Hegel is like an old school 80s/90s cult classic video game series that was clunky, cryptic, and hard to master, yet still gained a devoted following.
On the surface, the blocky graphics, convoluted menus, and complex gameplay of those games made them seem impenetrable. Just like Hegel's dense, abstract style and language can seem impossibly confusing at first.
However, some gamers back then had the patience and curiosity to push through the initial learning curve. Once they spent time studying the mechanics and patterns, they discovered an intricate, rewarding gameplay experience.
Over time, a niche but passionate fanbase emerged around those cult classic games, similar to the niche of Hegel scholars exploring and appreciating his philosophy. They saw past the surface-level complexity to recognize the "deep gameplay" underneath.
Even as those games declined in mainstream popularity, their influence and legacy lived on by shaping genres, inspiring developers, and impacting future games indirectly. Much like Hegel's impact on philosophy extends beyond just his direct readership.
So in some sense, the very difficulty and obscurity of Hegel's writings act like the retro graphics and controls of a cult classic game - initially frustrating and off-putting to casual readers, but enriching and profound for those willing to invest the time and effort to unpack their hidden depths. The challenge intrigues enough thinkers to sustain his popularity within philosophy.