Changes in Franchises - are they really all that bad?

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#1 Posted by MadVybz (2797 posts) -

Recently I've been witnessing backlash from fans from all sorts of genres in gaming, regarding rather big changes in franchises - particularly long-running ones.

From recent memory, the ones that stand out to me the most are the newest iterations of Devil May Cry and Splinter Cell. More often times than not, when those titles are brought up, fans would gush all over previous iterations and spit on the new: the reaction to the reboot of DmC with the new Dante is probably the worst I've seen in ages, alongside the reveal of Splinter Cell: Blacklist earlier this year at E3.

Even in a recent thread here on PGD, some information has been released regarding Dark Souls II, with the possibility of it becoming more direct and, for lack of a better word, 'casualized' in order to gain a great presence in the action-RPG genre. So far, reactions haven't been all that favorable to these possible changes, despite the fact that we have hardly any information about the game.

However, my question is; are major changes in franchises really all that bad? Or does the negative reaction from a fan base merely throw things out of proportion and undermine a truly great game?

#2 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

I feel that most of the time fan reactions are justified. After all, we are fans. These are the things we're used to and have supported through out the years. A game can be perfectly fine and well made, but genre shift and tone changes can mean a lot. Such as, Syndicate was a perfectly fine game but why bother making what was a strategy game into an FPS? Money, is really the only reason.

And I think in that sense that's the reason I've always been adamant to certain game changes. I understand and fully back that video game companies exist to make money and they do things in their best interest, but sometimes it seems a little extreme.

For example, I remember reading that Capcom decided to change Devil May Cry to make it a more accessible series and appeal to a broader audience. Yet, all those games sell perfectly fine. Do they sell CoD levels? No, of course not. But they were profitable games with rather large fan bases. Also, it just confused why Capcom was so open about targetting a larger audience yet they hired Ninja Theory to develop...

I mean we do get crazy sometimes. I was one of those that simply didn't like the new Dante look and hated it from the start (I've since kept an open mind and acknowledge the game is probably going to be ok, just not what I'm used to) and yeah, that was an overreaction. But ya know what? Screw it. That's part of the fun. We love what we love for reasons and when you change stuff just sort of out of the blue, you're going to get those reactions.

#3 Posted by Lulekani (2216 posts) -
I love the changes. And I found DMC and President Evil 5/6 way more accessible. There is one thing, however, I will not tolerate. If a video game adopts a level up system and passive ability upgrades then count me out. Its a shame Tomb Raider (2013) chose this direction.
#4 Posted by MudoSkills (376 posts) -
Clearly it's not always a bad thing. Resident Evil 4 completely revolutionised the series, was critically adored, and ranks as one of my favourite games from last gen - the fact that subsequent instalments have failed to live up to expectation aside, the franchise change was needed. I doubt RE would still be here if they stuck to awkward controls and fixed point cameras.
#5 Posted by Lucky_Krystal (1730 posts) -

Not all changes are bad. But I find that people get mad when the series is drastically changed. The style, dialogue, and character designs of the DMC reboot is a far cry from the original series. So since it was so different people got mad. This wasn't the series they knew and loved. Same would happen if Dark souls decided to become casualized. It made a name for itself by being way harder than your average action RPG. And its not like it has much of a story to speak of so without the difficult and unique gameplay that made it famous, it would be just another run of the mill action RPG. Similar issues happen with Final Fantasy and Resident Evil.

But ironically, if a series like Mario, Zelda, or Pokemon adheres to the same formula for years, people will STILL bash it. Seems like you're damned either way. And yes, sometimes I think the fans overreact. Ninja Theory got death threats. Over a VIDEO GAME. You can whine over the internet with likeminded whiners all you like but don't go threatning someone's life. That's just dumb. Also I wonder if Final Fantasy fans get tired of regurgitating each other's vomit towards the new final fantasies ("FF died after 10! Go back to your roots square enix!!!). Yet if they had stayed the same, they'd probably have been in the same boat as the Nintendo franchises farther down the line.

Gamers are a weird bunch.

#6 Posted by Archangel3371 (15269 posts) -
I don't mind changes to franchises myself and I also don't mind those that stick to a formula either. The only real thing I'm interested in is if it's a quality product that I find enjoyable.
#7 Posted by MadVybz (2797 posts) -

Syndicate was a perfectly fine game but why bother making what was a strategy game into an FPS? Money, is really the only reason.

