A franchise reboot, or more simply a reboot, refers to a new game in an existing franchise that is meant as a fresh start. This is a tactic that is sometimes used to revitalized interest in a series that has peaked and no longer making as much money as it once did. Other times, it may simply be an attempt to provide a fresh start to a franchise with a narrative that's run its course, or characters that feel outdated. It is a move that is also not without its risks, as reboots may alienate series fans that may not appreciate the change in direction. Below are several examples of titles meant to reboot their respective franchises.
The game Tomb Raider, developed by Crystal Dynamics, reshaped the franchise from its core with new gameplay mechanics, as well as a new take on series protagonist Lara Croft. This new game tells the tale of Lara's first adventure, in which she is a college student that becomes trapped on an island and forced to put what survival knowledge she has to the test while fighting hostile forces.
Tony Hawk: RIDE
After years of flagging sales of the Tony Hawk series, Activision sought to give it a new direction, and handed development duties to Robomodo. In response, Robomodo created RIDE, a Tony Hawk game played using a special board peripheral. Though the concept was a new take on a series that had peaked critically years earlier, the reboot was a critical failure, with review outlets including Giant Bomb citing the unresponsive nature of the board peripheral so crucial to gameplay as a major obstacle.
A PS2 reboot of one of Sega's first Genesis titles, Altered Beast took the beast transformations of the original game and moved the setting from ancient Greece to a more modern setting in which the player controls a soldier dubbed a "Genome-Cyborg" capable of turning into a variety of beasts. The game was poorly received by critics and was never officially released in North America.
Bomberman: Act Zero
As a particularly drastic example of a reboot, Bomberman: Act Zero took the basic concepts behind the Bomberman series and stripped away the cute, family-friendly look and feel of the games for something decidedly darker and grittier. The stark change in Act Zero's tone was universally panned in reviews, and the gameplay itself didn't fair much better. The attempt at a "mature" Bomberman was quickly discarded, as subsequent games in the series returned to the traditional art style and tone.