Where Are The Reboots We Asked For, EA?

Everyone knows that EA has a penchant for rebooting shit. In the month of February alone, we're getting two reboots - Syndicate is being reimagined as a first-person shooter and SSX is being brought back from the rigor mortis status that On Tour and Blur cursed the franchise with. Both have a lot of marketing around them, and even a decent level of hype. We've also seen a reboot of the Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit portion of the NFS franchise, which turned out to be a fantastic game that pulled in out of left field. There are even rumors that reboots of Army of Two and Dead Space are in the pipeline (one of which thoroughly confounds me to no end).

However, there are many franchises that fans have been asking to have rebooted...and yet it seems that those words fall upon ever-deafening ears. What's even weirder is the fact that EA has the studios in place already to make these reboots happen pretty easily. The question is "why not?".

For instance, there are millions upon millions of Madden fans around the world, but the biggest problem you face is the constant criticism of how the games are always the same. Sure, the easy answer is to say "IT'S FUCKING NFL FOOTBALL, HOW THE FUCK DO YOU WANT IT TO BE DIFFERENT, YOU WHINY SHITS?". However, the proper answer would be to reboot the Mutant League series of games. For many of us, Mutant League Football was a fond memory of blood, violence, and pigskin mayhem that we are ready to see again. Beyond that, it would give you a chance to change the rules, make football something a bit more interest, and yet you could still keep Madden to your "simulation" style all the same. It's a win-win situation, and with the largest team of developers dedicated to sports in the industry as well as a penchant for rebooting classic over-the-top franchises like NBA Jam and NFL Blitz, there should be little to no reason why you aren't expanding your portfolio with some Mutant League action.

Another prime example of how perfectly things can come together is to take a look at the Strike franchise. David Jaffe recently mentioned Jungle Strike in a brief pass-by during his DICE 2012 keynote and it got me thinking: people have asked for years why the Strike franchise has just been sitting around to rot, but EA has given us no answer. What's more interesting is that EA dumped resources and time into trying to make Medal of Honor such a huge hit because of the popularity of not just Call of Duty but modern wartime games in general. However, they had a game franchise that was already involved in political ideals as well as wartime scenarios that could've easily been used. Bringing a new version of the Strike games out with that same isometric camera angle but with modern day graphics and sound technology would be pure gaming sex. Where is the reboot of this heralded franchise, EA?

The crowning jewel of mistreatment from EA falls on the shoulders of a one-time behemoth, the mightiest of the mighty: Road Rash. This high-speed mixture of racing and brawling was on the road to high success...and then came Road Rash 3D and Road Rash 64 (the latter of which was actually developed and published by THQ), two games that failed to be either financially or critically successful. What went wrong? It's a perfect and relatively easy formula to figure out: go fast and beat a motherfucker up while you do it. Can you imagine going at 100mph in a game based on today's technology, whipping a chain in the air and causing a guy to get plastered into a wall? CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW FUCKING AWESOME THAT WOULD BE?! You have Criterion sitting over in the corner with rumors swirling for a while that they are secretly working on a new Road Rash game. Are they?

These are three sacred franchises from EA's past that many fans have been rabid to see reboots for. Why hasn't this happened? Many of those fans may not realize this, but it could rest squarely on the shoulders of what was a seemed attempt by the company to garner interest in the games for a new generation: EA Replay. This compilation featured all three of the franchises talked about in this blog: Road Rash, the Strike franchise (specifically Jungle Strike and Desert Strike) and Mutant League Football. The compilation was not only poorly advertised, but it was made exclusively on a handheld system that was notorious for its ease of piracy. In turn, EA Replay only sold around 70,000 units, thereby damning any chances of the franchises coming back...

...or so it would seem. Another game featured on that same compilation is seeing a reboot release this month: Syndicate. Therefore, the question stands: is there enough interest amongst the gaming community to get EA to support reboots of these beloved franchises?

Until next time, piece.

26 Comments
33 Comments
Posted by jakob187

Everyone knows that EA has a penchant for rebooting shit. In the month of February alone, we're getting two reboots - Syndicate is being reimagined as a first-person shooter and SSX is being brought back from the rigor mortis status that On Tour and Blur cursed the franchise with. Both have a lot of marketing around them, and even a decent level of hype. We've also seen a reboot of the Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit portion of the NFS franchise, which turned out to be a fantastic game that pulled in out of left field. There are even rumors that reboots of Army of Two and Dead Space are in the pipeline (one of which thoroughly confounds me to no end).

