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Milking a cow and milking a
franchise are one and the same. Today I will explain the analogy between
milking a cow and milking a franchise. Please note that no cows or franchises
were harmed in the making of this blog.
The Cow Edition
We all have our own favorite cow,
whether it is the tradition black and white, brown, or black. Farmers must
decide on a daily basis whether they will kill the cow for meat and get more
money instantly or milk the cow and get money as long as the cow produces milk.
Imagine if we got the same kind of milk every time. Strawberry from the brown
cow, Chocolate from the black cow, or white from the black and white cow. You
wouldn't want that, right? Of course not! That is why we have many cows to get
milk from. This allows us to get strawberry, chocolate, and white milk all at
once! So, do you make more money instantly by killing the cow or do you get
milk from the same cow over a long period of time?
The Franchise Edition
We all have our favorite franchise,
whether it is Mass Effect, The Elder Scrolls, or Fallout (my top three
franchises). Developers must decide on a daily basis whether they will have a
single installment in the franchise, or continue to release installments year
after year and make money every year until the franchise stops selling well.
Imagine if we got the same franchise all the time. Mass Effect from Bioware, The
Elder Scrolls from Bethesda, or Fallout from Bethesda. You wouldn't want that,
right? Of course not! That is why we have many developers and publishers to get
franchises from. This allows us to have Mass Effect, The Elder Scrolls, and
Fallout all at once! So, do you make one installment in a series or do you
continue to release installments in a series as long as they sell well?
The Serious Edition
We've all heard it: "Assassin's
Creed is milking the franchise like Call of Duty, Madden, and Final Fantasy." I
don't see milking a franchise as a bad thing. If you have enough people to
separate into different teams to make different games of the same series
faster, isn't that great? It's not like these developers have one year of developer
time. Look at Call of Duty. Infinity Ward releases a game one year and Treyarch
releases a game the next year. This gives both teams about two years of
development. This is a little short to me, but Ubisoft isn't doing the same
thing. They said they would give their development teams three, four, or five years
to complete the installment, and they would give each team as long as necessary.
When you have enough people to split into multiple teams, you get a lot done
faster. Milking a franchise has a negative connotation that I can understand. I
like getting new installments faster, but there are multiple caveats. Sometimes
a developer has to finish a game too fast. Hopefully Ubisoft sticks to their
word and doesn't force their teams to work too quickly in the same way that EA
did to Bioware for Dragon Age 2. Another caveat for annual releases is that
when multiple teams work on the same franchise, you can sometimes lose what you
loved about the original, whether it is the iconic gameplay or story.
for reading my crazy blog! Please note that I know that strawberry milk doesn't
come from a brown cow and chocolate milk doesn't come from a black cow.
What do you think about
milking a cow or franchise? Let me know in the comments below.