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How Did Remakes and Remasters Become the Scourge of Gaming?

These days, the idea of an HD remake doesn't sit well with many gamers. In fact, some downright hate the concept.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

Gamers – and consumers in general – are fickle. They’ve got very short memories.

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I remember when high-definition upgrades of existing games were beloved by just about everyone. I remember early on during the previous generation when we first started to see several HD remakes of titles in various classic franchises, like God of War and Ratchet & Clank. For the most part, nobody had any problem with these releases and in fact, if you tested the popularity of such collections, it would’ve probably scored through the roof.

Now, however, it seems that if you even mention the possibility of an upgraded or improved version of an older game, people just completely lose their sh**. The million-dollar question is, how and why did this happen?

Perhaps gamers are more spoiled, entitled, and cheap than ever

That’s a possibility. My read on the gaming community is exactly this, unfortunately. I think some gamers honestly believe they should get absolutely everything for free, that all developers and publishers exist to rip them off, and that every last business construct in recent memory – from downloadable content to Season Passes to microtransactions – are flat-out evil. Of course, none of these hateful consumers seem to grasp that such business models only continue to exist because of consumers making them popular, but whatever.

The point is that I really do believe the community has become that much more spoiled as time has gone on. Hence, they immediately view any HD upgrade or Remaster or “Definitive” edition of a game as an underhanded cash grab. Again, they don’t seem to notice the fact that they don’t have to purchase the game, and it’s conceivable that not every human alive played the original title, and would love another shot at it.

But that’s another discussion for another time.

Or, maybe we’ve just seen too many HD remakes

This is another explanation. We’ve seen quite a few HD remakes (and updated versions of HD games) in recent years, so maybe consumers are just getting sick of them. Maybe they’d rather developers and publishers focus on new IPs, especially when we’re talking about a new generation. After all, it does require some manpower and resources to produce these new and improved iterations, and that time and money could be better spent, right?

At the same time, I’m not sure we’re seeing a ton of these titles right now. I mean, I can really only think of a few; it’s just that we don’t have many other AAA next-gen releases to talk about. Come the end of the year, when most of the big titles drop, I’m willing to bet all this debate over Remasters and such will diminish. When there’s a high-profile title like The Last Of Us: Remastered, or Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, it almost overrides the new games. But really, would those updated games get as much attention if they launched in the midst of the fall insanity? I think not.

It’s just a matter of perception. Currently, the perception – regardless of reality – is extremely negative, so the idea of future Remaster updates won’t go over well with the public. If Sony wants to talk about Uncharted Remasters, they had best wait…that’s all I’m saying.

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.