However, there are many franchises that fans have been asking to have rebooted...and yet it seems that those words fall upon ever-deafening ears. What's even weirder is the fact that EA has the studios in place already to make these reboots happen pretty easily. The question is "why not?".

For instance, there are millions upon millions of Madden fans around the world, but the biggest problem you face is the constant criticism of how the games are always the same. Sure, the easy answer is to say "IT'S FUCKING NFL FOOTBALL, HOW THE FUCK DO YOU WANT IT TO BE DIFFERENT, YOU WHINY SHITS?". However, the proper answer would be to reboot the Mutant League series of games. For many of us, Mutant League Football was a fond memory of blood, violence, and pigskin mayhem that we are ready to see again. Beyond that, it would give you a chance to change the rules, make football something a bit more interest, and yet you could still keep Madden to your "simulation" style all the same. It's a win-win situation, and with the largest team of developers dedicated to sports in the industry as well as a penchant for rebooting classic over-the-top franchises like NBA Jam and NFL Blitz, there should be little to no reason why you aren't expanding your portfolio with some Mutant League action.

Another prime example of how perfectly things can come together is to take a look at the Strike franchise. David Jaffe recently mentioned Jungle Strike in a brief pass-by during his DICE 2012 keynote and it got me thinking: people have asked for years why the Strike franchise has just been sitting around to rot, but EA has given us no answer. What's more interesting is that EA dumped resources and time into trying to make Medal of Honor such a huge hit because of the popularity of not just Call of Duty but modern wartime games in general. However, they had a game franchise that was already involved in political ideals as well as wartime scenarios that could've easily been used. Bringing a new version of the Strike games out with that same isometric camera angle but with modern day graphics and sound technology would be pure gaming sex. Where is the reboot of this heralded franchise, EA?

The crowning jewel of mistreatment from EA falls on the shoulders of a one-time behemoth, the mightiest of the mighty: Road Rash. This high-speed mixture of racing and brawling was on the road to high success...and then came Road Rash 3D and Road Rash 64 (the latter of which was actually developed and published by THQ), two games that failed to be either financially or critically successful. What went wrong? It's a perfect and relatively easy formula to figure out: go fast and beat a motherfucker up while you do it. Can you imagine going at 100mph in a game based on today's technology, whipping a chain in the air and causing a guy to get plastered into a wall? CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW FUCKING AWESOME THAT WOULD BE?! You have Criterion sitting over in the corner with rumors swirling for a while that they are secretly working on a new Road Rash game. Are they?

These are three sacred franchises from EA's past that many fans have been rabid to see reboots for. Why hasn't this happened? Many of those fans may not realize this, but it could rest squarely on the shoulders of what was a seemed attempt by the company to garner interest in the games for a new generation: EA Replay. This compilation featured all three of the franchises talked about in this blog: Road Rash, the Strike franchise (specifically Jungle Strike and Desert Strike) and Mutant League Football. The compilation was not only poorly advertised, but it was made exclusively on a handheld system that was notorious for its ease of piracy. In turn, EA Replay only sold around 70,000 units, thereby damning any chances of the franchises coming back...

...or so it would seem. Another game featured on that same compilation is seeing a reboot release this month: Syndicate. Therefore, the question stands: is there enough interest amongst the gaming community to get EA to support reboots of these beloved franchises?

Until next time, piece.

Posted by Guided_By_Tigers

I'm surprised EA hasn't brought back Mutant League Football yet.

Posted by JasonR86

@jakob187:

They must have lost your letter in the mail. Try asking again and see if they reply.

Posted by Hailinel

Rebooting Dead Space? Why would they do that? I thought that series was selling great.

Rebooting Army of Two? Is that even worth rebooting?

Posted by jakob187

@JasonR86 said:

@jakob187:

They must have lost your letter in the mail. Try asking again and see if they reply.