IndianaPwns39

In regards to Syndicate, I can understand the negative reactions since there was no apparent reason for changining up genres besides to make money (though I can't speak on any more since I've never played any game from the franchise).

I mean we do get crazy sometimes. I was one of those that simply didn't like the new Dante look and hated it from the start (I've since kept an open mind and acknowledge the game is probably going to be ok, just not what I'm used to) and yeah, that was an overreaction. But ya know what? Screw it. That's part of the fun. We love what we love for reasons and when you change stuff just sort of out of the blue, you're going to get those reactions.

IndianaPwns39

Not all changes are bad. But I find that people get mad when the series is drastically changed. The style, dialogue, and character designs of the DMC reboot is a far cry from the original series. So since it was so different people got mad. This wasn't the series they knew and loved.

Lucky_Krystal

However, when I look at the DmC reboot, I see it for exactly what it is - a reboot. Something is more or less guaranteed a new story, new characters, and a new protagonist. So all the hate from DmC fans I still don't get. I've seen the game play from the new DmC and to be completely honest it doesn't look all that much different from previous games. Even if a fan were to grow attached to the story, I'm just gonna go on a limb and say that most stories presented by the Japanese (especially in action games) aren't that much to write home about.

Maybe I'm indifferent to the changes because DmC 3 was the only game from that series I really got into.

#8 Posted by MadVybz (2797 posts) -

Also I wonder if Final Fantasy fans get tired of regurgitating each other's vomit towards the new final fantasies ("FF died after 10! Go back to your roots square enix!!!). Yet if they had stayed the same, they'd probably have been in the same boat as the Nintendo franchises farther down the line.

Gamers are a weird bunch.

Lucky_Krystal

This is actually something I find quite interesting.

FF is a series that has absolutely no continuity except for X-2 and XIII-2 (and arguably FF Tactics, Vagrant Story and FFXII). So, the reception of what Square Enix has done with FF recently really comes as a surprise to me; why get mad when a series deviates to other styles of play and presentation when there was no guarantee for it to remain consistent in the first place?

The few things connecting them all are Chocobos, some returning enemies, and a character named Cid.

#9 Posted by Euaggelistes (1826 posts) -

I guess it depends. I like a lot of games that get dumped on for never evolving (New Super Mario Bros. being a prime example). My response to people who gripe about such issues is this; I like the game like it is. Why would I want them to change anything? If you want to make drastic changes to a franchis I think you are better off developing new IP. Of course I think fans whining about drastic changes is just as silly. If you do not like what has been done to a game then do not play it. If they turned Pokemon into a brutal CoD FPS clone I would not buy it. Complaining about it is not going to get you anywhere.

#10 Posted by Avenger1324 (16344 posts) -
Usually those asking this kind of question didn't play the original when it was new. Yes you can go play the old game now for the first time, but it's not the same - times change and expectations change - what was groundbreaking 10 years ago is so common today it doesn't even get mentioned. Where a series hasn't had a game released for 5+ years and a publisher announces a new game in the series, if it breaks from tradition then it is seen as cashing in on the goodwill name of the series. Syndicate is a prime example of this - the new game bearing almost no resemblance to the original titles - so much so that they really should have just called it a new IP - but by calling it Syndicate they can hope to snare a lot of gamers who loved the originals and haven't looked into the new one much.
#11 Posted by blueboxdoctor (2397 posts) -

It really depends on the extent of changes. I'm disappointed with the Splinter Cell changes simply because there aren't many stealth games, and that used to be very good at stealth. The last Prince of Persia was awful, it's like they wanted to be God of War, but didn't go all out and it felt weak all around. RE 5 just wasn't scary at all, which was disappointing, and I don't know why they just didn't release it as a new IP, as it wasn't a bad game, just not a good RE.

Some games need a change, such as Silent Hill. As much as I like the 3rd game, it has been going downhill since then, and really it needs a long break in order to bring back the atmosphere and horror it once had.

The problem is when developers try to make games so accessible that they lose their identity, but for the most part it's not a big deal, as most franchises kind of end up staying similar, as devs know they will be able to sell it.

#12 Posted by wiouds (5018 posts) -

Changes are not good or bad.

