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Does Ghostrunner’s Release Signal a Bright Future for Retrowave?

November 10, 2020Ghostrunner’s gameplay is only overshadowed by its soundtrack. The parkour-focused first-person shooter is bolstered by an excellent retrowave score that drives the action. In a story that can only be described as Matrix-inspired, you play as a “climber”, a cyber warrior that fights in real and virtual worlds. You use special abilities to conquer obstacles and beat the bad guys with a mixture of strategy and trial and error. Ghostrunner released on PC, Xbox, and PS4 last month, but with its coming release on Nintendo Switch in November, it seems a good time to reflect on how 2020 has been a great year for retrowave in video games.

We have covered great games with even better soundtracks this year like Astrogon and Black Future ’88. Ghostrunner falls in line with these and feels like a game bound to develop a cult following, thanks in part to the soundtrack (available on streaming services now).

With Cyberpunk 2077 slated to drop this year, too, it is shaping up to be an excellent year for retrowave in video games. As synch licensing continues to be a viable way for creators to make money and get exposure for their music, the rising popularity of retrowave in videogames spells good news for retrowave artists in the future. 2021 could be an even bigger year for retrowave than 2020 turned out to be, and this year has seen some huge breakouts in the genre. Ghostrunner’s success and the projected success of Cyberpunk 2077 further cement the popularity of retrowave in the media landscape and gives reason to believe that the future is bright for retrowave.


Arthur Thares
Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice. During the day you can find him in his office listening to jazz and writing about things that inspire him.


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