LOL HARDY HAR HAR TOO GOOD. -_-

In all seriousness, this is not an invalid question to ask. There has been concept art for a new Road Rash that leaked out from an ex-Bizarre Creations employee back in 2006 or so, as well as pre-vis test footage that came out in 2009 from what was apparently a cancelled project. Beyond that, many guys at EA have continually gone on record as saying they look at those franchises on a regular basis.

If that's the case, though...and they keep putting money into all these pieces of concept art and pre-vis footage, why the fuck aren't we seeing any form of completed project out of them? Five years of work for a Road Rash project that isn't seeing the light of day? Why? You have the guys at Criterion on your side, and nothing?

Posted by crusader8463

EA is too focused on making their clones of whatever big populous franchise Activison is currently shoving out every year to worry about actually going into their own catalogue and focusing on the old brands that people have nostalgia for.

Posted by GreggD

@crusader8463 said:

EA is too focused on making their clones of whatever big populous franchise Activison is currently shoving out every year to worry about actually going into their own catalogue and focusing on the old brands that people have nostalgia for.

Okay, aside from Medal of Honor, what games are they "cloning" to combat Activision? And don't say Old Republic, because everyone has been chasing that cashcow for years.

Posted by DrDarkStryfe

Football without the NFL license would not sell nowadays, no one wants to take that risk anymore, and the NFL would never let their brand appear in a game like Mutant League.

Online
Posted by MikeGosot

My body needs a new Road Rash. My foundest memory of gaming is winning a race ON FOOT. I'm pretty sure everyone did that, BUT OH MY FUCKING GOD IT'S SO AMAZING.

Posted by crusader8463

@GreggD said:

@crusader8463 said:

EA is too focused on making their clones of whatever big populous franchise Activison is currently shoving out every year to worry about actually going into their own catalogue and focusing on the old brands that people have nostalgia for.

Okay, aside from Medal of Honor, what games are they "cloning" to combat Activision? And don't say Old Republic, because everyone has been chasing that cashcow for years.

I guess COD and WOW are the only ones I can really think of off the top of my head. It just seems like every time I turn around all I ever hear about is EA pushing millions behind some second rate COD clone and even though I love TOR, I'm a 6 month subscriber, I'm a firm believer that the only reason they green lit that game was because they wanted to have their own WOW style cash cow.

Posted by Hailinel

@jakob187 said:

@JasonR86 said:

@jakob187:

They must have lost your letter in the mail. Try asking again and see if they reply.

LOL HARDY HAR HAR TOO GOOD. -_-

In all seriousness, this is not an invalid question to ask. There has been concept art for a new Road Rash that leaked out from an ex-Bizarre Creations employee back in 2006 or so, as well as pre-vis test footage that came out in 2009 from what was apparently a cancelled project. Beyond that, many guys at EA have continually gone on record as saying they look at those franchises on a regular basis.

If that's the case, though...and they keep putting money into all these pieces of concept art and pre-vis footage, why the fuck aren't we seeing any form of completed project out of them? Five years of work for a Road Rash project that isn't seeing the light of day? Why? You have the guys at Criterion on your side, and nothing?

Why have Criterion work on Road Rash when they can make another Need For Speed?

Posted by JasonR86

@jakob187 said:

@JasonR86 said:

@jakob187:

They must have lost your letter in the mail. Try asking again and see if they reply.

LOL HARDY HAR HAR TOO GOOD. -_-

I thought I was being damn clever thank you.

Posted by MEATBALL

I have it on good authority that all of the above games are receiving reboots as visceral immersive and cinematic first person shooters.

Posted by GreggD

@rebgav said:

@crusader8463 said:

@GreggD said:

@crusader8463 said:

EA is too focused on making their clones of whatever big populous franchise Activison is currently shoving out every year to worry about actually going into their own catalogue and focusing on the old brands that people have nostalgia for.

Okay, aside from Medal of Honor, what games are they "cloning" to combat Activision? And don't say Old Republic, because everyone has been chasing that cashcow for years.

I guess COD and WOW are the only ones I can really think of off the top of my head.

Have you forgotten SKATE and Rock Band?

Skate was a skateboarding simulation series, and nothing like Tony Hawk's games. Rock Band was something that Harmonix wanted to do that Activision wouldn't let them, so they signed on with EA Partners to realize their vision.

