Too Many Sequals?

 

As I watch the game world go through this generation of consoles, it’s interesting to watch the flow of game releases from year to year.   I got into gaming back in the days of the NES, but I was never an avid follower until I could actually afford my own games, which was around the time of the N64.   I feel like there’s this new trend that’s starting to occur in the market, and it’s one that I feel is stifling the creative minds of the industry and holding back innovation.   That trend, my friends, is the sequal.

Now, before I go too far, do not misunderstand me here.   I love many sequals just as much as the next guy.   Call of Duty is my favorite franchise, and I buy Infinity Ward’s release every time.   I probably won’t any more, but that’s just an example.   I can’t wait for Darksiders 2, either.   That isn’t the point of this, though.   My problems stem from the idea that these companies are now scheduling bi-annual releases of sequals, almost as if by clockwork.   That’s perfectly fine for some games, such as any sports franchise ever, but when it comes to certain games (the ones that need large changes to stay fresh), this kind of schedule crushes the series.

Take, for instance, the Call of Duty franchise.   As I’ve stated, I do love this franchise, but holy hell has it gotten dull over the years.   They just keep creating minor tweaks to the game mechanics, switch out the guns, and possibly add one other way to play; alright, brand new game, ship it out the door!   I was on board with that idea from MW1 to MW2, but then came black ops and MW3.   It was just more of the same, and the amount I played those two games every day decreased rapidly until they just begin collecting dust.   It’s just not the amazing new, innovative quality that it used to be.   It’s not just CoD, either.   First Person Shooters are notorious for this.   Just look at Gears of War and Halo.   Both go through the same itteration cycle that CoD does, and it bores me to tears.

It isn’t even constrained to shooters, either.   The Legend of Zelda is going through the same thing.   I really try to pick up Zelda games, but as soon as I get started, my mind just says, “Yep, it’s a Zelda Game.”   I turn it off after about an hour and give it back.   More examples:   Pokemon, Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield, Resident Evil, and the list goes on.

Now, I may be the only one on the planet who thinks this is a bad thing.   I feel that the creativity and ability of the company placed to make these sequals is getting completely wasted.   Infinity Ward was so innovative with the first Modern Warfare.   I mean that game revolutionized today’s FPS market.   Then they had to make a sequal.   After that was greatly successful, they had to make another.   What if they had spent those years creating something not related to the CoD franchise?   There were some great minds in that office.   They may have created another groundbreaker for us to all marvel at.

I know that sequals are just easy moneymakers since most of the properties and items have already been developed.   I’d just rather see more original products.   I’d like to see people push forward the envelope that is the gaming world.   I’d like to see new ideas for how we can play an old genre.   Instead, the market gets set in its ways, and we get similar products time and again.

Now, I’m no expert and these are just my opinions.   I would love to hear your opinions, though, if you actually made it through this rant.   Thanks GB community for listening.
 
Until Next Time,
Brian Stas

19 Comments
21 Comments
Posted by Euphorio

 

As I watch the game world go through this generation of consoles, it’s interesting to watch the flow of game releases from year to year.   I got into gaming back in the days of the NES, but I was never an avid follower until I could actually afford my own games, which was around the time of the N64.   I feel like there’s this new trend that’s starting to occur in the market, and it’s one that I feel is stifling the creative minds of the industry and holding back innovation.   That trend, my friends, is the sequal.

Now, before I go too far, do not misunderstand me here.   I love many sequals just as much as the next guy.   Call of Duty is my favorite franchise, and I buy Infinity Ward’s release every time.   I probably won’t any more, but that’s just an example.   I can’t wait for Darksiders 2, either.   That isn’t the point of this, though.   My problems stem from the idea that these companies are now scheduling bi-annual releases of sequals, almost as if by clockwork.   That’s perfectly fine for some games, such as any sports franchise ever, but when it comes to certain games (the ones that need large changes to stay fresh), this kind of schedule crushes the series.

Take, for instance, the Call of Duty franchise.   As I’ve stated, I do love this franchise, but holy hell has it gotten dull over the years.   They just keep creating minor tweaks to the game mechanics, switch out the guns, and possibly add one other way to play; alright, brand new game, ship it out the door!   I was on board with that idea from MW1 to MW2, but then came black ops and MW3.   It was just more of the same, and the amount I played those two games every day decreased rapidly until they just begin collecting dust.   It’s just not the amazing new, innovative quality that it used to be.   It’s not just CoD, either.   First Person Shooters are notorious for this.   Just look at Gears of War and Halo.   Both go through the same itteration cycle that CoD does, and it bores me to tears.

