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Are annual/yearly franchises a good thing?

Call of Duty, FIFA, Assassin’s Creed are just some of the most popular yearly franchises. These franchises as most people know generate millions in sales and revenue. While that is a good thing no doubt, problems lie in doing this. Having a game year on year will make flaws become apparent and repetition will become obvious. So is this yearly release schedule a good thing?

Some of the most popular franchises in gaming history has at one point or another attempted to release a title in the franchise ear on year. Even some of the more high profile- GTA, Halo and MGS have all done it barring not always on the same platform. While on our side we like to see perfection, craftsmanship and most important of all effort has gone in to make each entry unique and fundamentally better than the last. That is of course expectation. In reality, there is only so much you can do with the tech and engines that is available for the current consoles thus making differences in entries harder to accomplish.

I sympathise and many others will. Only having a year to develop and refine a game while making it more relevant than the last entry especially as we approach the end of this generation makes it no less easier for developers. While I do have sympathy, I do not however condone lazy efforts in franchises like these. While not completely obvious, the new Fifa on the Vita, PS2, PSP and Wii is virtually the same as the last entries. Yes most people won’t play a new Fifa on some of the older consoles yet still that is so lazy it makes benefits cheats look more active with their pointless lives. I only have sympathy for those who have gone out and bought Fifa 13 on the Vita or PS2 to find that it is still the same as the last. On the PS2-god knows how long it has been stale.

In that case, why not stop publishing altogether and for the Vita make it more relevant-on par with console versions? Fifa is probably the ultimate culprit and while I have gone on a bit too long on negatives how about positives? Assassins Creed and Call Of Duty while remaining more of the same is presented in different landscapes with different branching plotlines. The Ezio trilogy was solid with Brotherhood being the best of the 3. AC3 looks to be tiring so next gen maybe next for Assassin’s Creed. As for COD, it splits opinion like no other. Modern Warfare 3 to me had a superb s.p albeit strictly linear and non interactive yet was it any better than Black Ops? No if anything worse so here is hoping for a good sequel next week.

It depends on games of choice but generally to the end of the generation cycle of consoles, games start showing their age, familiarity and worst of all more of the same-less new. Next gen is around the corner but for the annual franchises that are maxed out mainly Fifa which is now going on a donwnward slope it needs to come soon.

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