Posted by QuistisTrepe

Dead Space is already like so five minutes ago and totally old and classic. Time for a remastered, ultimate version. WE NEED THIS.

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

Road Rash please.

Edited by GreggD

@rebgav: Still, we're looking at clones. Clone implies that they copied EVERYTHING. The only one I can think of at the moment is Medal of Honor. Not the campaign, but the multiplayer. That shit was literally Modern Warfare set in a real war. On that note, I really hope that Danger Close can do what they actually want to with the next one. I have faith in that team, because the campaign of the last one went woefully underappreciated.

Posted by iam3green

why would they make a reboot of army and two and dead space? those two games don't need a reboot. army of two isn't that good and dead space doesn't need to be touched.

Posted by Brodehouse

You should actually read that article, they say nothing about rebooting Dead Space and just talk about investigating changing the gameplay.  You just got the impression that they're "rebooting it!" because it's an article written by Bryan Ashcraft who is a terrible fucking writer and journalist.

Posted by Alexandruxx

YAY!!! Hating on EA is cool again!!!

You know why EA went second? It's not only because of Call of Duty. It's because back in 2007-2009 when they tried new IP's the reality bit them in the ass when they found out that despite what fanboys say, only stupid wartime sequels sell well.

Posted by Jimbo

Road Rash is the most baffling one. All they really need to do is make Hot Pursuit with bikes and it would be fucking amazing.

Posted by AndrewB

An awful lot of games are lacking chain-to-the-face physics.

Posted by Jimbo

@Alexandruxx said:

YAY!!! Hating on EA is cool again!!!

You know why EA went second? It's not only because of Call of Duty. It's because back in 2007-2009 when they tried new IP's the reality bit them in the ass when they found out that despite what fanboys say, only stupid wartime sequels sell well.

Dragon Age sold very well, before they fucked it up. Dead Space apparently sold well enough for at least one sequel. Mass Effect seems to be doing ok...

Good new IP is capable of selling just fine. It won't sell 10 million copies straight out of the gate, but it usually takes years of effort to get a franchise to that point. The difference is Activision are capable of growing franchises over many years, to the point where they are capable of selling huge numbers, whereas EA (with a couple of exceptions) are comparatively hamfisted at doing the same.

Posted by Napalm

@Unknown_Pleasures said:

I'm surprised EA hasn't brought back Mutant League Football yet.

...or Super Baseball 2020! I love that game!

Posted by Fattony12000
Edited by Humanity

People don't really want reboots because they will inevitably be disappointed or worse yet, internet-angered, by the design choices of the reboot. We've seen time and time again how the usual reception is "well I wish it was MORE like the original!" The problem here is: how much can a modern day game resemble the 1990's original? The Bionic Commando remake was poorly received, and one of the biggest concerns people had with the game was that Spencer had dreadlocks. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was not a real big success because it didn't feature a castle you roamed and progressively unlocked. The latest Choplifter HD didn't win anyone over and Syndicate has already been hailed as the worlds worst game/remake and it hasn't even come out yet. XCOM was dealing with the same sort of criticism until they announced a separate squad based game more true to the original in style and gameplay.

I think there is too much nostalgia attached for a lot of people to be able to let go and accept. The notion that maybe I can try to play this game in a new way is a tough hurdle to clear for many.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

I wouldn't mind seeing something like Mutant League Football get a big reboot. If the Strike and Road Rash reboots were XBLA or PSN releases, I'd give them a go. I'd be down for a new/rebooted SimCity, too.

Moderator
Posted by CJduke

Dead Space FPS, fuck that.

Posted by jakob187

@Alexandruxx said:

YAY!!! Hating on EA is cool again!!!

You know why EA went second? It's not only because of Call of Duty. It's because back in 2007-2009 when they tried new IP's the reality bit them in the ass when they found out that despite what fanboys say, only stupid wartime sequels sell well.

Who is hating on EA? I love EA. I've been a fan of theirs through everything they've done. Hell, I've probably owned more EA games in my gaming life than any other games from companies. This is more a love letter to games that many have begged to see rebooted...and continuing to beg for them to be rebooted.

Posted by MasturbatingestBear

People really love Mutant League Football. That game gets so much love all over the place.