Up For Debate - Original IPs Vs Sequel Sagas

Written by Sam Welch on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 4:00 PM
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In May 2014, Strauss Zelnick of Rockstar Games gave hundred of fans hope for the future of their favourite series, describing the Red Dead, Bully and LA Noire properties as “permanent franchises”. In other words, having thrown each at the wall and observed that they stuck, the studio considers releases in those intellectual properties to be more or less guaranteed success.

Are you happy to foster an industry that decides what to produce based solely on ratings and is willing to theoretically provide endless streams of almost, but not quite, entirely the same content rather than taking a chance on an original venture? Sequels have an understandable habit of gradually improving graphically but deteriorating in intellectual quality. After all, there’s only so many times you can beat a cash cow, or flog a horse. I can’t think of a nicer-sounding idiom to describe the phenomenon - is that no coincidence?

But then again, if we like something why wouldn’t we appreciate more of it? If a sequel is more-or less guaranteed to please us and in turn secure a decent return for a studio, who’s losing out there? The stand-out original experiences tend to come, of course, from indie studios who have less loss to consider than their more expensive corporate counterparts. And we’ve seen some astounding takes on gaming conventions, as well as many titles that change them altogether. Some can just be too wacky to enjoy for some of us, naturally, but the experience of trying something entirely new is a uniquely tantalising and irreplaceable one.

What do YOU think, you attractive Game-Debate supremos, you? Is there nothing as valuable in gaming as an trailblazing new IP to boldly go into, or are you more than happy to play every Final Fantasy and Zelda entry because you can’t get enough of the worlds you’ve built a thorough love for, thanks to continuous instalments? What is the best game legacy and why is it important? What's the finest example of games exploring new frontiers and expanding their potential?

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00:50 Jan-02-2015

Rarely do I play a game that creates a world and story so vast it requires sequels to wrap it up nicely. Also just as rare are sequels able to stand on their own merit and not just be copy pasta.


I'll take new IP's anyday

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21:02 Dec-31-2014

Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and other similar titles are in a bit of a grey area I think, since the vast majority of them are not true sequels, but also not new IPs. More like variations of a common theme, which I think has the potential to offer the best of both worlds. These types of games bring us something we're pretty familiar with, but are fully capable of bringing completely new and different ideas to the table as well.

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21:06 Dec-31-2014

As an example, if a person were to play Final Fantasy III, followed by Final Fantasy XIII, they would inevitably see the similarities that tie the 2 together. At the same time both these games are vastly different in their presentation and style, as well as the actual player experience that you'd get from them.


In a way I think these games are among the best kind. You can jump in anywhere along the line, feeling nostalgic and finding new surprises at the same time.

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10:59 Dec-31-2014

I like sequels because you have characters from the previous game return most of the time. But I'm pretty sure some developers start to milk some video game franchises like Call of Duty, and Mario.

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09:22 Dec-31-2014

Sequels should be made,as long as they stay high-quality.

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19:31 Dec-30-2014

If you aren't able to make significant changes to the game with each installment, then it's time for that franchise to end. Looking at you, Ubisoft.

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18:07 Dec-30-2014

The problem for me is when they just recycle the title. For there to be a sequel there needs to be time invested in making the sequel a game of its own so that its something fresh, and not just the same thing in a different setting.

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17:57 Dec-30-2014

The only reason the things stick to the wall the first time around is because they are good. And same for the sequels.

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18:12 Dec-30-2014

That's an overly simplistic way of looking at things. That's ignoring several factors like marketing and how much the media talked about it before (aka hype), but also platform and even release date. And it's the same for all entertainment.

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18:18 Dec-30-2014

Well as much as you market a thing, there should be a certain group of people who are listening to that and getting excited about buying the game. This group will certainly buy it not because the kind of marketing a company is doing but because they actually think they will have serious amount of fun playing that game. Nobody just goes out and buys stuff, and even if they do its maybe 5% of their total purchases in their whole lifetime.

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18:24 Dec-30-2014

And why do they think they'll have fun, if not because they were told it would be? If 2013-2014 has proved anything it's that a LOT of games don't live up to people's expectations, and yet look at how well they sold.

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18:29 Dec-30-2014

Then you are pretty much saying that an average gamer will buy a game believing just the hype and getting excited by the "gameplay" trailers alone. Thats pretty dumb and I really dont think people make purchases like that. You are over estimating the power marketing this way and pretty much saying that buying is just giving in to the hype surrounding a game. Capitalism can be fun and good for consumers but its upto the consumer to support only those companies which show real promise. I see a lot of promise in the AC series, some other person on this site doesnt. It doesnt mean I have given in to the hype and that other person has not.

