Friday, November 7, 2014

Q Attack, Round 4 - Is a New Sequel Every Year too Much?
In this publication of Q Attack, Tiger and Rabbit discuss the plethora of video game series that release a new sequel every year. They discuss IP fatigue, the insatiable appetites of gamers, and how much this all really costs. From Assassin’s Creed to Skylanders, is a new sequel every year too much?


Tiger: Here we are in November, the month I dislike the most. We have the holidays coming up with gifts to buy and we’re smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Rush. That’s what Rabbit and myself call the video game season that starts in late August and continues until the New Year.

Rabbit: Then it’s Spring Fever from January until May. Hmm, our video game season kind of follows the hockey season.

Tiger: Anyway, I have also coined November as Assasinber because there is always, always an Assassin’s Creed game that comes out. But this year, this year there’s two! Two I tell you! When is enough, enough?

Rabbit: Is that why you repeated so many words there? Since there are two Assassin’s games, you wanted to say everything twice?

Tiger: *glares*

Rabbit: I do understand your frustration. It seems crazy to me that some games come out every year. In sports games, I can’t imagine anything really changing to merit buying the new edition unless someone has to have the new rosters.

Tiger: And video games take so stinkin’ long to make, we hear about them years in advance. So you know that they’re making these games concurrently with others that are scheduled to release next year or the year after. How can they improve the game, fix bugs, and make it a better experience when they don’t take into consideration any of the feedback from the game they currently have out?

Rabbit: I’m sure some of the issues they might be able to fix with updates but you’re right, it seems like they’d be too far into production to make any major changes to a game when they schedule them to come out every year. I will say with the Skylanders series, they’ve done a very good job at fixing issues and improving the game every year. I know the jump between the first game, Spyro’s Adventure, and Giants was huge. There were a lot of noticeable differences from Giants to Swap Force as well.

Tiger: They used different studios each time for those, right?

Rabbit: They did, similar to how Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed are both handled.

Tiger: Speaking of Call of Duty, I’ve never been a fan of the game but I’m curious to see what will happen now that Infinity Ward is back at the helm. That’s the other issue I have with games that come out every year. You know they rotate studios just so they can get these things out. Oftentimes I find that I prefer one studio over another, so it makes me want to skip certain titles just because of the developer.

Rabbit: ^giggles^ Sofia?

Tiger: Ah, don’t remind me. How do you handle this, Rabbit? It’s bad enough I pick up the Assassin’s Creed games but at least they don’t come with a thousand plastic figures you need to buy.

Rabbit: Skylanders doesn’t have that many figures; it’s only about 60+ a game.

Tiger: Oh, is that all? *rolls eyes*

Rabbit: See’mon Tiger! Don’t you ever get that feeling like you just need more of a game? That once you’ve beaten it, you either want to play it again or wished that there was a sequel? I know you felt that way with the Yakuza series.

Tiger: May you one day reach our shores again. But yes, to answer your question, I have felt that way.

Rabbit: Could you imagine if you got a new The Elder Scrolls game every year?

Tiger: No, I wouldn’t want that. As much as I love those games, they take way too long to beat. I can see loving a game and wanting to play even more of it but I think you have to be wary about gamer fatigue. One of the things that really make me love the Fallout or TES series is that I don’t get them every year, or every two years for that matter. I will often go back and play those games multiple times because I enjoy them so much, but I like having that itch of “hey, when’s Fallout 4 coming?” Similar to the Persona series, I know we just got into that, but I like that there’s a waiting period between games. Okay, almost skipping the entire PS3 generation was a little too long, but it makes those games all the more worthwhile when they do finally release. Plus, I want the best experience possible which means I want the devs to have the time to refine their game.

Rabbit: Yeah, I understand your point but I also think that if you’re gone from the gamer’s mind too long, that they might not care when you come back. There are so many IPs out there, that if you have something good, shouldn’t you strike while the iron’s hot?

Tiger: But every year? I don’t even get why people buy sports games every year but something like Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty? The time you invest in a game that has multiplayer, just to have a new one come out 12 months later, I don’t know if that’s worth it.

Rabbit: It’s worth it if you’re having fun.

Tiger: And the cost, how much have you spent on Skylanders?

Rabbit: Okay, that question isn’t fair because I didn’t have to buy those figures. The games are completely beatable without any of the addition Skylanders. It does get expensive but we both plan out which games we want to get during the Holiday Rush. Did you have to buy both Assassin’s Creed games on day one?

Tiger: No but I still wanted them so I figured I'd just get them. I just hate that they don’t give me a chance to detox from all this killing. I wish they'd give me a breather for a year. I’m just saying that maybe these publishers should consider trying to spread some of this around and not bombard us with the same thing every year. Or bombard us with all these figures that take up so much space.

Rabbit: You? Tired of killing?! ^crosses arms^ Ha, that’s news to me! As for the figures, I like them and I’m going to keep on buying them, so if you’ve got a problem with that, why don’t you find somewhere else to live!

Tiger: Geez, don’t get your ears all tied in a knot. I was just trying to express that sometimes I feel like they take advantage of gamers and just expect us to keep buying the same processed games over and over. Anyway, I think it’s time that we finish this business. Is a new sequel every year too much?
Rabbit: I vote no because for some people, you want another chapter in your favorite series and you want it sooner rather than later. I don’t think it hurts the industry at all releasing another entry for an IP every year; in fact the opposite might be true, being able to release a game a year shows just how strong your brand is. If there’s demand for your game, then I say keep making it until no one buys it. After all, if it bothers you so much that a series releases a new title every year, just stop buying it.

Tiger: I say that it is too much. We’re oversaturated enough as it is with sequels, releasing titles every year just makes it worse. Why not take those resources and apply them to making new games set in new worlds we have never seen before. I know launching new IPs can be very difficult and expensive but I’d rather take my chance on a game I’ve never played before than just get a 1.5 upgrade to an existing franchise. If you think about it, most of these so called sequels aren’t even true sequels, oftentimes they feel like expansions or DLC-esque content that they just repackaged to get you to buy it. I say enough is enough.

Rabbit: Maybe you should stop buying them then.

Tiger: *crosses arms* What? I still like the series and want to play it but I’m just tired that they’re not only releasing one game but now two games every year.

Rabbit: So don’t support them; it’s as simple as that.

Tiger: It’s not that easy. Am I supposed to just give up playing their games?

Rabbit: Maybe you should learn some self-control.

Tiger: Don’t you dare give me this self-control nonsense! Look who’s talking? You giant eared-

Rabbit: ^throws arms up^ I’m not taking this anymore! We’re done, goodbye!

Is a New Sequel Every Year too Much?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit


  1. Tiger needs does need some self-control, but otherwise she's correct. The franchises that stick around and stand the test of time aren't released every year, such as Mario, Metroid, and Zelda. The one's that over-saturate the market burn out after awhile, such as Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero.

    1. With all negative reviews and press surrounding Assassin's Creed: Unity, it just goes to show that doing a sequel every year really will burn out your fanbase. Publishers really need to start looking at investing into quality games versus just rehashing old mechanics they can repackage and sell. - Tiger

    2. I definitely hope people start voting with their dollars more. Specifically talking about Ubisoft, it's pretty despicable what they've done with the Assassin's Creed IP. While I still think some IPs can handle a new sequel every year, that doesn't mean that it's acceptable to release a bad product every year. - Rabbit