Activision, Bethesda, and EA are just some of the many big producers pushing out intense and unfortunately repetitive content almost every year. From the recursive patterns of Call Of Duty to the dwindling light of the Fallout franchise, why exactly are these giants afraid to experiment?
Simply stated, it is because they want to make money. I mean you can’t really hate them for that, every studio works for money, but bigger ones chase it so much that it starts to kill off or degrade the quality and their respective franchises.
A very big example of this is the approach Call Of Duty has been taking as of late. When the Great Battle-Royale trend was starting to take shape, COD hopped on with COD Warzone hoping to score big. It is clear that they didn’t expect the title to explode, but wow it went and shattered expectations.
Now of course there are changes, they just aren’t that flashy or impressive. The micro changes are fairly good and change the gameplay to a smaller yet effective level from the first game, making it seem as if it is a new game when it is actually not.
The DMZ mod presents unique player interactions that end with either short bursts of gunfights or long tactical standouts. This alongside a more challenging AI makes it more dynamic.
But you have to consider, that the greatest addition was the proximity chat. If an addition this minute was the new title’s greatest feature, then we as consumers have failed our own expectations.
Now seeing the explosive success the title received, the next step Activision took is one a 4-year-old child could have predicted, Call Of Duty: Warzone 2. After supporting the game for a few years, they decided to move forward with a sequel, but seeing how the sequel actually stands, it feels more like a new update.
Unsurprisingly, COD isn’t the only franchise to take this route, that award goes to Overwatch 2 just as well. With time, people start to lose interest in older games and then studios focus on newer titles.
In this case, Overwatch 2. The decision to move forward with a new game was one that was ill-received, with fans hating this step forward as a franchise.
But here is where fear steps in. Originally, when Overwatch 2 was released it broke 25 million players. This was contradictory to the feedback of the game, as players may have hated the game, but they still played it wholeheartedly.
Big AAA studios tend to take safe paths, these paths often lead to recurring patterns of previous games which dull out the initially well-received concepts.
Many AAA publishers are scared to experiment with their titles for fear of it failing. So what do they do in return? They look at their past successes, and work on top of that, eventually dulling out the initial concept that made that specific title so intriguing.
The Fallout franchise also did something along these lines. From the chaotic lifespan of Fallout 76, we saw the even if we look away from the awful microtransactions, slow progression, and uninspiring levels, the actual game was no different from what we had been seeing for the last decade.
In time, these franchises start to burn out, so that’s why they make them free. A large portion of the success these games get come from the fact that they are free. So players think to themselves that it is free, so why not try it out?
A pretty good example of games with real experimentation are Indie games. These devs behind these Indie titles take new interesting concepts and work upon that. Yes they don’t make the success a AAA game might, but they end up delivering wholeheartedly.
Experimentation can easily lead to failure, maybe that’s why Death Stranding was so hated. Giving players a walking simulator might not have been the smartest idea as we enjoy ripping demons in half rather than walking on a rough terrain for a few hours a day.
Maybe the reason that they do not go for innovation is a good idea, maybe just making a generic shooter is what the industry really needs. We gamers need our filling of mindless and yearly shooters after all.
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