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18:36 Dec-30-2014

The sheer number of pre-orders and day one sales shows that some are easily convinced. Marketing isn't a magic tool, of course, but I doubt companies would spend so much money if it didn't work, there's some science behind it.

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18:46 Dec-30-2014

But thats exactly what I am saying. Most of those preorders come from people who have made an informed decision. Now I am assuming here that the company is advertising their stuff accurately. If its a Aliens Colonial Marines type of situation then thats not really the fault of any preorder customer. If companies are advertising heavily and making the product's presence felt in a very overt manner, still it really wouldnt push anyone to go out and buy a $60 game. This is true for maybe a new burger down at the fast food joint, but games are "bigger" luxuries than fast food and thus people think more about such purchases. Releasing mesmerizing trailers of things that people can pretty much guess is not possible in any actual game will not really affect someone's decision to buy or not buy.

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18:56 Dec-30-2014

I'm afraid we have very, very different experiences with gamers then, and it really depends on what you call "informed". I'm not gona start a "corrupt gaming journos" thing, but it's pretty obvious some games get a lot of praise for nothing

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17:45 Dec-30-2014

I have nothing against sequels. A sequel usually polishes the original if the original was imperfect. Perfect examples could be Watch Dogs, The Crew, and Driveclub. They are new IPs and as such lack in content and quality, but Watch Dogs 2, The Crew 2, Driveclub 2 could be filled with more content and more polish.

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21:23 Dec-30-2014

I think that is a completely wrong way of looking a ****ty games, why hold your breath for even worse sequels? Games should be (or at least aspire to be) great, sure there are bound to be games of lesser quality. New IP's should deliver what they promised the first time, not the second, third or tenth time.

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16:49 Dec-30-2014

publishers/developers should continue their franchises if the chances are big, but that shouldn't stop them from making new IPs maybe cuz they want to keep milking them.. gamers get bored easily now.. or reboot some franchises the way DmC did, just unfortunate cuz some fans seeing it differently..

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16:41 Dec-30-2014

I would love a proper port of the metal gear solid series at full AAA price.

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16:38 Dec-30-2014

Am the only the only one who is getting fed up of Up for Debate articles? I mean dont take it seriously but really.(Let the downvotes come)

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16:45 Dec-30-2014

Maybe there isn't anything that can be made into news :-D

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16:52 Dec-30-2014

I've gotta say some of these are kinda pointless. Indie or AAA? Both. K&B or controller? Both. IPs or sequels? Both! Having a choice is what makes games so fun and diverse, after all.

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16:57 Dec-30-2014

I KNEW IT, I'm not the only one then :)

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17:27 Dec-30-2014

I look at it this way, sure up for debate articles aren't the best on the site but at least its something to read in between actual game news. Gta v requirements not out yet? read an up for debate article lol. At least its somewhat thought provoking. I like it

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00:29 Dec-31-2014

So does that mean I'm not the only person to check back every hour to see if they have the requirements yet?

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16:07 Dec-31-2014

I have to say, I quite enjoy the idea of the "Up For Debate" articles, but I'd like the article itself to be a little bit more detailed rather than presenting an idea, and asking the public what they think.

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16:30 Dec-30-2014

Okay mate, there really is no debate with this one, I mean there would be no GTA V, No Assassins creed 4, No Call of Duty 4, No Battlefield 4, No Half life 2.
Sequels are made to improve the current IP, and continue its legacy as what ever that game may be.
PS - I do not know why there's a lot of 4 game here.

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16:17 Dec-30-2014

If no sequels would exist, there would never have been a Metal Gear Solid 4, nor Assassins Creed 2 (yes, I'll stick to the second for the sake of this argument...), no Far Cry 3/4... No GTA sequels, and what to say about fifa and pes? I would still be playing football with 11 pixels vs 11 pixels... :)
Sure, others would have been developed instead, but would improvement trend be the same?
Nevertheless, originals are allways welcome, if they add quality to our beloved games!

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16:16 Dec-30-2014

I don't think there's much of a debate here. I mean, let's be honest, the main reason series exist is to capitalize on an existing reputation, that in itself restricts what the developers can do with their games if they want to keep selling

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16:05 Dec-30-2014

There will never be Red Dead Redemption 2

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