In today’s gaming there are rapid changes, but sometimes what console corporations like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, as well as their software developers, need to know is that while change may be good, changes that are too drastic may not be welcome. If you change a game or franchise too much it runs the risk of becoming unappealing to its original fan base.
As we all know the smallest change in a game can have a really big impact. For example, when SOCOM 4 was released, the new developments in it were meant to appeal to the Call of Duty Crowd. Not only did they fail in drawing people away from the C.O.D. franchise, they also managed to alienate the Sony/Zipper Interactive community, mainly the SOCOM vets. Now, what exactly made it fail?
My theory lays the blame with Sony and Zipper Interactive because they did not listen to the people that made up their fan base. My own personal opinion, and that of many other SOCOM fans, is that it doesn’t even play like the rest of the games in the SOCOM line. It doesn’t appear to be based on the formulas for the original SOCOM or it’s sequel. They had the blueprints and the framework from those games which were time-tested and fan approved, and ignored them. To be completely honest, when I am playing SOCOM 4, I feel a bit more like I am playing Whack-A-Mole.
While I do notice Microsoft and Bungie adding new things in their HALO successors, I don’t feel as though they have strayed as far from their original game. The gun play is still much the same and that is one thing the franchise had going for it. Bungie did things right by listening to the community of fans that were playing the games. What I am concerned about is the franchise being handed over to 343 Studios, will they stray too far from what the fans have come to know and love?
I have seen multiplayer footage of Ghost Recon Future Warrior and it appears that the Ghost Recon structure has been changed drastically as well. It is a severe disappointment when all the games that we come to know and love to play have the same name, but the game itself is absent and found wanting. While they may have cool new features, I would argue that the features could have worked well with its older formula.
This will happen to every single franchise out there that we have ever known, loved, and enjoyed. It is for this reason that I am glad that Final Fantasy 7 was not remade. For now, our best defense is to go to our favorite console manufacturer’s website or game developer sites and sound off on their forums and hope that we are heard.
Now, speak up for your favorite games! Post those comments!!!