Are game developers getting lazier, more risk adverse or just out of ideas?
I feel the need to talk about a trend in gaming industry, game developers giving their IPs to other developers to continue or reboot a series.
Now is this because they can't be bothered or because the time and effort it takes to make a game may not be worth it?
I mean why work on a game that may not sell well when you can release a yearly game such as Call of Fifa13 or Assassins Duty 3, that are guaranteed to bring in the sales.
Now a developer working on someone else's IP is nothing new, but most of the time it tends to be in the handheld market or ports such as Rising Star making the PSP Ratchet & Clank games or it may be to revive a dead series such as Starbreeze working on EAs Syndicate.
However two game series that are by no means dead, I mean they each have had a game in this console cycle, have a new console outing coming this year, but with new developers attached to do create the game.
No I don't mean Halo 4, similar but slightly different situation. I mean Devil May Cry and Metal Gear.
Now some where unhappy about these two series being in the hands of someone new (gamers/humans are rarely a fan of change) but I actually wasn't to bothered I mean I think I am lucky seeing as I actually like the two developers taking on these series.
For those who don't know; the developers are Ninja Theory and Platinum Games, the teams behind Heavenly Sword and Bayonetta respectively.
Now both studios have made good games, which sadly didn't get the sales their reviews deserved. That may be where working with existing IPs may help, working on an already popular franchise could potentially improve their standings.
However both games have come under critism for more then just change of developers. DmC received most of its due the design change of main character Dante, where as Metal Gear Rising is due to the complete gameplay style change to when it was first announced.
With Devil May Cry I'm conflicted, sure Dante doesn't look as cool or have his traditional white hair (well as standard), and sure it's a reboot/retelling of the series (another popular trend that fans don't usually take to well). The gameplay however, that does actually look good, even fans of the series must concede that much, and in the end shouldn't that matter most?
I won't mention story just yet as that something that has to be experienced, but Ninja Theory have done well with Enslaved and Heavenly Sword and I'm sure Capcom have some say, so not really something to worry(or rage) over.
Metal Gear Rising has me slightly more disappointed, not since the current gameplay looks bad but, because I was genuinely looking forward to play the game that was demoed and showcased Raiden cutting a watermelon.
Looking passed that, letting Platinum Games develop Rising could be a masterstroke; they do seem more suited for a "Lighting Bolt Action" game, with Vanquished and Bayonetta under its belt it would lead you to believe Raiden is in good hands.
Random Thought - Wonder if when Capcom were looking for someone to make the next Devil May Cry anyone suggested Platinum Games, and if they did wonder how many dirty looks they got even if that would have been the most logical choice.
I think these titles should be happy with their new adoptive developers, I just hope they do the series proud and more importantly that the fans like what ever game they raise.
Any thoughts on game developers leasing out their IPs or on Devil May Cry/Metal Gear Rising: Revengence let me know in the comments.
Follow Jamal Wright on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JamalWrightGDE