3 Reasons Yearly Franchise Releases Should Go the Way of the Dinosaur
Yearly released franchises. We all know about them. We've tweeted about them, read articles about them, and even paid the money for them up front by preordering them. But when will they stop? As good as these franchises could be, yearly released franchises (yeah, we're looking at you Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty) are slowly ruining themselves.
There are a few good reasons why it would be good for yearly releases to take a hike. Let's take a look.
1. More Time Between Development Cycles
Every year, there's that "new" Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed showed off at E3, but it looks relatively the same as the last installment of that respective franchise (Granted, AC has changed on that a bit, but really, the games look and play the same).
If there were a bigger gap between each installment, these games would look much better graphically and would (hopefully) play better overall -- or at least bring something new and exciting to the table.
There would also be more time to observe the community, see what problems persist within the core mechanic of each franchise, and really prevent any glitches from happening at all (I'm looking at you, AC Unity).
If developers were to brainstorm longer on ideas, it would result in better and fresher gameplay features for each successive installment.
2. A Good Mix Up in Story
By now we know that yearly releases have stories that seem pretty much recycled. They boil down to similar plots, like in Assassin's Creed, chasing down each member of the Templar order, follow each crumb in the trail until it leads to the head honcho of that area. They also have nearly unchanging mechanics and gameplay styles -- all of which can grow stale pretty quickly, Assassin's Creed 3 probably had the most change to the series.
After Assassin's Creed 3, there was really not much of a point in continuing the franchise, seeing as Desmond's story line had pretty much ended, if they re-established a new story line, with a new character in modern time, focusing on another conspiracy, or at least a different angle on the same situation, that would certainly rekindle older fans out there.
And in Call of Duty, while the story can be diverse enough, there are moments that you can almost tell will be in every game until the end of history. Helicopter crashes, a major character dies, somebody takes an enemy out epicly with a knife, and the bad guys seems to just get away again, and again. Not to mention that single stealth mission in each game. (It would be better to have an overall stealth option.)
3. Premium Memberships Being More Worth It
We've seen this from every developer, so it's not just in the case of yearly releases. But when devs put the same game out there year after year and then put out a season pass for it? With literal re-skins of old maps from previous games? They never uphold these games for longer than a year anyway, so why is it even worth buying? It makes them seem even more money hungry than before.
If they would support a game for longer than a year and keep a freshness to it, going so far as to add little stuff, like weapon skins, emblem parts, etc. exclusively for those participating in the season pass, the fire in fans would live a whole hell of a lot longer.
When will games become unique again? Would people be more willing to shell out the big bucks if every game didn't look like an expansion of the previous game? We might not ever know, but maybe after the Assassin's Creed developers taking a step back, they will develop an even better game (Provided they are actually working on it at all), achieve more sales, and that would hopefully influence the other companies to do the same, or at least something similar.
Do you agree, or disagree? Or do you have something to throw into the subject yourself? Let us know in the comments!