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5 video game franchises that need a break (and 5 dormant ones that need to return)

Some video game franchises that need to take a break (Image via Nintendo, EA & Activision)
Some video game franchises that need to take a break (Image via Nintendo, EA & Activision)
Sidhartha Deka

Video game franchises are long-running series of games that get a lot of attention from fans who have followed the franchise since its inception. While some have become popular enough to span decades, others have a more sporadic release, with only a handful of games to speak of.

Some video game franchises tend to release several games, sometimes nearly every year, which leads to something known as video game fatigue, when a single name keeps cropping up every year or so. These franchises should practice some humility and need to take a break to give other games some breathing room.

Other franchises sometimes go dormant, leading to their fan base hoping for something new to be released every time there is a game event. This list includes examples of both sides of the coin, with five video game franchises that need a break and five dormant ones that are due for a return.


These games could use a hiatus

1) Mario

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Mario needs to chill. This franchise has thrived since its inception in the first Donkey Kong video game. Then featuring Pauline, the mayor of New Donk City, and Mario in a controversial carpenter guise, this game first came out in 1981, developed and published by Nintendo and created by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto.

Since then, this franchise has pumped out one or more games every year until 2022, which is already set to debut two games, Mario Striker: Battle League & Mario + Rabids Sparks of Hope. Surely that is way too many games featuring an Italian plumber than anyone needs.

It would be a great change of pace then to see Nintendo take a break from this video game franchise and leave it alone for a few years. Instead, they may focus on some new IP. Or possibly a new mascot to add to its collection of legacy mascots? One can only hope.


2) Forza

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With Forza Horizon 5 out just last year and going strong, and a reboot of the Forza Motorsport game coming next year, players will probably have too much in the way of Forza games to deal with soon. As Forza video games tend to get new content updates now and then, these two games will keep the fans busy for a few years.

These video games have some of the best visuals in racing games to be seen, with Forza Motorsport even set to revitalize the series next year with its detailed tracks, ground physics, and dynamic weather. Forza Horizon 5, on the other, then, offers a more relaxed approach, with free racing across open roads as well as other side activities.

The teams behind Forza thus deserve a much-needed break, only for themselves. Pausing all the work and getting some much-needed rest. Although the Fable reboot is in the hands of Playground Games, the rest might be a long way away.


3) FIFA

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Does anyone need a FIFA video game every year? While football is a great sport, filled with intuitive and cool moments in history, the FIFA games hardly need a yearly release to showcase that in the gaming medium. Although this series is EA’s money-making machine, this trend will likely continue.

Despite its wide fanbase, FIFA video games are almost always criticized for being the same as the previous one, with a few crenellations added on top to justify a new product. This franchise does not qualify for a yearly release with gameplay mechanics remaining the same throughout the series.

A break from the yearly release model and working on developing some actual new gameplay for the series would be a great suggestion. Changes in real-world teams can be easily reflected using updates when required as new modes are added the same way.


4) Pokemon

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Pokemon has gone stale at this point. Going into the wide-open world, capturing different Pokemon, and fighting in gym battles to gain badges has been the formula for these games since Red & Green. Little has changed since its release in 1996.

While some of the new games have tried to breathe some new life into it, with better-looking Pokemon battles and Pokemon physically appearing in the open world, the original formula remains the same. Nintendo seemingly has no interest in revitalizing the Pokemon genre.

With this video game series featuring the same copy-paste tactics repeatedly, it is starting to get a little tedious and deserves to go on a little hiatus and assess its future, just like BTS. At least the K-pop group had the guts to take that step, something Nintendo should learn from.


5) Call of Duty

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There are so many military first-person shooters out there now that it is almost difficult to tell one apart from the other. Yet after a decidedly bad slump with a few video games, Call of Duty does seem to be getting back on track, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Call of Duty games have a notorious habit of trying to replicate their success, leading to more games being developed in short periods. These tend to look the same as the last and are accompanied by a decline in story quality.

