Choking the Video Game Industry

Sequels, prequels, and stories set in between games.

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I’m looking at you, Halo franchise..

Video Games are notorious for pumping out sequels that are terrible, rushed, and thoroughly un-enjoyable for fans of the original. In my personal experience with Video Games, it seems that some of the big franchises are simply not innovating anymore. One can easily draw the obvious conclusion to this. Video Games are a business.

Let me backtrack a little and provide some context. In the early 90s, developing a game for the original Playstation cost between 800,000 – 1.7 million. If you are developing a game for a million dollars, you can have a relatively small team, a focused idea and a low monetary barrier (in comparison to film and television) to create your game. Fast-forward to today where you have budgets in excess of 200 million dollars, and developing a game with a shared vision with outsourced work becomes a nightmare. Not to say that games with huge budgets are terrible games of course.

Grand-Theft-Auto-5-Gets-Another-Batch-of-Fresh-Screenshots-13

Money well spent.

What’s the safest way for the Video Game business to make sure that all of its work has the best rate of return? Well, sell customers what they know already with a few shiny bits and bobs. Sequels are by far the safest investment. As someone who enjoys franchises and sequels, I’m not here to bash the idea of a franchise, or dismiss it as cruel profit grabbing practice. There are plenty of games within franchises that are critically acclaimed and retain their ability to be played time and time again. What I am stating though, is that when you have games released in 2013 on major consoles favouring sequels on a 2.5:1 ratio, it can cause a stagnation for big release games.

Viva_Pinata_Trouble_in_Paradise

Legit enough for a sequel.

For those who play Video Games, I would like you to go to your games library, be it steam, console or otherwise. See how many of your games are sequels, or prequels. How many of those games are complete, utter shite games? How many of those sequels did you get hyped up for, only to be hugely disappointed? In some ways, as a consumer, you do feel cheated out of original entertainment. It is easy to say that all new games for consoles and PC’s are just one and the same… when that clearly isn’t the case. In the case of the two big console FPS games, it sure is.

Take the Halo franchise. Space-marine first person shooter. Compare it with a game like Call Of Duty. first person shooter. From Halo 3 onwards, the success of the Call of Duty franchise (Particularly Modern Warfare) “bleeds” into the Halo franchise. The multiplayer experience between the two is now so similair, you’re realistically playing the exact same game. Halo adopted the “loadouts” feature of CoD, the sprinting feature, and “ordinance drops” (care packages in CoD) CoD does not get off scott-free either. As demonstrated by this wonderful picture.

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November? New CoD game.

While some of these games are immensely fun, it would be nice to get some fresh, inventive gameplay once in a while.

Oh, you want some sauce?

http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/double-fine-needs-18-million-to-develop-psychonauts-2-according-to-the-maker-of-minecraft/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_in_video_gaming

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