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Default IGN - Are Franchises Killing Gaming?

April 17th, 2010, 12:44
Whilst I think the immediate answer to Are Franchises Killing Gaming? is "yes", who doesn't anticipate a sequel to a favourite game? IGN looks at the situation without coming to much of a conclusion:
Why take a risk on a new concept when it's easier (and potentially more profitable) to rest of an established brand, concept or character? This attitude is so all-consuming and pervasive right now that it rings with clockwork predictability. More and more often, we're hearing about developers opting to create franchises rather than standalone releases; we saw it happen with Mass Effect and Gears of War – to great success.

However, the assumption that the game warrants a trilogy is a flawed and dangerous one. You need only look at what happened to Silicon Knights' sci-fi / mythology trilogy-that-isn't, 'Too Human' - a title that, after dismal critical response and mediocre sales, would likely be far too risky a proposition to continue the franchise. So too with SEGA's 'Shenmue'; titles like these hold too much back from the story, structure and gameplay in order to provide compelling content across three games, rather than simply nailing an outstanding first game and letting the market decide if it wants a sequel.
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April 17th, 2010, 12:44
sites like ign are killing it too.
they're the biggest franchise-ass-licking site out there.

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April 17th, 2010, 12:47
Once upon a time, long, long ago when they were an independant site, they were excellent. Pity, but it happens once you go commercial!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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April 17th, 2010, 14:49
Ultima, Wing commander, Wizardry, Might and Magic, TES, D&D(ish).. no, I don't think franchises are killing gaming, quite the opposite - they were more alive when gaming was also more alive

hence why I think:
More and more often, we're hearing about developers opting to create franchises rather than standalone releases;
Is bollocks
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April 17th, 2010, 19:44
Computer games will naturally follow the same route as the rest of media: maximizing profit by playing it safe. Music has lots of extremely similar pop, film has romantic comedies etc. They sell very well but are rarely very memorable. Very good films still come out and very good music as well. It's just harder to find it amongst all the "junk", especially since a lot of junk looks like quality products on the surface.
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April 17th, 2010, 22:52
Quite a few franchises are not junk.

The problem is a money vs. art thing. Ideally, a franchise would continue as long as it has something new and interesting to offer. Practically, it runs until people no longer want to pay for it. The fanchise has to, as they say in TV, jump the shark before the publishing house will kill it.

There are some franchises I would really like to see keep going, though. GalCiv2 added a ton of interesting things via expansions. It would be neat to see a GalCiv3 with all those ideas baked in along with a few others. A 64-bit, multi-core supporting X4 game would be incredible. And Sacrifice definitely deserved at least one sequel.

RPG type games can really use franchises to tell epic stories. But are they? The JRPG Xenosaga tried but it didn't work out so well. Mass Effect is trying to do it right now. NWN 2 kinda did, but it was only a two parter. Dragon Age could but, as near as I can tell, they don't really have an over-arching story planned.
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April 18th, 2010, 02:46
Someone nuke ign & co, please.
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April 18th, 2010, 10:09
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
It would be neat to see a GalCiv3 with all those ideas baked in along with a few others. A 64-bit, multi-core supporting X4 game would be incredible.
This is a bit off-topic, but they are planning to develop a galciv3 eventually. And their game in development, Elemental, will be a 64-bit, multi-core supporting 4X game. They are going for absolutely gigantic maps for the 64-bit version (if you want to play on gigantic maps).

The good thing is that they made their own engine, meaning the next galciv will be 64-bit and likely have tactical combat!
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April 19th, 2010, 00:15
It imho depernds on the "milk-factor" of a franchise.

Sometimes it is milked far too much, we call this "to roll it out".

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 19th, 2010, 00:29
Alrik good point, for example isn't jowood is trying really hard to keep gothic franchise alive and kicking? Thruth to be told Spellbound seems like a decent developer so if they have been given artistic freedom to do what they want, Arcania can turn out to be a decent rpg…
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April 19th, 2010, 11:50
I am all for Franchises because i want to play my favourite games with added features , new technology and gamers suggestions integrated, most of us fan boys will buy the new release anyway and if one of the games in the series is crap the developer will release something better next season .
Of course consistently releasing crap kills the series ( EA sports NBA live for example).
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April 19th, 2010, 17:08
We all know the real problem! Money!
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April 19th, 2010, 17:54
I dislike franchises and sequels in any medium.
Though I care less in games since the gameplay is often 'improved' while the stories are complete rubbish 99.9% of the time anyway.

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April 19th, 2010, 23:06
Well, if you see the second part of the LT as a second part of that "franchise" … Well, to me it was nothing but a wonderful feeling to import that hero again into the new game and play anoher, new adventure with him !

Other examples are franchises which don't have this kind of "replay value", or, maybe, "play-further-on-value".

I think gamers are able to perceive it when an invisible border has been crossed. That's usually at the point, when the amount of actual new stuff in a franchise's game is lesser than in previous games - and when more assets of previous games have been reworked and reused, than to include something really new.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 20th, 2010, 15:40
I'm quite happy with franchises. They give the developers a more stable income stream and make it safer for them to invest heavily in background stories & game assets. What's not to like? Doesn't matter that much if Generic Fantasy quest is set in a new world with slightly different orc like things or if it's another one in Dragon Age or Forgotten Realms.

Okay the handful of truly brilliant settings like Planescape or Albion might not get as much of a look-in but there's nothing wrong with a solid franchise.
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April 20th, 2010, 16:07
What would the world of RPGs look like without games like MM6-8, BG2, G2: NotR and so on and so forth?

Hardly think it's an accurate statement.
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April 22nd, 2010, 12:23
In movies, sequels are often worse. In games, sequels are often better. This is because in games, a new engine takes work and effort to make, when an engine is already done you only need polishing and content. There are of course exceptions to this but that's usually when a sequel is made with a new engine.

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April 22nd, 2010, 13:33
The problem with sequels is that they are confined within the boundaries set by the canon of their predecessors. As the number of episodes rises that canon becomes more and more defined and therefore more confining.

Eventually many attempts of creativity are rejected as non-canon causing the old fans to cry foul. The creators eventually end up with a number of unappealing choices: they ignore the canon and hope that few will be offended, they offer weak excuses for any changes that often fail to convince anyone who cares, or they simply remain faithful to the canon. The last option being the worst in my opinion since it eventually often results in the sequel being based on a series of references intended for those who 'know' but tied together with a story that could simply not stand on its own.

Games often get away with it however, since all of the above can easily (and justifiably) be ignored if 'the shooting is more fun'.

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