooter) explode in popularity.
Obviously, the above mentioned titles aren’t the first RPS games, but their success is having a much larger affect on the gaming world than the earlier titles ever did. An earlier RPS game that certainly had some influence on the bigger, more recent RPS games is Deux Ex. Released in 2000, quite a long time ago for video game years, it was highly acclaimed and very well could have been the spark that set the groundwork for how to successfully design and develop an RPS game. Deux Ex also had a sci-fi theme to it, which seems common among RPS games.
The RPS game does seem to work very well as both an FPS and an RPG, which is fortunate (and potentially very lucrative) for video game companies that can pull them off. There is a large market for both of these style of games, and combining them successfully can lure fans of both genres into one game. And let’s face it, the Japanese styled RPG was getting a bit worn out.
Considering the factors mentioned above, the RPS is only gaining momentum in the video game mainstream and there are no signs of it slowing down — it has become the new lasting trend. The only question to ask now is; when will the video game industry deliver an MMOFPS that rivals the mighty World of Warcraft?