You can only re-hash the same thing so many times before it is no longer desired. This goes for movies (see – Saw, Rocky, Rambo, Star Wars (the new crappy ones) as much as it goes for music and video games. In gaming we are starting to experience something that isn’t too dissimilar. Every November we expect a new Call of Duty game. While COD is the most common direction people look when it comes to games being the same every year, it is also a trend that is getting (or has gotten) old very fast.
I am almost to my second prestige in Black Ops 2. While this isn’t shocking to the many people that have already reached the 5th or 10th prestige it is something relatively new to me. I didn’t prestige in Modern Warfare 3 and I thought I would give it a chance in Black Ops 2. The problem with this is the fact that I am playing games and leveling up in their second and third iterations. There have been some changes along the way, but the one thing that remains a constant is the move towards an almost exclusively multiplayer focused game that revolves around leveling, leaderboards and people trying to make it big on YouTube.
While there are other games that are being milked as a franchise (Assassin’s Creed, Metal Gear, Angry Birds and let’s not forget sports games and their wonderful annual roster updates) – it seems that shooters are still the cash-cow that get most of the development attention. There have been some reports/rumors that Call of Duty is starting to see a slight decline in sales. Does this really surprise you? Madden and NCAA have also both started to see a decline in sales over the last few years. While there have been some fluctuations to these numbers in some cases, it should tell the gaming industry from production company to developer that gamers want new games with new ideas.
If you want to look for hope in gaming, take a look at what some of the indie game developers are putting out. Support their cause, but please… demand creativity instead of sequels. That is so… Michael Bay.