Posted by BisonHero (6054 posts) -

I would love it if a series I like would actually end, out of the blue, because then I would get some satisfying resolution to the fiction of the world. Instead, the more popular and interesting a series is, the more likely it is that publishers will want to keep making those games and milking the series, ruining it for me because eventually at some point the series and its fiction will start to get stale, and the series will let me down.

I couldn't believe how many pictures the site has of Jerry Seinfeld

My problem is that no video game series will ever pull a Jerry Seinfeld, who chose to end Seinfeld when they were still on top of the ratings and everybody loved them. They offered him a zillion dollars, and he still walked away, preferring to "go out on top". Until certain game designers and game writers get that much creative control, video games will never have a moment like that.

Instead, every popular video game series is more like The Simpsons, where you merchandise like no tomorrow when the series first gets popular, then the series continues to shamble onward for two decades, largely on brand loyalty at a certain point after the quality has dropped considerably.

Halo 3 finished the fight, but that certainly isn't stopping them from making more games. Mass Effect 3 could've been a grand conclusion to the Mass Effect saga, for all time, but you can bet your ass they will make more games that say "Mass Effect" on the cover. It's fundamentally the same issue as the Star Wars trilogy; why just leave it, when you can bring it back from the grave and make dump trucks full of money as you make progressively worse sequels?

The best scenario I can hope for, I guess?

Imagine if one day, Nintendo said "Fuck it, this next one's the last Zelda ever, and we promise we'll actually try some bold new things with it", and they went all MGS4 on it, pulled out all of the stops, and actually concluded the Zelda mythology with one final confrontation, and a solid confirmation that those are the final Link and Zelda, and it is made clear what they do with the rest of their lives and what becomes of Ganon, Hyrule, the Triforce, and everything else. Hell, Wind Waker sort of actually did that! Except then Nintendo kept making more fucking Zelda games after that. So I guess Wind Waker is more like The Dark Knight Returns, in that it was an interesting conclusion to the mythology of the series, but apparently it was just for funsies and doesn't really count.

And despite me mentioning it positively in the previous paragraph, even Metal Gear Solid 4 couldn't accomplish absolute finality, because fucking Konami is going to keep convincing Hideo Kojima to attach his name to Metal Gear-related games until the day Kojima retires.

Sometimes I hate this fucking industry.

#1 Posted by BisonHero (6054 posts) -

I would love it if a series I like would actually end, out of the blue, because then I would get some satisfying resolution to the fiction of the world. Instead, the more popular and interesting a series is, the more likely it is that publishers will want to keep making those games and milking the series, ruining it for me because eventually at some point the series and its fiction will start to get stale, and the series will let me down.

I couldn't believe how many pictures the site has of Jerry Seinfeld

My problem is that no video game series will ever pull a Jerry Seinfeld, who chose to end Seinfeld when they were still on top of the ratings and everybody loved them. They offered him a zillion dollars, and he still walked away, preferring to "go out on top". Until certain game designers and game writers get that much creative control, video games will never have a moment like that.

Instead, every popular video game series is more like The Simpsons, where you merchandise like no tomorrow when the series first gets popular, then the series continues to shamble onward for two decades, largely on brand loyalty at a certain point after the quality has dropped considerably.

Halo 3 finished the fight, but that certainly isn't stopping them from making more games. Mass Effect 3 could've been a grand conclusion to the Mass Effect saga, for all time, but you can bet your ass they will make more games that say "Mass Effect" on the cover. It's fundamentally the same issue as the Star Wars trilogy; why just leave it, when you can bring it back from the grave and make dump trucks full of money as you make progressively worse sequels?

The best scenario I can hope for, I guess?

Imagine if one day, Nintendo said "Fuck it, this next one's the last Zelda ever, and we promise we'll actually try some bold new things with it", and they went all MGS4 on it, pulled out all of the stops, and actually concluded the Zelda mythology with one final confrontation, and a solid confirmation that those are the final Link and Zelda, and it is made clear what they do with the rest of their lives and what becomes of Ganon, Hyrule, the Triforce, and everything else. Hell, Wind Waker sort of actually did that! Except then Nintendo kept making more fucking Zelda games after that. So I guess Wind Waker is more like The Dark Knight Returns, in that it was an interesting conclusion to the mythology of the series, but apparently it was just for funsies and doesn't really count.

And despite me mentioning it positively in the previous paragraph, even Metal Gear Solid 4 couldn't accomplish absolute finality, because fucking Konami is going to keep convincing Hideo Kojima to attach his name to Metal Gear-related games until the day Kojima retires.

Sometimes I hate this fucking industry.

