Fat on franchises

Every now and then someone has to come out and tell us that there are no new things under the sun, that people are lacking in creativity, and that gaming is too reliant on successful formulas. So, basically the same criticism that has existed around all art forms for ages. The latest critic is Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of Kirby who is currently working on Super Smash Bros.

In his weekly column in Famitsu, translated by Polygon, Sakurai explained that independent design studios are an antidote to the repetition of the modern game scene:

Is there any industry that relies so much on reusing and reusing their old titles as much as video games? Compared to other media like movies, dramas, animation, novels and comics, the glut of franchises and remakes is at an unnatural level.

He explains that there are so many hurdles in gaming, it makes sense for there to be sequels and franchises. It can take a while to learn the rules of a game, the universe of its setting – developers can benefit by working with existing structures while simply adding new features. However, Sakurai is not criticizing the AAA studios for being successful, he just sees the importance of other alternatives:

Good games attract fans, and if you have fans, you have an advantage. You try to use that to make the title something bigger, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to give up on innovation. Popular, well-made games deserve praise, but titles that have some kind of unique creative spark to them also need to be praised in this way.

While I definitely agree with Sakurai – there are a lot of franchises and remakes in gaming – it seems a bit rich coming from a guy who is working on Super Smash Bros. How many iterations has THAT game gone through? However, I think it’s important to keep an eye on new IP and exciting things going on outside of the major franchises; those are the games that are inspiring the AAA studios anyway.

Read  Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 developer admits it made a “big mistake”

Last Updated: October 10, 2013

was reviewed on PC

Want more stuff like this?

Get the best stories straight into your inbox daily!

Don’t worry we don’t spam

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    I will admit I’d love to see more new AAA IP’s emerge. He does bring across a valid point.

    Indies and the like are making the fresh idea games and AAA is, generally, sticking to tried and tested franchises.

    That’s why when a game such as The Last of Us launches with AAA quality it generally gets received so well.

  • Otto_ki

    Yes there are loads of them, and i cant really comment as I will just contradict myself as i do own a copy of BF3 COD 7 Need for speed 87698746… you get the idea 🙂

    But that’s why new innovative games have such WOW presence that come with them…until the second one comes of from that same new game.

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Last of Us

      • Otto_ki

        I seriously have to admit something… i have never played Last of Us or even seen a video of it.

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          Haven’t played it either. but look how well it did. It’s clear that people are craving new AAA titles.

          New indie titles are great and all but we, as gamers, require new big budget titles as well that aren’t part of a franchise

    • Downloadable content John

      Need For Speed. Now that’s a franchise that has only gotten worse and worse but somehow still makes money.

  • Martin du preez

    Last of Us
    The Puppeteer
    Beyond 2 Souls

    If you want fresh new IP’s,come to Sony’s side.


  • Matthew Holliday

    I got no problems with trilogies and series and stuff and stuff
    I just dont want to rely on mass effect for my gaming feels for the rest of my life.

  • NecroRince

    That’s the problem. You bring out a new IP which is awesome, and then it fails because it isn’t what the bloody 12 year old CoD fans want. I mean look at Aliens: Colonial Marines! What an IP! Was the world, nay, the internet ready for that beast of a game? NO! Not by a long shot, Instead we moaned about it’s shitty graphics, crappy controls, terrible story, insult to the cannon, it’s screwed coding, embarrassing characters and old, never-correctly-used AWESOME IP. Wait, what?

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      *canon *helpful look*

      • NecroRince

        *disinterested look* Look, Beiber!

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          OH BABY!

  • TiMsTeR1033

    I have far too many ideas for games…

    • Downloadable content John

      Same here.

      I was thinking of one where you run around in large open maps, you have an arsenal of weapons to choose from and you can also drive vehicles and fly helicopters and planes. I’m telling you. It’s never been done.

      • Circuitflow

        BWAHAHAHAH! I loove playing that game… i mean “would” love to play it!

  • NecroRince

    Really don’t see what Sakurai is going on about… That’s like Justin Beiber (@disqus_DoEH3TsffU:disqus’s girlfriend) commenting on how it’s tired of generic pap pop songs and shitty haircuts.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Oh please, it’s not like we’re in a committed relationship. Er… I mean… LOOK OVER THERE!

      • NecroRince


        • Downloadable content John

          He’s an alien emperor, how’s he supposed to know what’s ugly to us humans?

          • NecroRince

            Very true.

  • Downloadable content John

    You know all those zombie games?
    With dinosaurs instead.

    • RapturedMossel


    • HvR

      Like Dinosaur Hunter?

      • Downloadable content John

        Like Dinosaur Island (ie, Dead Island)

        • HvR

          No I mean it already exist.

          Dinosaur Hunter aka Carnivores PC game series from the 90’s was later released on Playstation iOs and Android.

          • Downloadable content John

            I know. But it’s just not on the level we want it to be. Turok was cool but also lacked a few things. We need big, sandbox open world dinosaur game.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Innovation is overrated. As long as the game’s fun, I don’t care if it’s sequel number 100. There’s little variation in actual game play mechanics between most games in a given genre if you really think about it, it’s the artwork & story that changes most – and as long as those keep changing & getting better, I’m perfectly happy.

    • Downloadable content John

      Yes NFS still sells games for some reason. The world just makes no sense sometimes.

    • NecroRince

      I have this for you from GTAV!

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        It’s a car :/

        • Downloadable content John

          Stolen, no doubt

        • NecroRince

          I have some pictures of bins, railings, hills, the sky, oh, so many of the sky. I just want to give you something to feel like your part of our group man. Tell you what, I’ll make a power point presentation with the odd 450,000 pictures I have, and we can watch it at Banana Jam! Yeah man! GOOD TIMES!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            How about I just run into Koeberg Road & hope for a yellow Humvee ;P

          • NecroRince

            BWAHAHAHAH! I KNOWS what would be more painful! Having to listen to OVG describe every second of it… 0-O

  • ToshZA

    McDonalds McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Pizza Hut.


  • brad coetzee

    I have been saying this for years and years. I am like, cool n stuff

Check Also

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 developer admits it made a “big mistake”

"Instead we spent too much effort trying to catch up with other AAA titles in terms of the…