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It’s time for yearly franchises in gaming to end

Kelly Quinn
Yearly franchises are a business tactic used by many companies so that they have a new product to put on shelves. But as it leaves game developers with little time, the games themselves often feel the same each year, as shown in “Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.”

A release pattern many video game series adopt is to put out a new game each year. The companies that often do this are Activision, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts (EA). While one may think that this is a good thing as it means major franchises get new installments each year, what it actually ends up leading to is rushed development and a lack of polish in newer releases.

One of Activision’s yearly franchises is “Call of Duty,” a video game of multiplayer focused first person shooter (FPS). The first “Call of Duty” was released in 2003 and after skipping 2004, a new game in the series has been released every year since. The quality of these releases range from actually being fun and memorable single and multiplayer experiences, to being buggy unfinished messes. It’s safe to say that “Call of Duty” has been on the decline for a while.

This can especially be seen with their most recent release, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III.” Originally, Activision wasn’t going to release a new game in 2023 and instead just put out downloadable content (DLC) for their previous release, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.” However, seemingly at the last second, executives at Activision decided to turn that year’s DLC into a new release that retailed for $70.

Ubisoft is another company that uses the yearly release tactic with their series, “Assassins Creed.” Following the first “Assassin’s Creed” released in 2007, the rest of the releases followed a similar formula until 2013 when “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” breathed new life into the franchise with its ship battling mechanics.

This series received a massive reinvention in 2017 with “Assassin’s Creed: Origins,” which brought many role-playing game (RPG) elements to the series. This style remained for the two games that followed, but with the release of “Assassin Creed Mirage” in 2023, the series has gone back to its roots.

While these games all range in quality, there just doesn’t seem to be a reason to keep it as a yearly franchise. At their core, “Assassins Creed” games have fun third person action gameplay but because of the time crunch, they’re padded with boring quests and side missions.

But, the most creatively bankrupt yearly franchises are certainly sports games. “FIFA,” “Madden NFL” and “NBA 2K” all follow the same strategy of releasing what feels like the same game every year with some minor adjustments and updated rosters. They each cost $60 to $70, along with being filled with micro-transactions. There’s no reason that games this similar need a brand new release every single year and could very easily just be updated with new players and stat changes.

However, this business practice wouldn’t keep happening if it didn’t work as each of the franchises mentioned continue to be top selling games each year. The only way to get these companies to stop is to not buy their product.

What do you think?
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About the Contributor
Kelly Quinn
Kelly Quinn, Writer
Hello. My name is Kelly and I enjoy writing about movies and video games. Oh, and I have beaten Elden Ring five times.

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Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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  • K

    KieranFeb 27, 2024 at 10:50 am

    ngl, you spitting fr, straight facts.🔥