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Yet Another Sequel!

Written by a WiiTalk member on Friday, 8 October 2010One Comment

Written by Lepruk86 and posted in the forums

Whose fault is it that our once worshipped gaming heroes become run-of-the-mill characters that descend in to worthlessness simply because their are too many games released within a series?
The obvious answer are the publishers. If we look at Activision and the Guitar Hero series; they have released so many of the games now that people seem to speak of Guitar Hero with a tone of mocking and jesting. Yet, I remember when Guitar Hero and GH II graced us with their creation - The mobs of gamers cried for more and played them constantly. In fact; Guitar Hero II is still considered the very best in Guitar-rhythm games being surpassed only by Rock Band 2 on the grounds that RB 2 offers a full band experience. If we take this angle to be true then it is indeed not the developers but the evil overseers and their dreaded quarterly reviews that force the creative few to spew out gems until they convert to vomit. I realise right now that they do essentially have all the power and money and if they want a game done by xx /xx /xx then that game is getting released regardless of what the developers truly think.

However what about us as consumers? We are living in a fast lane society where we constantly want the next-best-thing. Why in the world would we want to wait three or even five years for our favourite games to emerge from the nether-regions when we can have them on a yearly basis? So is this drive for the next best thing forced by the publishers; or is it our own desires that pushes our favourite gaming heroes to release more often than we spring clean our houses?

If we turn to Blizzard as an example (which are a part of the Activision chain) they seem to have a different viewpoint on this. sure Diablo I and II came out within a couple of years of each other; but it has now been over ten years and we are still eagerly awaiting the big Diablo III to release. Likewise their was again a ten year gap between Starcraft I and II. This is an odd thing when you look at the typical gaming industry; to wait that long between game sequels would be absurd for most other companies; imagine if the next Guitar Hero or Rock band game was not released until the year 2020. The strangest thing here however is that the Diablo II and Starcraft I servers are still extremely popular - even with everything that has come and gone people are still logging onto these ten-plus year old games.

I would argue that ten years is too long for a sequel [insert Duke Nukem Joke Here] but on the other hand; one-two years does not give the developers enough time to think outside of the box and make intelligent but significant changes between each alliteration. The Civilization series is one of the better examples of this; Sure there has been 5 games in the series as well as expansion packs and a couple of side projects; but the games have been going since 1991 - meaning that an average of four years has passed between each sequel.

So I suppose the question to take a way from these murmurings is this; how long of a gap should their be between sequels? I for one feel that anything below 30 months or so doesn’t leave enough time for creativity to flourish but maybe I am wrong; maybe there are those that want a new Call of Duty every single year or Want the new madden just because it has roster updates and a big ol’ label telling you it’s the most recent edition (eg Madden 2011).
I want to leave with one final thought; Burnout Paradise; that game was supported for about a year with free updates as well as some pretty hefty DLC which was released slowly. I consider BO:P to be one of the best examples of how to keep a game fresh and at the same time how to give yourself some breathing room to try to create a truly worthy sequel - and not some run-of-the-mill rehash with a couple of small changes just to appease the masses.

Do you think some publishers ‘milk’ franchises by releasing sequels too early? Or are you just glad to get a sequel so soon after the first game? Why not head on over to our forums and discuss!

One Comment »

  • jim said:

    like me

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