Plenty of video game franchises have come and gone throughout the years, but only a few have significantly impacted the gaming community. Yearly releases have grown in popularity over time, and players often expect a sequel to their favorite franchise every year.
Some sequels live up to the mark. However, many games come as a disappointment due to a lack of innovation and poor development. This can cause major harm to the popularity of video game franchises, which is why gaming studios should allow for a break.
Note: This article is based on the writer's views.
Video game franchises that would benefit from a break
Taking breaks from yearly releases can give rise to more innovation and get franchises back on track. Here are some of the video game franchises that need a break:
1) Assassin’s Creed
Ubisoft first released their open-world action-adventure stealth title known as Assassin’s Creed in 2007. With some gorgeous visuals and modern combat mechanics, the series features historical fictional characters and events intertwined with real-life figures.
The series was inspired by the novel Alamut by Vladimir Bartol and is often considered the spiritual successor of Ubisoft’s flagship Prince of Persia series.
The initial increase in popularity of the Assassin’s Creed series led Ubisoft to release a new title every year. This, in turn, stretched their original ideas and the titles became more like exploring new worlds.
Many new entries in the series felt uninspired and rushed, which eventually led to a decrease in popularity. Ubisoft should give the franchise a break and release a ground-breaking title in a few years.
2) Call of Duty
The Call of Duty series is one of the most popular franchises, with millions of fans from all over the world. The series started in 2003, when it mainly focused on games based on both the World Wars.
Starting with Call of Duty (2003), players received an engaging and thrilling first-person shooter experience in almost every Call of Duty title.
Activision has also released a couple of hugely successful sub-series such as Modern Warfare and Black Ops, which were highly appreciated for their incredible storyline and engaging gameplay.
But as the years have passed, recent titles have lost the core elements of the Call of Duty series and have focused more on creating a science-fiction FPS games.
With all this in mind, Activision should give its Call of Duty series a break. While this might upset a large part of the fan base, it will help Activision create a more mature and worthwhile Call of Duty title.
3) Mass Effect
Bioware and EA released the Mass Effect series as a military science-fiction adventure shooter. The title appealed to the masses due to its exceptional storyline and graphical representation.
EA released Mass Effect in 2007 as a third-person shooter where players took on the role of Commander Shepard and attempted to save the galaxy from alien machines. EA continued the storyline with the release of Mass Effect 2 in 2010 and Mass Effect 3 in 2012.
A fourth installment was released in 2017, known as Mass Effect Andromeda, which featured an entirely new set of characters and storylines. Even though Andromeda came up with a new approach, it failed to meet the expectations of many Mass Effect fans.
To recover the popularity of their flagship series, Bioware needs to take a break and not force creation of another trilogy.
4) Need for Speed
EA's flagship racing video game series, Need for Speed, is one of the most successful franchises. With the first title being released in 1994, players have experienced a lot of exceptional Need for Speed titles throughout the years.
There are 24 primary installments of Need for Speed with nine other supporting games. Some of the most successful games in the franchise's history are the Need for Speed Underground series, Need for Speed Most Wanted (2005), Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed The Run, and much more.
The series primarily focuses on illegal street racing, where players need to win races and reach the top. The police pursuits were the most thrilling feature of the races, which enhanced the overall experience of the games.
Although EA has reached great heights with previous Need for Speed titles, the recent ones have not been up to the mark and lack the Need for Speed DNA that players want. Therefore, EA needs a long break from NFS to come up with a game that features the franchise's core elements.
Interplay Entertainment brought the Fallout series as a post-apocalyptic role-playing title that focused on a futuristic world set in the 22nd and 23rd centuries. After Fallout was first released in 1997, players loved the well-crafted gameplay and decent combat mechanics.
In 2004, Bethesda Softworks took over Fallout and turned it into an action-role playing series that appealed to the masses. Bethesda released two more titles following the primary storyline, namely Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, which inherited a lot of similar attributes from their predecessors.
When the developers released Fallout 76 in 2018, it was clear that Bethesda was stretching the series to make as many sales as possible due to the franchise's immense popularity.
To retain the popularity and dignity of the Fallout franchise, Bethesda should give the series a break and bring a completely new title with a new storyline a few years later.