Cozy gaming has gotten big, like really big. What started off in the far corner of the gaming community has grown exponentially to become a mainstream gaming genre. 

But what exactly is cozy gaming? Why has it become so popular? And what’s next for this calming genre? 

In this article, we’ll explore these key questions. So grab a warm cup of tea and get ready to learn about the cozy gaming takeover.

cozy gaming- Animal Crossing New Horizons

What is cozy gaming?

Cozy gaming is a genre of games that focuses on creating a sense of comfort and relaxation. And it does so through gentle, soothing gameplay. This can include slow-paced exploration, emphasis on storytelling and character development, and a calming atmosphere. 

5 examples of popular cozy games

When people think of cozy games, there are a core few that come to mind:

  1. Stardew Valley – a farming simulator game that allows players to build and manage their own farm and interact with the local community.
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – a life simulation game in which players can build and decorate their own island paradise and interact with a cast of quirky animal characters.
  3. Unpacking – a puzzle-like game in which players unpack items and place them in a home, all while revealing a touching story as they do so. 
  4. Disney Dreamlight Valley – a mixture of life-sim and adventure game set in the world of Disney that focuses on quests and exploration with engaging stories. 
  5. Coffee Talk – a game about a barista who serves drinks and listens to the problems and stories of a diverse cast of characters, including humans, mythical creatures, and robots. 

The rise of cozy gaming as a trend in the gaming industry

Cozy gaming can be started in the early 2010s. Several indie developers began creating games focused on slow-paced, relaxing gameplay and a sense of comfort and warmth. It was the release, however, of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” in 2020 that saw a significant impact on the rise of cozy gaming. This was largely due to the time it was released – amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people were stuck at home, looking for ways to pass the time and find a sense of escape and relaxation. The calming and relaxing atmosphere of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” allows players to build and decorate their own island paradise and interact with a cast of cute animal characters. It proved to be particularly appealing to many players seeking respite from daily life’s stresses.

The future of cozy gaming in the gaming industry

So what’s next? 

We will probably see cozy gaming elements incorporated into AAA game franchises. This has already been demonstrated in previews of “Hogwarts Legacy”. This is set to be an open-world RPG game. In one YouTube video, we were shown how players can create and customize their own living space in “the Room of Requirement”, as well as looking after magical creatures. This screams cozy gaming and shows how much of an influence the genre is having on top game development companies. 

Final thoughts

Cozy gaming is here to stay and will only keep growing in popularity. Moreover, with the increasing recognition of the benefits of incorporating relaxation and mindfulness into one’s daily routine, we will likely see more and more games incorporating cozy elements. 

It’s an excellent option for those who want a calming and relaxing gaming experience. And it’s also a good choice for those seeking a break from the high-stress nature of many traditional games. 

Got a question about cozy gaming? Leave it in the comments below and let’s start a discussion!