There are many ways to extend a game's lifespan. One is to offer a new game plus option, where you can go back after completing the game to play again on a new difficulty or with extra features. Some companies may add a multiplayer mode that receives consistent updates. Expansions and add-ons never hurt. But there's another important way to help keep a game relevant, and that's by letting people get involved. When games have level editors, stage builders, and customization tools built into them, it is a way to ensure they never die.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a game that is going to have its audience involved in a big way soon. Nintendo inadvertently leaked a major update for the fighter back in April 2019. Namely, that the Stage Builder feature present in past installments is coming to the Nintendo Switch version. It then made its debut on April 17, 2019. People will be able to create custom stages to fight on with other people. These editors have always been versatile, with a lot of different stage parts. The Wii U entry even allowed people to draw their own stages and share them online. It's an opportunity to keep an already robust game even more lively. Especially since sharing is encouraged with Smash World and
The Far Cry 5 map editor is a big deal. It lets people make maps to be enjoyed alone, with a second player for co-op, and for 12-player multiplayer games. The Far Cry Arcade has over 9,000 objects to use, tapping into past games for inspiration, and people are taking advantage of it. Maps from other games, like Call of Duty and PUBG, have been brought into the game. You can create, share, search, and enjoy. The game is staying super active as a result, with people making new stuff every day. It gives people an excuse to return.
As far as indie games go, Wargroove goes above and beyond. It has the same sorts of scripting tools in its editor as the ones used by the developer to make the game. People are able to create and share campaigns and both single and multiplayer maps as a result. Even better, these aren't limited to certain consoles. Every platform can access all of these creations. It is a huge game to begin with. Knowing you have access to so many extra stories and be able to make your own is incredible. It is like you are paying an entrance fee for both a game and software that will keep you busy for years.
You could even say Fallout 76 is a part of this movement. Let's face it, the wasteland is pretty empty. There's no story here. People have to make their own. Which means they get to go wild. Some play the daring stranger who shows up to aid new players. They help people find their footing as a kindly guardian angel. There are also people like Vault101manguy, who create fiendish traps like the Deathclaw Maze, where what seems to be an unsuspecting building turns out to house a maze with a lethal monster inside. Without these original creations, the game would be a lot more boring.
Allowing people to get involved is good all around, and these four games prove it. Developers and publishers win, because the titles remain relevant. People are going to want to keep playing if there is always new content to enjoy. Players will be more engaged, both because they will be able to make their own dreams come true and always be tapping into what others have done. It is even good for different stores, because it means people will keep coming back to buy those games. Everyone wins when level editors and stage builders are around.