Call of Duty, Madden, Left 4 Dead are just a few games that come to mind that differ dramatically in their particular genres but they all have 1 thing in common – Annual Sequels (at least this year in respect of Left 4 Dead). Annual sequels seem to be more and more of a common occurrence the last few years with and but when you think about it, does it really make sense?
Sports games especially don’t need to have an annual release. They could easily add roster and stat updates via an update or a small fee associated with DLC to keep sports enthusiasts happy. Further to that point it gives the developers time to do what they really should be doing with the time between releases – build new and exciting features into the game to make it worthwhile.
Action titles can build on what they’ve already built and add more to it – for example – With last years amazing release of Fallout 3 and the 5 episodic downloadable chapters that followed this past winter into the summer, kept the game at the forefront of gamers minds and mouths from October 2008 – August 2009 (for Xbox users) and well into October/November for PS3 gamers. That’s a full year of press and revenue generation on a single title. There’s no doubt that should Bethesda decide to stay the course with Fallout 3 and release more, that game would continue to dominate.
Left 4 Dead gamers were promised plenty of support for the game only to be disappointed yet hopeful until E3 when Left 4 Dead 2 was announced leaving gamers who supported this brilliant yet extremely lacking in support title sour on the whole subject.
Call me “jaded” or “cheap” if you will, but, I’d rather keep my $60 annually and spend a little money on DLC than a new game every year. If they work hard on it, I’ll spend my money and they may well get my $60 over the year. What I’d really like to see is more developers take a 2 year development cycle when working on sequels that build upon established franchises. Take EA as example – This year they released Fight Night Round 4 this year and have a new MMA title in the works slated for a 2010 release. Subsequently, Fight Night and MMA will alternate release years to give them time to really develop the game.
I think that the writing is on the walls here folks. We demand more DLC over sequels.