Clint Hocking Says "No" To Annual Sequels
You might think that a former Ubisoft developer talking about the dangers of yearly installments is ironic, but Clint Hocking (now creative director at LucasArts) has some interesting insight about the dangers of the practice.
In an opinion piece for Edge, Hocking (who worked on Far Cry 2, pictured above) explains how annual sequels can burn out a development team and wear thin on gamers' patience. "You may sell lots of copies of two or three sequels," Hocking writes. "But you will bore the audience very quickly and will have likely already spent all your money on the fourth sequel before realizing the audience is tired of the game and won’t buy it at all."
Note that Hocking isn't against sequels in the broad sense; he seems to leveling his criticisms at the increasing trend of major publishers churning out a new series installment every year. He also acknowledges the financial temptation of the approach, but seems to think that it will be more damaging to the industry in the long run.
It's an interesting topic. Innovative and groundbreaking games are great, but at the same time, gamers also like seeing their favorite characters return and watching those adventures continue. If the demand is there for annual sequels, do you think developers should keep producing them? It's worked well for Call of Duty, after all.