We recently had a look at movie website designs, and now it’s time to examine another entertainment medium – video games. The industry is in a highly competitive stage; Next Generation gaming is under way and the consoles (as well as the games being developed) boast innovative web designs to entice in the gaming world.
Games have become increasingly cinematic in recent years, with dialogue heavy titles being developed to make games more immersive. As they’re naturally aesthetically pleasing anyway, web designers are given a creative helping hand in the creation and maintenance of the official sites. As you’ll see below, a game’s overall design is often incorporated into the official website, with original artwork, YouTube videos of the title in action, and occasional music peppering landing pages. It’s a visually arresting digital world and it’s easy to find inspiration from their creativity, so here’s a look at 15 designs and how they wow their gaming audience.
Sony’s PS4 boasts the the slogan “This is for the players” and its competitive price scheme. The PS4 itself is sleek and compact, which is replicated by the site. It’s made clear what’s going on: the console is affordable, stylish, and technologically advanced. The blue and orange icons allow for the visitor to “explore” the console’s capabilities, whilst encouraging fans to engage with the Twitter campaign. An effective site through its ease of use.
2. Wii U
Nintendo’s Wii U offers an innovative approach to Next Generation gaming, with the console’s controller effectively being a games console in its own right. The site hammers this point home with trademark Nintendo characters, highlighting the Wii U’s social attributes, and the ever unique GamePad. Delving into the “gaming experience” section showcases an excellent, vivid list of impending titles. Concise, striking, and eye opening.
3. Xbox One
Microsoft’s Xbox One site is faintly reminiscent of Windows 8’s OS design. This is perhaps unsurprising. There’s a heavy emphasis on tiled images to indicate different games, with major titles dominating the screen’s initial landing page. It’s easy to navigate, accessible, and looks spectacular.
4. Grand Theft Auto V
An extremely violent and contentious title, on first visiting the site you have to provide your date of birth to enter! The franchises’ famous sense of humour and satire are evident as soon as you bypass this initial hurdle. GTA5‘s distinctive visual style is heavily incorporated on the site, with sections opening up humorous, visually appealing features which highlight the expansive nature of the title. A fine effort!
5. Super Mario 3D World
Nintendo’s Super Mario 3D World has been critically acclaimed and is considered one of the best games of 2013. Rave reviews are featured, as is trademark music from the series, whilst arbitrary scenes from the game are played prominently. Watching for a few seconds makes it obvious what the site is saying: this game is fun, buy it. There are detailed sections about the title, and it’s all very easy and fun to navigate.
6. The Last of Us
Considered one of the best games of 2013, The Last of Us was a PS3 exclusive. Developers Naughty Dog have a surprisingly restrained website, whilst Sony’s version plays on the game’s critical acclaim and emotive nature. The landing page’s artwork is exploited with requests for fan art in the form of a competition, whilst the rave reviews are placed in easy to observe areas.
7. Bit Trip Presents… Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
Gaijin’s 2D platformer Runner 2 wowed critics, and the game’s understated nature is emulated by the website. Vibrant artwork to one side, the site is simplistic and to the point. Reviews highlight the game’s quality, whilst icons indicate which devices you can buy it on.
8. Xenoblade Chronicles
The Wii’s Xenoblade Chronicles showcased all manner of dramatic sweeping landscapes and is recognised as a classic in the RPG genre. A dominant image greets the visitor, with the vast open world area hinting at the scale of the game. To further entice players there’s a trailer, tutorial video, and strategy advice. It’s concise, but gets the job done.
9. Rayman Legends
UbiSoft’s hugely imaginative Rayman Legends is one of the most inventive 2D platformers in recent years. Extremely vibrant and surreal, the website reflects this quirky nature with a trailer for the game (helpfully highlighting some of the idiosyncracies of the title), as well as a useful “10/10″ rave review in a the line of sight of any visitor. Links to where to buy the game also receive a prominent position.
Dramatic music, emphasis on Next Generation music, and a very evident “Pre-Order” icon greet you on the Titanfall landing page. The spectacular looking game has this graphical brilliance on full display on the landing page – it’s clear just how good the games look, and the sci-fi elements will bring back stirring memories of films you’ve seeb. When merged together this makes for an impressive site.
11. World of Warcraft
The WoW series invokes memories of Lord of the Rings and many other fantasy genres. The landing page for WoW pinpoints the popularity of the game and the fact it’s free to play. The image of the dragon and female character indicate immediately what the whole thing is going to be about – indulgent escapism. It acts as a way to get people playing, with a simplistic looking form enticing the player into the experience.
12. Zelda: Wind Waker
Nintendo’s HD remake of the 2002 classic, Zelda: Wind Waker shows off its eclectic cast of characters. The use of music from the game, interactive objects (a treasure chest to open and move around the site), and reviews are a few of the features. Surprisingly, there is quite a loading page, but it’s certainly worth it. The screen dominating trailer displays just how stunning the game in action looks; enough to entice any games fan in!
13. Pikmin 3
The Wii U’s Pikmin 3 is one of the most innovative games series available. There are games available, explanatory videos, and descriptive sections. Downloads sections offer Wallpapers and Facebook Cover sets. The whole thing is as imaginative as they come and it looks fantastic.
One of the most visually stunning games ever created, the use of traditional Japanese artwork turned Okami into a unique experience. The official site reflects the striking nature of the game. As you hit the landing page the YouTube trailer automatically begins playing, bringing in the Japanese inspired music to the experience. Although quite sparse in content, we should imagine few gamers would be put off from buying it.
15. Final Fantasy VII
The legendary 1997 RPG received a PC release in 2012. Square Enix used the iconic image of the game’s protagonist Cloud to draw in fans to the site – anyone who has played Final Fantasy VII will know the immersive experience well. The site offers free Wallpapers to download and character information (as well as a new “Achievements” feature), but the large, “Download Now” icon makes it obvious where you should be heading.