Yearly video game franchises have been in the industry almost as long as games themselves. As time went by, yearly releases grew in popularity, with many annual franchises now topping the best-selling games list year after year. But while some yearly video games offer updates and new experiences, some suffer from a lack of innovation and poor development.
In these cases, the games could benefit from taking a year or two off. This would prevent the series from growing stale and give developers more time to perfect the gameplay. Recently, some annual games took time off, and while the longer wait may have been disappointing to fans, the results drastically improved the overall experience.
The Assassin’s Creed series is one of the most recent yearly games to improve after taking some time off. Many fans were starting to grow tired of the Assassin’s Creed games, as the gameplay was nearly identical in each one with few improvements being introduced with each new entry. While the games were still fun, player interest began dwindling as people felt each game consisted of the same things.
Ubisoft saw Assassin’s Creed‘s diminishing appeal and decided to take a year off to revamp the franchise. The development team added RPG elements as well as an updated combat system. These new additions made the game more action-oriented, steering the franchise in a new direction. This pleased many gamers and created new Assassin’s Creed fans. Assassin’s Creed: Origins was a breath of fresh air and gave new life to the long-running franchise.
Giving a yearly video game a break can radically improve its overall experience. It’s not uncommon for developers to rush a game in order to meet a deadline, which sometimes leads to unfinished or unpolished games being released. This has been prevalent in this generation. Games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 and WWE 2K20 completely ruined their series’ reputations by being nearly unplayable upon release. If dev teams weren’t rushed to put out a new game every year, they would have more time to iron out any problems plaguing the game.
2K Games brought on a new developer for WWE 2K20 and didn’t give them enough time to understand all the ins and outs of the game programs. The company announced it will be holding off on a new WWE 2K game this year partially in response to the backlash WWE 2K20 received. This is the right decision, since this gives the developer time to grow accustomed to all the games programs, address the previous game’s issues and work on new innovations for a future entry. It will take a lot of work to rebuild the series’ reputation, but a year or two might be enough time to mend the wound WWE 2K20 created.
There is nothing wrong with annual gaming releases. Some of the highest-grossing video games franchises of all time are released on a yearly basis, but problems arise when meeting a deadline become more important than the game itself. Players always have a craving for something new and exciting, and while pumping out the same game year after year with very little innovation may have worked in the past, gamers have more options than ever. Taking some time off to improve an annual release results in higher quality games, which is far more important than simply the quantity of releases.
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While many popular gaming franchises are annual releases, these games sometimes need to take time off in order to improve.