What is important to a franchises is different between them. Some like the change in RE games and some does not. I find the older game with their fix camera is be creepier and not for the poor vision.

#13 Posted by NaveedLife (17175 posts) -

Sometimes it is great, but a lot of times it ruins the series charm. Skyward Sword, Metroid Prime 3, and others this gen are the ones that made me sad.

#14 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

[QUOTE="IndianaPwns39"]

In regards to Syndicate, I can understand the negative reactions since there was no apparent reason for changining up genres besides to make money (though I can't speak on any more since I've never played any game from the franchise).

[QUOTE="IndianaPwns39"]

I mean we do get crazy sometimes. I was one of those that simply didn't like the new Dante look and hated it from the start (I've since kept an open mind and acknowledge the game is probably going to be ok, just not what I'm used to) and yeah, that was an overreaction. But ya know what? Screw it. That's part of the fun. We love what we love for reasons and when you change stuff just sort of out of the blue, you're going to get those reactions.

MadVybz

Not all changes are bad. But I find that people get mad when the series is drastically changed. The style, dialogue, and character designs of the DMC reboot is a far cry from the original series. So since it was so different people got mad. This wasn't the series they knew and loved.

Lucky_Krystal

However, when I look at the DmC reboot, I see it for exactly what it is - a reboot. Something is more or less guaranteed a new story, new characters, and a new protagonist. So all the hate from DmC fans I still don't get. I've seen the game play from the new DmC and to be completely honest it doesn't look all that much different from previous games. Even if a fan were to grow attached to the story, I'm just gonna go on a limb and say that most stories presented by the Japanese (especially in action games) aren't that much to write home about.

Maybe I'm indifferent to the changes because DmC 3 was the only game from that series I really got into.

My problem, and I was going to write a blog about this but never got around to it, is that there was literally no reason for the reboot. I understand that it is a reboot and from there on it has every right to change everything, but why was it changed is my problem. This was a series that only had four games, popularity, and wasn't at all stagnant yet. I see a reboot being made because the series isn't relevant anymore, or people need something fresh, or it hasn't been around in a while.

Movies are worse than games when it comes to the flood of reboots out of the gate. Like The Amazing Spider Man. By all means, it was a good movie sure, but why did it need to be rebooted? It retold the same events Raimi's Spider Man did, and that was still fresh in people's minds. It just seems... lazy, to me.

And I won't argue about how different DMC felt compared to other DMC games. I acknowledge that the game is ok and I'll likely buy it, I just want to know why it happened in the first place.

#15 Posted by Lulekani (2216 posts) -

[QUOTE="MadVybz"]

[QUOTE="IndianaPwns39"]

[QUOTE="Lucky_Krystal"]

Not all changes are bad. But I find that people get mad when the series is drastically changed. The style, dialogue, and character designs of the DMC reboot is a far cry from the original series. So since it was so different people got mad. This wasn't the series they knew and loved.

IndianaPwns39

However, when I look at the DmC reboot, I see it for exactly what it is - a reboot. Something is more or less guaranteed a new story, new characters, and a new protagonist. So all the hate from DmC fans I still don't get. I've seen the game play from the new DmC and to be completely honest it doesn't look all that much different from previous games. Even if a fan were to grow attached to the story, I'm just gonna go on a limb and say that most stories presented by the Japanese (especially in action games) aren't that much to write home about.

Maybe I'm indifferent to the changes because DmC 3 was the only game from that series I really got into.

My problem, and I was going to write a blog about this but never got around to it, is that there was literally no reason for the reboot. I understand that it is a reboot and from there on it has every right to change everything, but why was it changed is my problem. This was a series that only had four games, popularity, and wasn't at all stagnant yet. I see a reboot being made because the series isn't relevant anymore, or people need something fresh, or it hasn't been around in a while.

Movies are worse than games when it comes to the flood of reboots out of the gate. Like The Amazing Spider Man. By all means, it was a good movie sure, but why did it need to be rebooted? It retold the same events Raimi's Spider Man did, and that was still fresh in people's minds. It just seems... lazy, to me.

And I won't argue about how different DMC felt compared to other DMC games. I acknowledge that the game is ok and I'll likely buy it, I just want to know why it happened in the first place.