#2 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I've been saying this for an eternity. We do still have one-offs like Bastion and Shadow of the Damned, but once there are 2 of a game there doesn't seem to be any stopping it. I'm hoping that developers will become less reliant on publishers and there will be less pressure to continue things past the point of awesomeness.

#3 Posted by TheHumanDove (2504 posts) -

Yeah, no one takes big risks anymore. Everything is a sequel or prequel. Most of the more 'innovative' titles tend to be indie. It's unfortunate, but it's a sound business decision really.

#4 Edited by Sackmanjones (4650 posts) -

Wait till next gen starts. New franchises tend to pop up there and many great ones too. I guess that won't really solve the problem of your continuing franchise but its possible a developer may focus on a new IP come the start of the next gen.

#5 Edited by BaneFireLord (2908 posts) -

I heartily disagree. What I like about the gaming industry is that stuff never ends. It's the one medium where there really are never full stops, turn out the lights, "we're done for good" events. I find it almost comforting, in a strange way. Then again, this feeling might be because I tend to prefer games that are not heavily based around story or long running arcs or constant characters (The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, etc.). As a result, there is no fatigue, no Princess Peach-always-getting-kidnapped, nothing ever needing to be resolved permanently. There will always be room to have more unique adventures in Tamriel and the Wasteland, no matter what, and I love that.

The only game I have ever felt similar to the way you do about is Red Dead Redemption. They had damn well not create a sequel/prequel to that or I am going to be pissed. That ending has the most thundering finality of just about any story I've ever experienced ever and I would be annoyed as fuck to have Rockstar shoe-horn in some kind of "The Adventures of Jack Marston" sequel or "Young John Marston" prequel.

#6 Posted by RedRoach (1174 posts) -

Sequel-itus has gotten a lot worse these past few years. This extended gen isn't helping, I'd bet my money that we'll see an explosion of new IP's when the next gen arrives. It does suck to never get a proper ending that really ends everything. In Jeff's review of MW3 he even talked about how well the game concludes, saying "games just don't "end" nowadays,

But hey, it's a sequel driven industries. TV series get much more expensive to produce the older they get, actors get more money for each season to where the show doesn't profit and thus gets cancelled. But The first game in a series has the longest and often most expensive dev cycle. In sequals, you already have an established universe and already finished assets. A sequel is easier to make then A completely new IP. Not to mention sequels nearly always sell more then new games.

#7 Posted by fuzzybunny566 (448 posts) -

i'm quite happy with the single-game franchise of Faxanadu

#8 Posted by mordukai (7127 posts) -

Correction dude. Halo 3 finished THAT fight.

To be fair Dark Knight Returns didn't really finish anything and as far as I see it it's not a real ending just a alternate reality. There are some discrepancies with certain characters.

#9 Edited by Soapy86 (2619 posts) -

I really don't understand this mentality that new IPs are always preferable to old IPs. Just because a franchise is new doesn't mean it's going to be good or original. YOU KNOW it's just going to steal gameplay mechanics and other trends from the most popular games of the day anyway. My only problem with sequels is that developers are too afraid to step out of their perceived boundaries. Gameplay and story-wise. They come up with a successful recipe for a game, and they ride that bike until the wheels fly off. Fans are arguably an even bigger problem, because on the off chance that devs DO actually change something in a meaningful way, idiotic shortsighted fans immediately start bitching moaning about it. And I don't think others would complain about "sequelitis" near as much if developers actually tried to make the sequels feel distinct instead of exactly like the previous game just with a few tweaks and new coat of paint.

#10 Posted by tds418 (188 posts) -

Call me sappy but I thought Halo 3 ended that story in a very satisfying manner. Reach I could forgive because it it was a prequel and based on events that were already well established in the universe. But Halo 4...I don't know. It rubs me the wrong way. I understand where the OP is coming from. Stories should have endings.

#11 Posted by LordAndrew (14419 posts) -

Hey, if you've created a great world that people like to be in, why not milk the hell out of it until people get sick of it and no longer want to set foot in that world? If you really end up pissing people off, just wait a few years and people will be excited to see it finally return. During that series hiatus, you develop a sequel to a game that came out twenty years ago. Perfect money-making formula.

#12 Posted by roughneck117 (186 posts) -

I would like to politely defend the Mass Effect games, so fucking listen to me.

If youve played the Mass Effect games, and finished 3, then you should know that in the end the universe changes, and not just in a small way. The core plot of ME, dealing with the Reapers, is concluded, but the by-product of that is that the universe is changed, permanently. So yes, there will be more ME games, but, they will not be ME in the sense we know right now. As a franchise, the game is over, but as a universe, a universe where mass effect fields exist, and biotics exist, and element zero exist, that is still around, and will probably still be used. Simply put, the writers and creators spent a lot of time coming up with this incredibly well made universe, so why not use it for more? Why throw away this rich lore? Just add time, and make more in the same universe.

