It’s probably safe to say that the last few months of the year are ‘primetime’ for video game releases, which is understandable as this allows the developers to get their games out in time for Christmas but what is becoming more common now is to see annual updates for many titles in the form of an entirely new game. But is this just the developers being greedy and trying to get more money out of us gamers and is a new title every year too soon, or are yearly sequels or new titles a good idea?
Some people argue that a year is not enough time for a quality game to be developed and that if there is to be a sequel in a year after a game’s release, there will be very little post-launch support in the form of updates and downloadable content and there is some evidence to support this with the amount of titles released now that see very little downloadable content as the developers seem to finish making one game before immediately moving on to their next game. This isn’t always the case though, as some games will see a lot of content released post-launch, most of which is not already included on the disc, such as downloadable extra characters or levels, which is always a nice thing to have new things available in one game instead of having to pay full price for a sequel or another game in the series.
However, some people argue that a year is long enough for a player to have completed everything within a game that is possible, and as such they want a sequel or another game in the series to be released as soon as possible but this is not always actually possible by the developers, especially for much larger and more iconic games such as Final Fantasy, Battlefield or Resident Evil, all of which usually only see a new title once every few years. It’s easy to see that with games that take longer to develop, they will naturally take much longer to complete as they usually have much more single-player content and are less multiplayer-focused, and in some cases games may not have multiplayer at all in favour of a much longer single player story or campaign mode (as is the case with many RPGs). To some gamers this is far more important than what they may perceive as a rushed sequel.
There’s very little middle ground really, and it’s mostly the classic case of not being able to make everyone happy all the time, as whether we like to admit it or not, we gamers are a fickle bunch and often difficult to please despite the best efforts of the developers. It’s probably impossible for any team no matter how large to create a masterpiece in one year, but that’s not to say that games released once a year can’t have epic sequels just a year later and still be brilliant fun.