Gaming's upcoming trend: death of the traditional sequel?

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madrocketeer

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#1  Edited By madrocketeer  Online
Member since 2005 • 7558 Posts

“Halo Infinite is the start of our platform for the future. We want Infinite to grow over time, versus going to those numbered titles and having all that segmentation that we had before. It’s really about creating Halo Infinite as the start of the next ten years for Halo and then building that as we go with our fans and community.”

-Chris Lee, 343 Industries' Halo Infinite Studio Head.

This was a quote from an IGN interview. Basically, he's saying that Halo Infinite will be the only Halo game for the next ten years, maybe longer. Halo Infinite could very well be the last Halo game ever, continually updated and upgraded over time.

This is the latest in a trend I have noticed has started to happen. As many games shift from standalone products into "live services," this has clashed with gaming's traditional standalone sequel model. One notable challenge from this conflict can be seen during the transitions from The Division 1 to The Division 2, or Destiny 1 to Destiny 2; player retention. Both games had trouble transitioning their player bases from the first instalment to the second, as players are reluctant to let go of their progress and content between the games.

Now, I feel, we are seeing an industry attempt to get around that - by ditching the traditional standalone sequel. Instead, we are seeing the rise of what I term "expandquels;" "sequels" that revamp the game and add content while maintaining interchangeability with the previous instalment, with the eventual goal of merging the two games over time.

We are seeing this with Overwatch 2. We are seeing this with Path of Exile 2. We are seeing this with Phantasy Star Online 3. "Wait a minute," you might say, "there is no Phantasy Star Online 3." Except people who play PSO2 have been telling me that the upcoming Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis is basically PSO3; revamped graphics, new game world, new class system, new damage system, just with ability to transfer character customizations and currencies. Both old PSO2 and NG are going to coexist and be continually updated, with PSO2 apparently being updated to be more graphically in line with NG. Eventually, I expect them to merge the games.

If some speculation is to be believed that the next generation will be shorter than usual, then Halo Infinite's update cycle will be smack in the middle of the transition to the next next generation. At that point, 343 could abandon their 10-year plan and release a new standalone game, but I don't see that happening. Instead, I see them launching a new mega-update which co-exists and interchanges with the base game for a while, before merging the two. If this model proves successful, this could be the future of gaming as a business, and traditional standalone sequels might become more niche.

How do you feel about this? Do you welcome the emergence of "expandquels," or do you think the live service model are going too far?

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DaVillain-

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#2 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 43529 Posts

Some of us expected Halo: Infinite to be the very last Halo game and after playing this series for 2 decades, Its finally comes to an end. And I'm okay with that.

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brimmul777

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#3 brimmul777
Member since 2011 • 4517 Posts

@davillain-: No offence to you Sir, but I want to see a whole series of Halo's after Halo Infinite, preferably XSX exclusivity Please.

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Gifford38

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#4 Gifford38
Member since 2020 • 2452 Posts

@davillain- said:

Some of us expected Halo: Infinite to be the very last Halo game and after playing this series for 2 decades, Its finally comes to an end. And I'm okay with that.

yes but milking this game for the next ten years. its not even close to be over.

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Sancho_Panzer

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#5 Sancho_Panzer
Member since 2015 • 1419 Posts

If it works, we'll get more of them; if it fails, fewer. I don't know that it bothers me if there's a surge in service-type games. We saw that stuff with the MMO boom, 20 years ago, and it didn't kill off traditional RPG's. I'll play them if they're fun and ignore them if they're not.

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R4gn4r0k

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#6 R4gn4r0k
Member since 2004 • 35105 Posts

A live service can be good. But honestly I've seen more cases where it's bad.

Also it's those games that seem to release every year that get live services, think about that.

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DaVillain-

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#7 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 43529 Posts

@brimmul777 said:

@davillain-: No offence to you Sir, but I want to see a whole series of Halo's after Halo Infinite, preferably XSX exclusivity Please.

To be honest, I don't mind if MS wants to continue the series after Infinite but if that's the case, I really want MS to try and get back Bungie if all possible. Bungie needs Halo more so.

@gifford38 said:

yes but milking this game for the next ten years. its not even close to be over.

I'm cool getting lots of updates and DLC stuff like that for the next 10 years but hey, I'll take what I can get out of Halo.

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my_user_name

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#8 my_user_name
Member since 2019 • 291 Posts

It makes sense for multiplayer games. Not really the worst thing in the world either, you don't fracture the playerbase for one.

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Mozelleple112

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#9 Mozelleple112
Member since 2011 • 7636 Posts

Pretty sure World of Warcraft did this way back in 2004. Its 16 years old and has what, 7 or 8 expansions? How does WOW from 2004 compare to WOW 2020?