The comparison to Seinfeld is not a good one because without Jerry Seinfeld, the show would not work. The whole show was built around that central character. The network couldnt just bring in another character with that last name because the whole reason for the show to exist wouldnt be there anymore. With ME, its not about the central character anymore. It may have started out that way, but Shepard isnt really important anymore. Creating a new character and using the same universe would work perfectly fine because the universe is now strong enough to work with other protagonists. The argument also work for Halo in a way because the universe has been built up quite a bit, but it falls apart since Master Chief is still the protagonist.

As for Star Wars, what if the EU stuff werent bad? Would you still feel the same way?

Im done, now FUCK OFF.

#13 Posted by Animasta (14637 posts) -

Nintendo stuff is way different than most other stuff. They generally stay the same, at least past the N64 stuff. Consider stuff like Final Fantasy. FF13 wasn't a great game, but it was at least very different than 12, or 10, or the PS1 games. At some point a name is just a name, no matter the number behind it.

#14 Posted by fox01313 (5061 posts) -

While I'd agree that there are some series that might be needing a good solid ending like Halo, Gears of War, God of War, & Zelda to name a few; there's a wide universe in many of these games what can allow for all kinds of tangent type of games using the same rough game universe but throw in new characters/story. I personally thought that Halo ODST & Dead Space Ignition were good examples (as well as Resident Evil Raccoon City) of this idea where it goes off on it's own but keeps a lot of the familiar trappings. I wouldn't mind to see the studios going a bit wild with ideas on giving us some new looks at game worlds with some treats for the diehard fans of the series but something that can stand on it's own.

#15 Edited by Slag (3919 posts) -

I don't think franchises like Zelda or Final Fantasy or Castlevania ever need to "end" given that their characters and premises are theoretically different in nearly every game. In Zelda even though there's a Ganon, Link and Zelda in nearly every game they don't necessarily have "memory" of each other and thus basically no backstory.

I do agree series like Metal Gear, Metroid, Halo and Bionic Commando and such, it's nice if we can get a complete story for those signature characters (Solid Snake, Samus Aran, Master Chief, Nathan "Rad" Spencer). you're right we don't often see the grand finale, it's a major missing part of video game story telling.

I think the Mega Man franchise despite its' numerous other faults has kind of done this right. Multiple games with one protagonist, then switch to a new one. I love the retro Mega Man games which have made a comeback of late, but I would love it if they gave the ole' Blue Bomber a proper send-off.

#16 Posted by codynewill (166 posts) -

The only way to solve this problem is to stop buying the games in said franchises. I'm not saying you won't/don't do this, but really we only have ourselves to blame. I don't buy Call of Duty anymore because I think it is boring and exploitative. Same thing goes for Assassin's Creed.

#17 Posted by BisonHero (6054 posts) -

@fuzzybunny566 said:

i'm quite happy with the single-game franchise of Faxanadu

This is actually a good point. The other way to get closure on a game you enjoyed is that the developers just had zero sequel ideas from the start, and just made a one-off game that turned out to be a pretty great game, and that's that. Though unfortunately, for this scenario to happen, the game often has to do poorly financially.

#18 Posted by believer258 (11565 posts) -

I can't say that I completely agree nor disagree with the OP.

There is a time for every story to stop, but this doesn't necessarily mean that each universe has only one story to tell. Mass Effect is huge. There is so much lore and detail involved in that universe and so many detailed conflicts; there are far more stories to hear and tell than just Shephard's. Mass Effect is ripe ground for something like an RTS or an MMO. The same goes for many different properties.

#19 Posted by BisonHero (6054 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I can't say that I completely agree nor disagree with the OP.

There is a time for every story to stop, but this doesn't necessarily mean that each universe has only one story to tell. Mass Effect is huge. There is so much lore and detail involved in that universe and so many detailed conflicts; there are far more stories to hear and tell than just Shephard's. Mass Effect is ripe ground for something like an RTS or an MMO. The same goes for many different properties.

I suppose that's true. Though at the same time, it's interesting to see how different universes handle their continuation. Mass Effect and Metal Gear Solid at least gave some closure to their central characters (Shepard and Solid Snake, respectively), while that fictional universe will carry on.

However, in the case of Halo, instead of the devs having Master Chief either die or retire at the end of Halo 3, he will continue to be the focus of the series for the foreseeable future. It's disappointing that they won't be doing more stuff like Reach or ODST that tells interesting stories about other characters, but Microsoft would know best about how well ODST and Reach sold compared to the main games. Maybe the playerbase really only cares about Halo games as long as Master Chief is the main character and in all of the marketing.