Infographic: Gaming Family Tree

Readers:

Chris Lee from Plusnet sent me today’s blog entry.  Chris recently put together a series of graphics called “Gaming Family Trees” – the idea is to visually show the progression of 5 popular series of games (Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, Mario Sports, Sonic).

Thanks Chris for sending me your visualizations!

If you have an interesting data visualization or infographic you would like to share, please send them to me at michael@dataarchaeology.net.

Best Regards,

Michael

Gaming Family Tree

The 5 gaming family tree graphics use a combination of genealogy and creative license to visually represent the evolution of some of the most popular series’ of games.

It’s worth noting here that all cover images are used under a fair use license to illustrate the history of the games. All graphics except for Mario Sports work on a top-down level; the oldest titles in each linked sub-series are at the top, moving downward toward the newest. To keep them visually appealing (by removing large gaps), titles on the same horizontal level weren’t necessarily released in the same year – see below for an example:

Gaming Family Trees

The links between titles are intended to explain how they fit together, and clarification has been provided in some cases. Some titles aren’t linked to anything – this means they’re part of the overarching series, but not part of a sub-series (i.e. no direct sequels, not a remake). In the example below, Sonic Battle is the only fighting game in the Sonic world, but features all the characters from the series:

Gaming Family Trees 2

The borders of each title show which console it was released on. Some titles, such as Sonic Heroes (below) has various colours on the border – this means it was released on several consoles:

Gaming Family Trees 3

Not all titles from each series were included either for various reasons. Some titles drift from canon and are the subject of controversy among fans. Some were licensed spin-offs that didn’t fit the vibe of the graphic too well. Others were just too obscure.

As a tribute to the titles that didn’t make it, below we’ve picked out one title from each series that didn’t make the final graphics:

  • Pokémon: Pokémon Snap, the game that sees you carted through various landscapes taking pictures of the Pokémon who live there.
  • Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Warriors, a hack ‘n’ slash game set in the Zelda universe.
  • Mario: Mario Paint, a ‘game’ that allows users to draw and create custom animations.
  • Mario Sports: the endless and varied selection of Mario board games!
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car, where Sonic plays the role of a police officer keeping the city safe from criminal mastermind Eggman.

This time Mario, Zelda, Pokémon and Sonic made the cut, but there are hundreds of other candidates – Yu-Gi Oh? Digimon? Grand Theft Auto? Maybe even the whole FPS genre? It really depends how geeky you want to go.

You can see the family trees as we post them below:

Pokemon

Pokémon Family Tree

Legend of Zelda

Legend of Zelda

Mario

Mario

Mario Sports

Mario Sports

Sonic

Sonic family tree

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