What decides when a game are a sequel and when is it just milking a franchise?


  • Global Moderator

    As we know pleanty of games, especially from Japan can keep going on for a long time. Like Final Fantasy where we got part 15 coming soon, yet people (including me) are still excited about it.

    On the other hand there are other games, such as Assassin's Creed where when number 3 were to be released people were shouting that they should just stop, its getting dragged out etc. Where is the limit? when is the limit reached? what decides when a line is crossed?

    Or are people just complaining because they can? Are we quickly getting bored and constantly hunger for new things?

    I hope this can create an interesting discussion about what factors plays in and what makes people excited for a sequel!



  • If I like it, i'm happy with a similar sequel for as long as it can possibly keep going.

    As a huge Resident Evil fan, I never got tired of the formula; the formula is actually a large part of why I fell in love with it in the first place. Each game changed the story, puzzles, locations (for the most part) and the characters. That's enough to make it its own game, the fact that they actually play similar is irrelevant to me. "RE4" ruined the series for me, not because I don't like RE4, but because its so different from what I loved most about the series and genre it was in.

    Atelier has had an annual released here since 2010? In terms of how they play, not a lot has changed. I personally have never had a dip in my excitement for the next one though. I think people get tired of things FAAAARRR too easily.



  • Franchise fatigue. It's real. Believe in it. If you have a series that releases every year (even if you have multiple teams working on different games), it begins to feel stale. It becomes less of an event and more of a sentiment of, "oh, another one? yay...." Final Fantasy is a great example to bring up because its been an entire generation since we've seen a new (single-player) FF. Persona? It's been two console generations. Games like Madden and Assassin's Creed do have their hardcore fanbase that will buy annual releases but as a whole, it's very easy to ignore yearly installments and wait to jump in when major changes occur.

    One other point is time. A lot of us are working adults with social lives outside of games, there's really never enough time to play everything that releases in a year. A franchise that constantly asks for my time, every single year, yet refuses to really change? Why bother? I'd much rather have that anticipation build up throughout the years as I wait for the next release.



  • Some ideas start fresh then never progress.

    Assassin's Creed felt so original in story, scale, and concept but the gameplay routine suffered because of the ambitious story. Then they decided to improve gameplay over everything else. Then it started selling more and next thing you know we have a great original idea that got stale in a few short years.

    EA Skate felt amazing too but then by #3 I was done. It even regressed in terms of level design. Sometimes these great games happen too often.

    I even had fatigue with Dark Souls III just because I've been playing Souls since 2009. DkS2 didn't add anything new, then Bloodborne was a great game but DkS3 came so quickly that I just felt burnt out on it at 50%.

    We get less tired of Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, or what have you because they come less frequently. They've existed for a long time but they aren't so frequent. That;s how I see it.



  • The perfect example of "milking" too much is Dynasty Warriors series. Koei Temco kept bringing out the same game over and over again, without even adding anything to it. Just small new features. Call of Duty is different in that they're trying their best to change and iterate every single game. People are giving Activision and it's studios a lot of stupid flack saying that it's the same game over and over again. Yeah, it is, because it's the same engine, but the studios have been, and are iterating each title. Making some changes, and adding new features.



  • @Carlos said in What decides when a game are a sequel and when is it just milking a franchise?:

    The perfect example of "milking" too much is Dynasty Warriors series. Koei Temco kept bringing out the same game over and over again, without even adding anything to it. Just small new features. Call of Duty is different in that they're trying their best to change and iterate every single game. People are giving Activision and it's studios a lot of stupid flack saying that it's the same game over and over again. Yeah, it is, because it's the same engine, but the studios have been, and are iterating each title. Making some changes, and adding new features.

    Yeah honestly Call of Duty is usually a polished release with little flaws unlike other quick release IPs like Assassin's Creed or say Battlefield. COD NEVER rewrites the book, but they released super polished less, say, Black Ops on PS3 having awful resolution, screen tear, and frame issues.

