With the high price of games driving gamers to dizzying new heights of frugality, publishers and developers have become increasingly focused on creating cash-generating franchises. Most of this first quarter’s major game releases have a number dangling off the end of their titles. Not to say that the odd original IP, like THQ’s upcoming post-apocalyptic subway shooter Metro 2033, doesn’t slip through the cracks, but even then the nagging question remains: Could this be the start of the next big game franchise?
“For me personally, as long as the game is enjoyable, I don’t care if it’s a sequel or not,” creative manager David Langeliers told Destructoid when asked if Metro 2033 had cash cow potential, “but there is a level of trust and set of player expectations when working with a franchise, that can both hurt and/or help you.”
“When a Zelda fan goes out to buy the new Zelda game, they trust the product and they have a set of expectations concerning quality from the past titles they’ve played,” he continued. “If you live up to those expectations, then you gain more trust with the fan and they are likely to keep supporting you by purchasing your future franchise titles. Of course if you don’t meet their expectations then the trust can be diminished, and you may lose a long time fan.
“Today, I think almost every game from every studio is produced and developed with at least some thought of building a franchise in mind. If players enjoy something, they are going to want more of it. It would be a shame to let them down.”