Given the various forms that they can take, it comes as little surprise that video games can take on many different locations. Some may be set in exciting fantasy worlds, such as Skyrim, whilst others such as Watchdogs Legion may sit closer to home with some gamers with it being in London. One of the more maligned locations over gaming’s long history has been the US state of Pennsylvania, despite the fact that America has been used as a central point for a lot of developments, which begs the question of why more games aren’t set in the Keystone state.
There have been some notable AAA titles set in Pennsylvania such as Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III, released back in 2012. Specifically, the Pennsylvania portrayed in Assassin’s Creed III isn’t a modern representation. Given that the game is a direct sequel to Assassin’s Creed Revelations that was set in both 16th-century Constantinople and 13th-century Masyaf, it makes sense that the Keystone state that’s represented within Assassin’s Creed III is placed within the 18th century, specifically, during the American Revolutionary Wars, or the US War of Independence, as described here: https://www.nam.ac.uk/explore/american-war-independence-key-battles. Setting the game within this situation gives it a certain historical significance that the entire Assassin’s Creed series looks to have created over the years, having been set in such a wide variety of locations.
However, apart from its bitty inclusion in other titles such as the PlayStation exclusive The Last Of Us and sports games like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, games solely set in Pennsylvania are few and far between. Given its relatively untapped potential by comparison to other locations, there is the argument that can be made for more games being entirely placed here. Open world games appear to be all the rage since the release of the last Grand Theft Auto, for instance, and there’s a possible angle for such a game to be set in that particular state. Maybe the constantly rumoured GTA 6, as described here https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/gta-6-release-date-news-and-rumors-mapping-the-path-to-grand-theft-auto-6, could be set in Pennsylvania to give more of a rural element to contrast a potentially returning Liberty City. That particular metropolitan area was based off New York City, and given that New York state borders Pennsylvania, there is perhaps room for some crossover.
Furthermore, the fact that Pennsylvania is quite a progressive state when it comes to the entertainment sector means that setting games here may continue the precedent set when it came to matters such as other categories like betting and casinos. Pennsylvania represents one of a handful of American states that has legalised online gambling, along with Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, and is the only state to offer both traditional games and betting online. As a result of this change in legislation, comparison sites such as Bonusfinder have been able to tap into PA’s online casino market by tailoring specific sections on their website that become dedicated to the state’s offerings – https://bonusfinder.com/online-casinos/by-state/pennsylvania/. These utilise industry experts to make sure that players are getting the best deals possible and being targeted by state means that the options are more localised to players. It definitely shows that the market and desire for gaming entertainment is there in the state.
It would be a shame if the State of Independence remained a land of untapped potential when it comes to games, especially given its progressive nature. Given the decades-long history of the gaming experience and the desire to go beyond traditional locations, it hopefully won’t be long before a game is set there, and if all goes to plan, more AAA titles may follow in the coming years.