Opinion: Annualizing Games Stifle Creativity

There used to be a time where anualizing games was a strange phenomenon. Games came out left and right but most of them used to be new IP’s. It started with sports games. FIFA is the most known and it started this whole trend (editors note: Dennis, being from Europe, Refuses to acknowledge Maden NFL which technically started the trend 2 years earlier in 1988, which is reasonable, because you rarely use your feet with the ball). Sports games followed this as a whole, my favorite sports franchise, Pro Evolution Soccer, was not a game that was released every year. The competition pressured Konami into releasing it each year and the quality suffered at first. EA is largely to blame for this trend, but you can’t forget Activtion in all this.


You can criticize Konami for all the stuff they’ve done lately, but in my humble opinion they release the best football aka soccer games. The franchise would have been better each time it got a release if it had more time to develop the game. There are other games that followed this structure and you can see the quality of the series taking a hit. Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty and others are relying on the yearly sales and are not making anything new anymore.


Assassin’s Creed 3 and Unity both were games that were rushed way too fast to the market. One was a mess because it had a new / barely tested engine and tried to rush out a complicated story while Unity was a buggy mess right from release. Call of Duty seems to be the same game each year with no real change to their games. Instead of actually doing something new in the series, it’s the same brown shooter that it’s always been. It’s the same for some of the sports games as well. The same game every year. NHL 15 even had fewer modes and options than the year before.


There is no risk taking or anything new coming from these games. They’re the same as the previous games for the most part with very few exception. What I am trying to get across is not to award stagnation in the industry. Everyone in the industry wants to be able to make money of their product, that is a given, they are a business after all, but when these developers are holding the industry back by just releasing the same game every year, it holds everything back and ingrains the idea that new is bad.


When the rest of the industry sees that they can make a lot of short term money from this, it will stifle the art-form that is games, slowly killing its growth and the money that comes with that. In the end we have to make a conscious decision as a consumer and not reward these practices that hold gaming back, and to recognize good games and award them with your time and money.

As always leave your thoughts and comments below.