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hardwenzen

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#10  Edited By hardwenzen  Online
Member since 2005 • 3290 Posts

They say this now, but if the game comes out, and is poorly received, they'll bounce from it quicker than EAware scrapped Anthem. By the look of it, its the next Anthem 🤣

Sequels is what generates hype. An update to a 3 years old game will barely be noticed in comparison. There's no way they're moving from sequels. They might try them at the beginning of this generation, see it fail, and go back to traditional sequels.

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#11 Sevenizz
Member since 2010 • 5699 Posts

Seems as though the industry is in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t scenario. How many times has a sequel been worse than the original? How many times better?

I say let them do what they want. Ultimately it’ll be the consumer who’ll guide them going forward.

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#12  Edited By madrocketeer  Online
Member since 2005 • 7558 Posts
@Mozelleple112 said:

Pretty sure World of Warcraft did this way back in 2004. Its 16 years old and has what, 7 or 8 expansions? How does WOW from 2004 compare to WOW 2020?

Well, WOW is WOW. It has always played by its own rules, a right it earned from the mountain of bones of its self-declared rivals lying outside the mouth of its lair. I'm just noticing a trend spreading outside that specific ecosystem.

Beside that, these expandquels could otherwise be standalone sequels in their own right; OW2 will have PvE mode and a revamped engine, PSO2:NG will have new class and abilities systems and revamped graphics, so on a so forth. If Halo Infinite cross the generations as it seems to be angling to, it might very go in the same direction.

@hardwenzen said:

They say this now, but if the game comes out, and is poorly received, they'll bounce from it quicker than EAware scrapped Anthem. By the look of it, its the next Anthem 🤣

Sequels is what generates hype. An update to a 3 years old game will barely be noticed in comparison. There's no way they're moving from sequels. They might try them at the beginning of this generation, see it fail, and go back to traditional sequels.

It seems you don't play many live service or MMO games. They use different methods, but they can generate hype just fine. Destiny 2 created plenty of hype for its upcoming Beyond Light expansion. Final Fantasy XiV created plenty of hype for its Shadowbringers expansion. I recall WOW: Cataclysm creating insane level of hype. 343 will have plenty of textbooks to learn from.

Heck, I'm busy farming sacrifice frames right now in preparation for the Heart of Deimos update for Warframe that's coming in 21 days, barring Soon(TM).

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#13 lamprey263
Member since 2006 • 37359 Posts

They should plan on sequels, otherwise the game install size is going to balloon.

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hardwenzen

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#14 hardwenzen  Online
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@madrocketeer said:

@hardwenzen said:

They say this now, but if the game comes out, and is poorly received, they'll bounce from it quicker than EAware scrapped Anthem. By the look of it, its the next Anthem 🤣

Sequels is what generates hype. An update to a 3 years old game will barely be noticed in comparison. There's no way they're moving from sequels. They might try them at the beginning of this generation, see it fail, and go back to traditional sequels.

It seems you don't play many live service or MMO games. They use different methods, but they can generate hype just fine. Destiny 2 created plenty of hype for its upcoming Beyond Light expansion. Final Fantasy XiV created plenty of hype for its Shadowbringers expansion. I recall WOW: Cataclysm creating insane level of hype. 343 will have plenty of textbooks to learn from.

Heck, I'm busy farming sacrifice frames right now in preparation for the Heart of Deimos update for Warframe that's coming in 21 days, barring Soon(TM).

MMO's is the deadest genre there is. Ashes of Creation, a game that should be finished after Star Citizen comes out, is the only mmo that i even want to bother with.

Played D1 for like 800h. It was a shit game. Played MHW for almost 1k hours. Good game but no endgame/challenging content.

MMO-light games are too shallow, and feel like they're created for people who have never played a proper mmo. If there were mmo's or mmo-light games worthwhile, i'd be all over them, but there's no such thing.

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#15 rzxv04
Member since 2018 • 1643 Posts

Speaking of WoW, I want largescale co-op RAIDS! Don't care if it looks like an Xbox One game.

16 players against a horde of aliens. GIVE ME NOW!

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#16 madrocketeer  Online
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@hardwenzen said:

MMO's is the deadest genre there is. Ashes of Creation, a game that should be finished after Star Citizen comes out, is the only mmo that i even want to bother with.

Played D1 for like 800h. It was a shit game. Played MHW for almost 1k hours. Good game but no endgame/challenging content.

MMO-light games are too shallow, and feel like they're created for people who have never played a proper mmo. If there were mmo's or mmo-light games worthwhile, i'd be all over them, but there's no such thing.

Fair enough, hence my use of the word "seems;" thus allowing the possibility that my suggestion being false. Besides, my reply was specifically disputing your claim that live service and MMOs can't generate hype.

I think casualisation for the broadest mass market appeal is an industry-wide trend that is not strictly limited to MMOs and live service games.

