OPINION: Annual game releases results in quality decline

CN/ Steven Adamo

By Adam Robles

It is a bad decision when video game producers decide that they need a franchise to release a new game every year. This is often a slow and painful decline in quality for these games as well. 

Beloved franchises such as the “Call of Duty” series, the “Assassin’s Creed” series and 2K’s sports games are perfect examples of franchises that suffer from annual releases.

The idea behind annual releases is to put a game out there every year for as many platforms as possible. 

The deadline for these games is ideally during the fall season so that the game can have its initial launch and then be a highly sought-after item for Black Friday.

The developers are usually able to meet annual deadlines because they reuse a lot of assets from the game that was released the prior year. 

This, however, leads to the game feeling too similar to the previous releases.

In some cases there have been games that are controversial because they are seen as inferior versions by fans. 

This happens a lot and wouldn’t be an issue if publishers wouldn’t force developers to have annual releases just to make more money. 

Sports games are big offenders of this issue because they get consumers to pay $60 for a game that often only has a roster update from the previous year’s game. 

The developers may add a few new features, but it’s never a complete overhaul that gives the player a brand new experience. 

These types of games also usually have a heavy emphasis on in-game purchases and paid downloadable content. 

This is unacceptable because the publishers, year after year, will give players an incomplete game, but make sure that these horrible pay-to-win features make it into the game so that they can make even more money. 

Paid downloadable content isn’t always terrible because it definitely has the potential the add tons of content for a low price. But the many in which is handled by the “Call of Duty” series compared to something like “The Witcher 3” is night and day. 

On one hand there’s Activision adding all their new weapons to loot boxes where players spend money for the chance to earn weapons, while “The Witcher” adds tons of side missions, extra stories, new weapons, etc. 

Taking a year or two off to finish a game before throwing an incomplete version is out there to either sink or swim is the best way to go for these companies. 

It may result in less profits at first, but it could rebuild the integrity and credibility that has been going downhill.

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