    Dynasty Warrior's is the prime example of pure milking. I remember when I'd watch Reviews on the Run on TV with Victor Lucas and Scott (Jones?) and I'd look forward to Scott ethering each title annually because they could not even find new gameplay mechanics. It was always an extremely similar game.


  • Global Moderator

    I would say the biggest examples of milking a series tend to come with the concept of side stories or "Gaiden" stories.

    For me milking of a franchise requires a few things, first it has to be popular, second, the output has to be mostly irrelevant to the central games.

    The assassins creed side scrolling games are good examples, they tell stories that do weave into the main plot, but are really more set dressing than anything else. Other more infamous examples include Konami's shameless conversion of their franchises into pachinko games.

    The criteria I put out aren't the sole means of judging a game's milky-ness, and I'll admit that it's a complex alchemy sometimes



  • Mobile Spin-offs.


  • Global Moderator

    personally I sometimes feel like they can add some "cool new features". However the story adds absolutely nothing and that makes me stop playing after a short while! Like with Halo 4, there were some really cool new looking enemies, weapons, enviorments etc.. however the more I played it the more I just thought "but the real conflict has already finished, this is kinda dull".



  • What really helps long running franchises is a do-over button. A fresh start that doesn't require a reboot. Zelda and Final Fantasy do this by abandoning continuity. Elder Scrolls games do this by placing each game in a completely different setting with a new cast of characters each time, despite holding continuity with their predecessors. Those are also all decidedly perennial games, as others have mentioned.



  • SImple, when sequel is simply more of the same things we had in previous installment. No innovation, no new mechanics, no twists. Just "new setting" or "new story" or "new maps" isn't enough to be a true sequel in my eyes. Of course, even if you do add more stuff to it, but you keep releasing them year after year, with no truly game changing stuff, it's just milking the same cash cow. This is why even when it was repetitive at the time, AC4 felt like a true sequel, because of the focus on naval combat etc. then series took step backwards with unity, and now the franchise finally took a break.



  • Does the game NEED to be made?
    That is how I felt about Assassins Creed Revelations, Batman Arkham Origins, almost every Treyarch made CoD, Dark Souls 2, and probably a bunch of other shit I'm forgetting.


  • Global Moderator

    @El-Shmiablo said in What decides when a game are a sequel and when is it just milking a franchise?:

    Does the game NEED to be made?
    That is how I felt about Assassins Creed Revelations, Batman Arkham Origins, almost every Treyarch made CoD, Dark Souls 2, and probably a bunch of other shit I'm forgetting.

    I agree a lot! AC Revelations I really had to force myself through, by the end I had no interest in the characters or why I killed the ones I did, I simply did it to progress, I have only been bothered with the Black ops CoDs, this due to zombie mode, however my girlfriend LOVES each new part and almost have a yearly standing order on each new one.

    On the other side of the coin, with Dishonored, I really feel that with the sequel they could litterly just given me a new/bigger setting and a couple of more knock out tools and I would still be there day one, even though I have played it through both on PS3 and PS4 + all the DLC.



  • In worse scenerio of milking if game become yearly iteration like assassins creed and call of duty.

    even if my fav franchise like deus ex and half life become yearly iteration i will start hating it.



  • I'm a big Ass Creed fan but I'm very relieved that I'm not going to see the next part of the story this year.

    Franchise fatigue can seriously kill interest. Game publishers or whatever table is deciding to push for more should not take this lightly.

    I'm sure Call of Duty is still fun but after losing interest with Black Ops it's just difficult to want to go back to it.



  • Milking a franchise exists if the sequels become progressively worse each iteration.

    Like everyone's Ass Creed example, I think AC2 was the pinnacle. All of the AC2 sequels just added garbage that ruined the original gameplay (call in buddies to trivialize content, some stupid tower defense garbage). Changing locales weren't interesting either, as AC3 was pretty bad imo, especially with such a drab character.

    Then comes AC4, in which they get it when it comes to changing up the gameplay. The Pirate ship part made AC4 so unique and cool while the assassination takes a more sidelined approach. Then back to boring, uninspired garbage in AC Unity and 5.

    It's only milking if you're just putting out poor effort after the peak.