When it comes to video games, there are so many different series in multiple genres and most of them gain sequels as the years roll by. As gamers and consumers, we will always want more: more quality stories, more options of gameplay, more innovation, and more quality productions. However, as is all business, the way to earn a profit on sequels may be to cut back on innovation, slap a new logo and new coat of paint, and call it the next best thing. From some of the successful series I’ve played (and many of the indulgent series that cash in on sequels), there’s plenty of things that can change to have more successful, critically acclaimed, and praised-by-fans sequels.
Give Development Time Breathing Room
It’s hard to want fewer games when the genre provides such visceral experiences for players. However, since demand is high and the business is a booming industry, it only makes sense to create more for profit. The Batman Arkham series is a relatively new franchise that has barely had a misstep. However, the latest title, Arkham Knight, suffered from delays and was pushed back 6 months. While we can all moan and groan, no one can complain now that the title has been released and I think the development needs to take its proper course. Patience is rewarded most times and I think more developers would benefit from slowing down the timetables to truly innovate on every conceivable level.
Only Make Necessary Sequels
We can’t talk unnecessary sequels unless we are talking about Kingdom Hearts. While the main titles have been great and seeing the spin offs tackle more new Disney worlds has opened up so many possibilities, enough is enough. Ironically, I fell in love with the series after playing Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, a GameBoy Advance connection between the first and second game. It was simple, it was fun, the replay value was incredible, and it all made sense. However, after Kingdom Hearts II, those sequels were left off the leash and ran rampant. The desire for Kingdom Hearts III has been a decade in waiting and all that has been left in the void are sequels and remakes. We have seen the same worlds, stories for every side character, a well-conceived prequel with Birth By Sleep, and the games are still excessive and repetitive. With the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 2.8, I can’t help but roll my eyes and wait even longer for Kingdom Hearts III. We all just dive deep into the next story, not simply wade in the kiddie pool that is older worlds with newer graphics.
Work on New Projects
Take a look at the Last of Us, one of the most incredible titles in the Playstation (or any) library. The game was developed by Naughty Dog, originally known for the Crash Bandicoot series and, more recently, the Uncharted games that have taken the world by storm. The team adapted the excellent third person engine that allowed Uncharted’s Nathan Drake to scale building and mountains, engage in shootouts, and fend off baddies with refreshing combat. This translated well to the cinematic and survival-focused Last of Us, which used the best aspects of Uncharted to make an all new game. If something works well, you can do the same thing over and over, or you can innovate in a new field (or in this case, genre).
It’s for the love of games that I say we can all wait in between games for a few more months to get a greater product. Would I love to see a Last of Us 2, a new Metroid, or even a new Advance Wars title? 100%. But I would be kidding myself if I expected it within a year, two, or even three. Until then, I’ll replay the oldies, the goodies, and avoid the cash-ins of the month.
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