It isn’t even constrained to shooters, either.   The Legend of Zelda is going through the same thing.   I really try to pick up Zelda games, but as soon as I get started, my mind just says, “Yep, it’s a Zelda Game.”   I turn it off after about an hour and give it back.   More examples:   Pokemon, Assassin’s Creed, Battlefield, Resident Evil, and the list goes on.

Now, I may be the only one on the planet who thinks this is a bad thing.   I feel that the creativity and ability of the company placed to make these sequals is getting completely wasted.   Infinity Ward was so innovative with the first Modern Warfare.   I mean that game revolutionized today’s FPS market.   Then they had to make a sequal.   After that was greatly successful, they had to make another.   What if they had spent those years creating something not related to the CoD franchise?   There were some great minds in that office.   They may have created another groundbreaker for us to all marvel at.

I know that sequals are just easy moneymakers since most of the properties and items have already been developed.   I’d just rather see more original products.   I’d like to see people push forward the envelope that is the gaming world.   I’d like to see new ideas for how we can play an old genre.   Instead, the market gets set in its ways, and we get similar products time and again.

Now, I’m no expert and these are just my opinions.   I would love to hear your opinions, though, if you actually made it through this rant.   Thanks GB community for listening.
 
Until Next Time,
Brian Stas

Posted by Whampire

@Anwar said:

You're formatting is weird,

IRONY

Posted by Ravenlight

I know your grandma will probably say otherwise, but you don't need to double-space text on the internet, duder. Props on the intelligent use of line breaks, though.

I agree that sequel fatigue seems to be running rampant at this point in the current console generation, but if giants like EA and Activision stop annual sequels, they're kissing a chunk of their profit goodbye.

It's kind've our fault as games for unthinkingly buying the next COD game every time a new one comes out, though. If we want to see more innovation, gamers have to vote with their wallets. I picked up Azura's Wrath at full price, not because I expected an amazing AAA title (I still don't think it's worth $60) but because it was something I'd never seen before in a video game and wanted to support that kind of breaking out of the traditional mold.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

@Whampire said:

@Anwar said:

You're formatting is weird,

IRONY

There's a big difference between formatting and grammar. Not to be picky but I feel like you have to nail it with this stuff to not just come off as a douche. A for effort though!

I think the big thing is that most of the publishers had next gen starter IPs planned, or at least plans in place to start drumming some up, but then the generation refused to quite and as a result, they ended up with space to fill and sequels were selling best, so that's what we got. It's a bit of a bummer in some cases, but I don't mind too much. I just want Call of Duty and Final Fantasy to slow the fuck down/go away, I don't mind a bunch of twos coming out. It's more the really over-milked franchises that bother me.

Posted by Whampire

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Whampire said:

@Anwar said:

You're formatting is weird,

IRONY

There's a big difference between formatting and grammar. Not to be picky but I feel like you have to nail it with this stuff to not just come off as a douche. A for effort though!

You are actually totally right. Sorry everybody!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Sequel fatigue is nothing new. The only reason we're feeling it as hard as we do is because we've had them all coming out on the exact same hardware for the last 6 years (or in the Wii's case, 11 years if we want to get snippy). Once a new generation of consoles finally rolls out next year we can all breathe a sigh of relief as new IPs (along with returning franchises and reboots that still make money) can be run into the ground in the same way and we can have this discussion in another 6-8 years.

Online
Posted by Euphorio

Whew sorry guys. I'm new so I cant exactly reply back immediately.

As far as the formatting issues, I just suck at spelling. The spaces are because I got used to doing that from writing academic papers. It just comes as habit, so I’ll work to stop.

In terms of the sequels, it’s not so much any sequel as the ones on an exact time schedule. For instance, we all know that every year we will get a new CoD game. We also know that Tony Hawk will attempt to revive his franchise yet again. These are the sequels I have beef with.

I do happen to enjoy a bunch of sequels. Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 were great successors to their respective franchises. The difference is that these sequels were in the works for close to a decade. Sure, they’re both Blizzard games, and anything Blizzard touches turns to mounds of sales and praise, but still. Another great example is Skyrim. Oblivion came out at the beginning of this console generation. They then let the waters settle before they dropped another amazing game on us. It’s that buffer time that I feel really creates a good sequel. You shouldn’t have to rush out sequel after sequel for a franchise because that saturates the market to an extent where it could ruin the brand entirely.

