"Play It Again, Sam": Criticizing Excessive Sequels (While Also Supporting Them) - FinalFantasy1026 Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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"Play It Again, Sam": Criticizing Excessive Sequels (While Also Supporting Them)

How did you feel when you heard that Ubisoft was looking to use the yearly-release model on their biggest franchise, Assassin's Creed?  If you were like me, you approached the announcement with cautious optimism, hoping that the publisher would not ruin one of gaming's most fun experiences in an effort to cash in on a popular title.  If you felt a little more strongly than I did, you maybe took to the internet, to blog or post messages about how Ubisoft was becoming a bunch of greedy sell-outs (not unlike Activision, who almost single-handedly killed the music genre and who has milked the Call of Duty franchise more viciously than anyone could have imagined).

Fast forward to 2012, and the year's most anticipated game (arguably), as well as one of E3's most awarded titles (factually), is Assassin's Creed 3, the fourth game in as many years from the franchise.  I know that I, personally, can't get enough of the news about Assassin's Creed 3; I am rabidly looking forward to playing it, as I know countless other gamers are as well.  The question that I am forced to ask, though is: What gives, everyone?

"I swear I wasn't buying CoD! I Swear! DON'T LOOK AT ME!"

I will admit that I was also one of those gamers who cringed every time a new Guitar Hero game was coming out a couple of years ago.  I also admit that I shudder a bit whenever the year's new Call of Duty game is announced.  The thing is, though, that despite crying foul over these excessive releases, in many cases gamers support them.

We tend to badger developers and publishers for wearing out our favorite franchises.  Remember how fun Guitar Hero was when it, and its sequel, first released?  Remember how awesome Rock Band was when we found out that playing in a large group was even better?  And finally, remember how lame the music genre suddenly was when hurried release schedules led Activision to release the gimmicky "Warriors of Rock" in one final attempt to assault our wallets?

"Hey, uh, guys?  Didn't this stuff used to be about little colored gems and music?" - Warriors of Rock programmer

Sure, we love to criticize Call of Duty specifically for becoming the Madden of the FPS genre; we also, however, continue to make Call of Duty (and Madden, for that matter) one of the most successful franchises in video game history in terms of sales and time spent playing multiplayer.  Now, I know a very vocal segment of the gaming community assaults Call of Duty in every new story posted on gaming websites, vowing to never purchase it and also swearing to never play it, but let's be honest here: this franchise wouldn't be making billions of dollars if at least some of us weren't buying it.

I definitely have gotten into Call of Duty.  The first title in the series that I purchased was Black Ops, and I really enjoyed playing it online.  I thought it was a rather addicting and fun way to kill some time, especially when playing in a party online with friends.  I never purchased Modern Warfare 3, but I did play it and I enjoyed what time I spent with it as well.  As much as Activision may be damaging the brand by releasing a new title every year, the games themselves have still been fun to play at their core.  Sure the annoying and frankly inappropriate comments made by immature users can bring the experience down, but they can easily be muted, and even still they do not make the actual game itself any more broken.  Whatever said of the fence you sit on with Call of Duty, the games can be fun if given the chance.

At least until you've felt this kind of shame.

And that brings me to my ultimate point.  Despite the fact that so many of us hop on the hate bandwagon when rushed sequels are announced, when those sequels come from popular franchises with heavily established fanbases, the games will still sell no matter how much rage is expounded on internet forums and blogs.

Game publishers/developers exist with a capitalistic mindset.  Capitalism can be considered the economic form of democracy in a way, because if we as the consumers do not like something that a publisher/developer is doing, then we can vote with our wallets to get them to stop.  Activision will stop making yearly Call of Duty games when we stop generating millions of dollars for them when each one releases.  Conversely, when a new IP comes out to rave reviews from both critics and consumers alike, we owe it to the developers and publishers to spend a ton of money on it and support them.

If you haven't purchased it yet WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE.

In a way, we've almost become enamored with disapproving of excessive sequels.  We know that they are almost like a song that brings back only painful memories; we can't stand to hear them again without a sense of having lost the joy they brought us when we first heard them.  We are also, however, self-destructive, and want to hear them again despite the pain they may bring us.  Just like Ingrid Bergman's character in Casablanca, we just want to hope that maybe, just maybe, the next time we hear that familiar tune, it won't be as disappointingly painful as the last time.

 

Leave me some comments and let me know what you think.

 

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