Video games have become so costly to make that a major title release is a potential extinction event for some developers. Understandably, they prefer to play it safe by identifying that which sells and expressing their creativity in very similar, ideally cheaper, ways. In other words, the dream project of an average game developer would be to release the same popular game over and over again. Of course, in some cases, this ‘dream project’ is ‘an actual business model‘.
As much fun as Call of Duty jokes are though, the practice of releasing very similar looking sequels has existed since the dawn of video game classics like Doom and Fallout. No one likes to have all of their original work go unmilked if they can help it. However, as the required yield of delicious green dairy has increased from thousands to millions, the recycling has become increasingly excessive. It is now unusual NOT to see whole trilogies looking and feeling like three levels of the same game. Yet, somehow, game publishers are able to convince us that every one of those entries is fresh enough to buy. When the original has enough obvious flaws to be fixed then this task is easy but what if it does not? What if the first title is not Assassin’s Creed but Bioshock? Well, then game creators have to get very creative… or: