With so many sequels being released all the time, is it becoming the trend of game developers to just do minor improvements year to year to existing popular games?
Now more than ever, we are continually seeing developers announcing the next game in a series, whether it is a shooting game, racing game or even an adventure game. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a place for a good quality sequel, but you get the feeling that there is a distinct lack of new IP (Intelectual Property) or even a lack of a genuine leap in quality from one year to the next in a sequels case. Is it getting down to the stage where it doesn’t matter what system you own, (aside from the Wii), 90% of the games that are available are the same anyway?
The only thing that goes against this trend is the Nintendo Wii. There are of course sequels on the Wii, but the main reason it is outselling the Xbox 360 and the PS3 by such a large margin comes down to one word: “Innovation”. The games on the Wii are for the majority, nothing like the ones you will play on the Xbox 360 or the PS3. Sure you can get Call Of Duty on the Wii, but most people don’t buy the Wii to play Call Of Duty, that’s what the HD consoles are for. Even the IP’s that Nintendo had prior to the Wii have been re-made to be totally new experiences on the Wii compared to when they were on the Gamecube or the machines before that.
In terms of the Xbox 360 and PS3, it kind of feels like Microsoft and Sony should sit down and put the best parts of each system together and have one super HD console that developers can concentrate on. Now, before any fanboys start screaming, consider the following;
1. If 90% of games on the Xbox 360 and PS3 are multiplatform, having one console to work on would free up resources and money for the developers which could be used to develop new IP’s and better quality games. Saving the developers money could also save some of them from going under, especially in today’s economic climate.
2. Having one HD console would mean that consumers would only have to pay for one console instead of two to play the games from Sony and Microsoft which would enable more people to afford the best of both worlds, so to speak.
3. When people say competition promotes better quality games, is this actually true in gaming? At the end of the day, the game companies are just interested in your money rather than giving you the ultimate gaming experience. If there was only one HD console, because you only have one choice of console, the competition would be more concentrated on what game(s) you would buy, rather than system. This would surely make game companies work harder to gain your purchase. Having multiple consoles and having to have double the resources to work on the same game seems a waste and is probably why you see a lot of companies opting for sequels rather than putting the time into new IP’s. Having one less system and access to the same amount of resources could mean they could allocate the extra resources to creating fresher and better quality games.
Overall, there is definitely a place for great sequels, like Call of Duty 4 and Gears of War 2, but it would be great if developers would and were given the ability to concentrate on new IP’s which, like EA’s Dead Space, brings a freshness and greater quality to the games we love to play.
Article by Craig Cirillo