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How Did FPS Games Evolve?

Updated: Apr 2, 2023

Written by Enes Veysel Ugur

The gaming industry is vast and wonderful and has been developing nonstop for years. We, as players, owe a lot to this sector, which is conducive to the emergence of brand-new ideas and the use of new technologies every day. As you know, games are divided into more than one type. These genres are usually determined by the camera angle of the character or characters you're directing, the game's story, or anything like that. Together we will examine how this ingenious genre emerged, its predecessors, and its roots.

FPS, with its long spelling, First Person Shooter, is the name given to the games where you see the events through the eyes of the character you are directing and dive into the action entirely from the eyes of your character. Despite the word "shooter" in the end, they have now attached the FPS label to almost every game we see through the eyes of the character. But the prominent architecture of this genre is based on action and war games. The oldest game of this genre that history can remember is Maze War[1]. Later, with the release of games such as Spasim and MIDI Maze, the industry began to develop gradually. Spasim was simply a first-person space flight simulator. But such an experience at that time? That was incredible. It was different from the FPS games of its day. Instead of advancing frame by frame, it allowed free movement. With Spasim, the industry developed a little more and went as far as a tank simulator for the US Army. Normal players could not play this tank simulator. Later, with Battlezone, which was released for arcade machines in 1980, players had the opportunity to get their hands on these simulators. It’s still possible to hear the name id Software in games today. Recently, with the acquisition of this game studio by Bethesda, we started to hear the name id frequently. The last games we can count are Rage and the new DOOM. So who is this id Software? What does it have to do with our topic? Id Software is a game production company founded on February 1, 1991, in Mesquite, Texas. It is the organization that created important productions such as Doom, Doom II, Wolfenstein 3d, Quake, and Commander Keen. It was a company led by John Carmack, John Romero, Tom Hall, and Adrian Carmack, who worked at the computer company Softdisk. The reason why Id Software was so important was that they moved the ground with the computer programs they wrote and brought a new era to the game world. Moving to the current timeline, with Far Cry and Crysis, released by Crytek, which we know closely, and Far Cry 2, made by Ubisoft, the players loved the games that came out of the combination of open-world gameplay and FPS which has become one of the most popular game styles recently. At the same time, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came out and officially brought FPS gameplay to what it is today. With these games, the FPS genre has become the fastest and most diverse growing game genre in the game world.

As for the last words; the FPS game genre has started to come to incredible places today. With PlayStation Move, Xbox Kinect, and Nintendo Wii, the motion sensor came into play and FPS games were taken one step further. In addition, the VR system, which is still under development, seems to add incredible features to FPS games. With the developing technology, we will now be able to experience real FPS without using any gamepad or mouse keyboard. FPS games continue to maintain their throne as the fastest-growing game genre, as it was a few years ago.

  1. Maze war, the first networked 3D multi-user first person shooter game. (n.d.). History of Information.


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