Another series that has a different game out every year, a recommended break after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, is advised to Activision. However, one that is likely to be ignored, as without Call of Duty, Activision loses its goldmine. Well, there won't ever be a shortage of FPS games.


These dormant franchises should be rebooted

1) Wolfenstein

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One of the oldest video game franchises, Wolfenstein debuted with the first video game titled Castle Wolfenstein in 1981. It was a 2-dimensional top-down game, requiring players to navigate through various levels and escape the eponymous castle. Since then, the games in the series have been significantly revitalised, even getting a soft reboot in 2014.

With Wolfenstein: The New Order, the story and characters were given much depth and appeal, with protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz getting some great character development. This game got a sequel with the title Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, as well as other spinoff games.

Since the New Colossus, the game series has not seen any mainline entries. However, thus fans have been waiting a while for another installment. A return to this series with Bethesda is inevitable. With the rebooted Doom games wrapped up, for now, Wolfenstein might be, or if not should be, getting a release in the future.


2) Titanfall

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Respawn’s reputation as a good studio able to develop great games came from this series, even though not many people played it. The first game being released in 2014, delivering some fast paced action, high octane gunplay and the ability to climb into a robot mech suit and deliver some devastating attack power.

The second game was more similar, although it was considered too short a campaign compared to other games. The game was also released between two big names, Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite. This lead to its dramatic underperformance.

Since then, Respawn has made an even bigger name for itself, with its massively successful Apex Legends and well-received Jedi: Fallen Order. With the studio slowly on the rise, a return to Titanfall, with a third game might be in the cards, a move that the fans would surely appreciate.


3) Silent Hill

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Like most enemies in the Silent Hill universe, the video game itself had become something of a half-dead, half-living entity, haunting forums and news cycles. Fans of the original games have long since favored this horror survival game, where the world is never quite as it seems, constantly shifting between a real one and one occupied by dangerous creatures.

The first video game in the series was released in 1991, titled Silent Hill and developed by Team Silent. Since then, the franchise has seen numerous games and two live-action movies being released. The last main entry in gaming media was Silent Hill: Downpour, back in 2012.

Since then, Silent Hill has been unable to be resurrected, even by the likes of Hideo Kojima, whose unfortunate fallout with Konami resulted in a planned game being scrapped. It is high time now that a new Silent Hill game be released, and the news seems to suggest one might be in development, although sources vary on which developer might be behind it.


4) BioShock

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An FPS game set in a fictional past, BioShock is a much-loved video game series that many would be happy if it made a return soon. The first game was released in 2007, with protagonist Jack who discovers the underwater city of Rapture, interacting with its last remaining survivors as well as the Little Sisters.

With two other games following this story, BioShock has immersed players in its rich world. Gameplay was in the form of FPS, while players also had access to additional powers and abilities using plasmids. The last game in the series was BioShock: Infinite, which was released in 2013.

Publisher 2K has since moved away from the series somewhat, focusing more on their Borderlands IP as well as their sports and wrestling games NBA and WWE. It has been long enough that the studio could very well return to the BioShock franchise with another new game.


5) Bully

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While not traditionally a series, Bully is a much-loved Rockstar Games property, set in the world of GTA. The setup is that of a high school called Bullworth Academy, a prestigious school located in the fictional town of Bullworth. Players take control of Jimmy Hopkins, as he navigates the intricacies of school life.

Aside from the main story campaign, players can attend classes, take part in various side activities, and spend a few terms as a student in the world of Rockstar’s video games. The game features the same style of humor as seen in the GTA series, with similarly stereotypical characters and tropes.

While a sequel was once planned, it has since been cancelled. Still, a sequel to Bully is something much sought after by the fans of RockStar, possibly dealing with another character, maybe in a different setting and environment, maybe attending university. Bully: The College Years would be a great idea for a video game.


Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.


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Edited by Srijan Sen

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