Look at every sports franchise. They constantly come out with new versions just so that they can update the roster. There is very little changing from game to game these days. That’s what bothers me. Obviously, that’s what sports games do, but I’m just using it as an example.

Posted by EpicSteve

This industry was founded on sequels and rip offs of Pong, it's nothing new and will continue.

Posted by Brodehouse

Can't really help it, this generation has run long. I was thinking about it yesterday, this generation has more completed trilogies than any other. There have been more Call of Duties than Mega Mans on the NES.

Uncharted, Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Modern Warfare, Gears of War, Dead Space, Crysis, FEAR, (kinda) BioShock, Saints Row, Resistance, Killzone. All this gen. I think back to NES all I think of is Mario Bros, Mega Man, Castlevania... Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy. And that's back when game development took half as long as now. That's crazy.

Posted by Euphorio

No one's saying it will stop. No one's saying it's some new thing. I'm just saying that more and more games are jumping on the timed sequels, which make plenty of money, sure. I’m just saying that I believe it stifles creativity and growth. And no, it was not founded on those concepts, unless you’re a completely cynical gamer. Sure, there have been sequels. There are sequels in every medium of entertainment and games should be no different. The entire industry was not founded on this principle, though. Also, it wasn’t pong that saved the industry from death. It was Nintendo. Pong may have been one of the first, but if Nintendo just ripped it off, then the gaming industry may have died years ago.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Euphorio said:

It’s just not the amazing new, innovative quality that it used to be.

Possibly because new and innovative aren't necessarily quality. Also, this isn't a new trend; sequels have been pushed out like crazy for YEARS.

Posted by Euphorio

@Video_Game_King said:

@Euphorio said:

It’s just not the amazing new, innovative quality that it used to be.

Possibly because new and innovative aren't necessarily quality. Also, this isn't a new trend; sequels have been pushed out like crazy for YEARS.

Taken out of context, I could see what you mean.

This statement was directly related to the MW franchise, though. Placed back into context, I was talking about the new and innovative concepts that were presented in MW 1. These did directly contribute to the high quality and large sales of the game. In general, sure they don’t always mean quality, but in the context of MW, yes, they meant an increase in quality.

Posted by warxsnake

Are Sequals a type of bird? Like Seagulls?

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Euphorio said:

These did directly contribute to the high quality and large sales of the game.

But not because they were new or innovative. That is what I am trying to say.

Posted by DoctorDanger99

video games are so diffrent from other forms of media it's not even funny. ask yourself what the point of a sequel is?

theres really only two answers. one, you make a sequel because you think that you can take what you have allready made and build upon it,make it better. and in video games thats the entire point. better graphics,better controls, new gameplay elements and so on. in many, MANY cases, a video game sequel is better than the original. thats why so many of the best games of all times are sequels.

Two, to continue an expirence and capitalize on a sucess. call of duty is a perfect example. they found a formula that not only works, it works incredibly well. so instead of rebuilding or trying to make it better, they just enhance what is there. if it aint broke,dont fix it. this isnt new. look at mega man. he's more or less been doing the same thing for over 20 years. castlevania is another good example. SYMPONY OF THE NIGHT was a breakthrough and every game since then has just been a diffrent version of that same game.

sequels are the life blood of the game industry. it's rare for a book or a movie to be better than the one that came before it. but video games strive to do that.

Posted by Euphorio

Yes they were. For one, it was in modern times, unlike the rest of the franchise prior. This was new for the franchise, so they definitely took a chance there. For two, no one had ever used a perk system before, making for very diverse strategies in the multiplayer game. Also, you could almost say that they also created the leveling system that we see so often in shooters today.

As a side note, this may be 5 for today, so I'll be eerily silent after this post. Not that I don't like the discussion. You people are people are awesome and all, but I got a 5 post limit. Thanks for the input and grammar lessons. I’ma nail sequel every time I spell it now

Posted by AlisterCat

...no.

Posted by Euphorio

Ok, so as noted before, no one said all sequels were bad. I was saying that the shoveling of rapid sequels is bad. Not all sequels. I didn't know how specific I'd need that headline to be.

Posted by DoctorDanger99

@Euphorio:

i totally get what your saying. but in the long run,sequels are good for the industry. sequels like cod or even assassins creed probly not,but they still serve a purpose.

Posted by Euphorio

Ok I can agree to that.