Im sure Capcom would happily explain why. . . . If they though it would help. Lately fans of any type of entertainment medium have been very volatile. Besides, a reboot seems rather apropriate for a franchise's change in developers.
#16 Posted by Lucky_Krystal (1730 posts) -

However, when I look at the DmC reboot, I see it for exactly what it is - a reboot. Something is more or less guaranteed a new story, new characters, and a new protagonist. So all the hate from DmC fans I still don't get. I've seen the game play from the new DmC and to be completely honest it doesn't look all that much different from previous games. Even if a fan were to grow attached to the story, I'm just gonna go on a limb and say that most stories presented by the Japanese (especially in action games) aren't that much to write home about.

Maybe I'm indifferent to the changes because DmC 3 was the only game from that series I really got into.

MadVybz

Yeah I agree. I sure as heck never picked up the DMC games for their story and characters. All that matters to me is the if the gameplay delivers. I didn't really like new Dante's appearance but I was never too attached to his old appearance either. It isn't something I get worked up over, I don't care if the main character is fugly, so long at the game is good.

But yeah, the changes really rubbed DMC fans the wrong way. Like I said, people got mad, made hate videos, went around spouting stuff like "True DMC fans won't support this reboot!" Oh and death threats. Which is taking it way too far.

And I could go on and on about some of these Final Fantasy fans. But instead I'll just leave it at, I agree with what you said.

#17 Posted by wiouds (5018 posts) -

Look at RE franchises. There is a larger different from RE1,2 and 3 with RE5 and RE6. Many did not lke the change, I agree the older games had a different type of fun with them, but I like RE6 because it feels like that world as affected by the events in RE1, 2, and 3. THat is not something you can say about Zelda or Mario games.

#18 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

[QUOTE="IndianaPwns39"]

[QUOTE="MadVybz"]

However, when I look at the DmC reboot, I see it for exactly what it is - a reboot. Something is more or less guaranteed a new story, new characters, and a new protagonist. So all the hate from DmC fans I still don't get. I've seen the game play from the new DmC and to be completely honest it doesn't look all that much different from previous games. Even if a fan were to grow attached to the story, I'm just gonna go on a limb and say that most stories presented by the Japanese (especially in action games) aren't that much to write home about.

Maybe I'm indifferent to the changes because DmC 3 was the only game from that series I really got into.

Lulekani

My problem, and I was going to write a blog about this but never got around to it, is that there was literally no reason for the reboot. I understand that it is a reboot and from there on it has every right to change everything, but why was it changed is my problem. This was a series that only had four games, popularity, and wasn't at all stagnant yet. I see a reboot being made because the series isn't relevant anymore, or people need something fresh, or it hasn't been around in a while.

Movies are worse than games when it comes to the flood of reboots out of the gate. Like The Amazing Spider Man. By all means, it was a good movie sure, but why did it need to be rebooted? It retold the same events Raimi's Spider Man did, and that was still fresh in people's minds. It just seems... lazy, to me.

And I won't argue about how different DMC felt compared to other DMC games. I acknowledge that the game is ok and I'll likely buy it, I just want to know why it happened in the first place.

Im sure Capcom would happily explain why. . . . If they though it would help. Lately fans of any type of entertainment medium have been very volatile. Besides, a reboot seems rather apropriate for a franchise's change in developers.

Capcom did explain why: the series wasn't drawing in as much profits as they would have liked to see.

#19 Posted by xWoW_Rougex (2750 posts) -

Think about the future of a loved franchise, which one is the one you think of:
A) omg imagine how awesome this would be with next gen power! Aww yeah sweet I can't wait!
or...
B) omg imagine how awesome this game I love would be if it was completely different and lacking the stuff I really liked about the game! Sweeeet!

The franchise becomes loved and known for being a certain kind of game. With major changes, it won't be the kind of game that made the franchise so loved. If one loves and expects something and is instead given something different, then this is not what we loved/expected/wanted.

#20 Posted by BuryMe (22017 posts) -

It depends on what changes they are making.

I often, and unfortunately, see people complain about a franchise evolving or growing over time. To that, I say if you want to play the previous entry again, just go back and play it. A new installment should ofter something new.

But some fanchises change things too much that it just doesn't resemble the same franchise any more. Then I understand the criticism, and will often participate in the criticism.