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#17  Edited By hardwenzen  Online
Member since 2005 • 3290 Posts

@madrocketeer said:
@hardwenzen said:

MMO's is the deadest genre there is. Ashes of Creation, a game that should be finished after Star Citizen comes out, is the only mmo that i even want to bother with.

Played D1 for like 800h. It was a shit game. Played MHW for almost 1k hours. Good game but no endgame/challenging content.

MMO-light games are too shallow, and feel like they're created for people who have never played a proper mmo. If there were mmo's or mmo-light games worthwhile, i'd be all over them, but there's no such thing.

Fair enough, hence my use of the word "seems;" thus allowing the possibility that my suggestion being false. Besides, my reply was specifically disputing your claim that live service and MMOs can't generate hype.

I think casualisation for the broadest mass market appeal is an industry-wide trend that is not strictly limited to MMOs and live service games.

Well, yes, it can generate hype. PoE got a bit. Destiny 2 got a bit. But we really cannot compare that to a new entry in the series. Take Diablo 4, MHW or D2 as an example. If these series were just updated with a new dlc/expansion, it would only be exciting for the hardcore fans that are still playing these games. If its a new entry, everybody may look into it, including the casuals who've never played the series (or at least a much higher chance of doing so). Like who would care if Halo 5 announced an expansion for 2020? Who would be excited for Infinite if they announced Halo 5 Infinite back in 2017? But because Infinite is a new game, before the crappy demo, this is the most hype surrounding Halo i've seen since Halo 3.

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#18 madrocketeer  Online
Member since 2005 • 7558 Posts
@hardwenzen said:

Well, yes, it can generate hype. PoE got a bit. Destiny 2 got a bit. But we really cannot compare that to a new entry in the series. Take Diablo 4, MHW or D2 as an example. If these series were just updated with a new dlc/expansion, it would only be exciting for the hardcore fans that are still playing these games. If its a new entry, everybody may look into it, including the casuals who've never played the series (or at least a much higher chance of doing so). Like who would care if Halo 5 announced an expansion for 2020? Who would be excited for Infinite if they announced Halo 5 Infinite back in 2017? But because Infinite is a new game, before the crappy demo, this is the most hype surrounding Halo i've seen since Halo 3.

Well, yeah. As I mentioned in my original post, the point of the expandquel model is player retention. Indeed, the point of the whole MMO and live service model is player retention for recurring monetisation. Any hype these games generate will be directed first and foremost to the current players. This is what I mean when I said that these games generate hype in a different way. Hype is still hype.

I think it depends on what's in that expansion and how they promote it, especially if the game retains the recurring players to help spread the word. Again, this has precedence.

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#19 Zidaneski
Member since 2003 • 9083 Posts

If the game changes enough there should be a tradition sequel, if you’re not adding much then just make it an expansion. Monster Hunter is one example. Had the devs withheld free updates and saved them for iceborne you’d have a fractured playerbase. Half in MHW and the other half in iceborne. I don’t want to see another monster hunter game unless there Are enough changes to warrant an entirely new game.

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#20 sakaiXx
Member since 2013 • 9065 Posts

Halo Infinite is a GaaS title. If they can keep around 3-4 million player per expansion its a success on MS part.

I hope Sony and Nintendo don't do this, lets leave the western gaming trend and microtransactions to western publishers while the Japanese keep churning out high quality products.

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#21 Gifford38
Member since 2020 • 2452 Posts

@davillain- said:
@brimmul777 said:

@davillain-: No offence to you Sir, but I want to see a whole series of Halo's after Halo Infinite, preferably XSX exclusivity Please.

To be honest, I don't mind if MS wants to continue the series after Infinite but if that's the case, I really want MS to try and get back Bungie if all possible. Bungie needs Halo more so.

@gifford38 said:

yes but milking this game for the next ten years. its not even close to be over.

I'm cool getting lots of updates and DLC stuff like that for the next 10 years but hey, I'll take what I can get out of Halo.

for xbox to get bungie they have to pay more than they would like to pay for a studio. bungie is making a killing with destiny 2. more so on the ps4 and the reason its getting special treatment for the ps5 version just like gta5.

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#22 Gifford38
Member since 2020 • 2452 Posts

that why i prefer sony strategy, make a game and move on to the next. even move on to the next gen right a way.

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#23 Basinboy
Member since 2003 • 14153 Posts

Recurring transactions - whether in franchises or GaaS products - are here to stay. All of the biggest growth in the industry is happening because of them and the consumer is being continually conditioned to cope with it.

As development cycles require more time and attention, it would not surprise me if franchises move to bi-annual releases or 3-4 years between releases. I don’t believe IPs are well served to wait on the sidelines for their next entry for 4+ years.