Submitted by ValKilmer 141d ago | opinion piece

Why are Gamers So Afraid of Change?

Hardcore Gamer: Developers walk a thin line when changing any aspect of a game for its sequel. It's anybody's guess whether they will be praised for innovation or taken out to the stockades for crimes against a beloved franchise. More often than not, any change to a franchise in a sequel is met with instant criticism, but one has to wonder: what's the real virtue of a game being similar to its predecessor? (BioShock: Infinite, PC, PS3, PS4, Thief (2014), Xbox 360, Xbox One)

3-4-5  +   141d ago
People don't mind change, they just don't like when the change is worse than what they had before.
Cobra951  +   141d ago
Exactly. Change for the better, bring it on. But that rarely happens.
randomass171  +   141d ago
People demand change in Call of Duty all the time. The criticism is very selective though.
user6540948  +   141d ago
Yet people keep buying it despite the same engine, gameplay, etc.

That's the point of the article...most gamers hate change, and those who ask for it yet don't receive the change (ie: cod fans) just buy it anyway.

That's why my sights are locked on to indie games. "AAA" nowadays means rehash about 75% of the time, sadly.
andydalum  +   141d ago
Depends on the franchise you like like Dragon age people hated the 2nd at least online they did so what do they do . . . make the new one vastly better. Mass Effect already talking about some good changes to the new game.

BUT one thing i think people forget about change is you have to be smart about it because people have time invested into games. Time is the most valuable thing we have if let's say madden says screw it we only do minor changes and redoes everything will take multiple maddens to get it right. Why would i want that another 6 years for a revamped madden or the one i have come to enjoy year in and year out.

AAA games get called out for not changing but if they change to much they can ruin a franchise because to redo everything from ground up takes a long time to perfect. If u enjoy it buy it, if not find another IP to invest your time and money into.
kalkano  +   141d ago
If it's drastically different from the series, it doesn't belong in the series. Make it a NEW series. If you want to use the series name to increase sales, you'll have to deal with the backlash. That's not our problem.
Kivespussi  +   141d ago
I agree. Many series change the formula from old games for sequels only to piss off old fans (for example; Devil May Cry) and even though the new game would be great, it would be still compared to the old one and criticized how the devs changed it. If the devs want a game with the new mechanics, they should start a new IP.

Still, the problem is that AAA games usually follow the same formula. Even though there would be a new IP from an AAA studio, it would still do the same thing that's selling right now. That again means the devs aren't going to try new things and innovate, instead wee see the same games in different covers yeach year
#3.1 (Edited 141d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
levian  +   141d ago
Agreed. I think Demon's Souls and Dark Souls was somewhat of a good example of this. Dark Souls was a "spiritual successor" and not a sequel, so fans weren't terribly upset when certain aspects changed.

Same goes for most Final Fantasy games. You know what to expect of a Final Fantasy, but you know the story and the gameplay is going to be different each time
kalkano  +   141d ago
"Same goes for most Final Fantasy games. You know what to expect of a Final Fantasy, but you know the story and the gameplay is going to be different each time"

Yes, but now they've completely changed genres. Once they completely jumped to action-RPG, the same thing happened to Final Fantasy. Really, Final Fantasy has been an entirely new franchise since the merger.
levian  +   141d ago
I agree and disagree to an extent. Final Fantasy Tactics deviated from the normal combat, so I don't see why them playing with different combat styles is much of a shock.

I don't like SE's most recent stuff (13 series), but I'm okay with XV, mostly because it's a genre I like more than turn based combat. And also because I don't come to Final Fantasy for the turn based combat - I come for the story, the exploration and secrets, some cool mechanics.

This is probably why I've liked most FF games besides the 13 series, even 12 which most people don't like. They all have awesome elements to them that I like, the exploration and secrets and story. I didn't care if it was turn based, tactical based, or an action RPG. 13 had a more standard FF combat style but no exploration until late into the game, by which time I didn't care anymore and just wanted to beat it as quickly as possible.
kalkano  +   140d ago
^ Tactics is a spinoff. I know you'll say XV was initially a spinoff, but that was SE's plan. Versus XIII turning into XV is a "bait and switch" to keep old fans on board. It didn't work as well as they hoped.
levian  +   140d ago
You do have a point about it being a spin off, and no I'd agree that them switching Versus XIII to XV was definitely a bit of a bait and switch. They had been working on it so long and being nearly done they probably figured they could use it to appease FF fans about getting another main FF title.

All I was trying to say was we know a lot of FF fans enjoyed Tactics which had a different battle system, and that was how I saw XV.

But you're right, that brings us back to the topic at hand - if you're changing the core gameplay, make it a new series. They did make it a "new series" in the fact that it was a spin off, but now it's a main game. I can see why that upsets some people. I personally don't have any problem with it because like I said, I enjoy action RPG combat more than turn based. If it was the other way around though I'd be pissed.

It happened for me with the Kingdom Hearts games. I had played 1 and 2 but never had the handheld systems for the spin off titles. They ended up making these so called "spin offs" directly tied into the story. I had heard how they made combat into some kind of card game and I was pissed about it because I liked it's normal battle style. I'm probably wrong about it being a card battle system but it's forever put me off those games.
AnotherProGamer  +   141d ago
Thief (2014) and Bioshock Infinite received a lot of flak because it removed and dumbed down many aspects that made the original great, gamers like change if they are improving the gameplay mechanics i.e Street Fighter 2
#4 (Edited 141d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
curtis92  +   141d ago
Because usually it's in the name of 'appealing to the masses' and involves heavily diluting what makes games enjoyable.
NiteX  +   141d ago
The recent Sacred 3 is a great example.
ShaunCameron  +   141d ago
That's because the video games industry, namely the home console one, is dependent on the mass market for its success.
CloudRap  +   141d ago
America wasnt afraid of change in 08 look where we are now lol but seriously though if they change too much then "it strayed from its formula" if they keep it the same its "a cheap rehash/reskin" gamers, what a foul entitled bunch of brats we have become.
SliceOfTruth888  +   141d ago
Because the majority are still on their parents payroll
Mr Tretton  +   141d ago
There's a difference between innovation or improvement, and dumbing down your games for casuals who want to try something different between the yearly CODs.
700p  +   141d ago
They're more casual gamers than hardcore gamers. Thats why they do that.
#8.1 (Edited 141d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Mr Tretton  +   141d ago
No shit. That's called selling out.
700p  +   141d ago
No. Thats called being smart. More money the better.
Mr Tretton  +   140d ago
Art for the sake of money, regularly destroys the art. Music, movies, video games, all become safe, formulaic, regressive, and flat out generic when they are done simply to make money by fitting a status quo.

COD sold more on PS3 than TLOU last year, but who won all the GOTY awards and who benefited from TLOU being what it was? Naughty Dog as artists, and the players as art lovers. If everything was done for the masses and the highest dollar, this would be a terribly boring world.
equal_youth  +   141d ago
mostly its not the gamers but the companies who are afraid of change. Trying something new means for them a shot in the dark. But you see it when you look at kickstarter or Greenlight or early access. Gamers want change and they want to have control not the illusion.
bjshepp  +   141d ago
Bioshock Infinite wasn't a good game on it's own merits, to be honest.
#10 (Edited 141d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
jnemesh  +   141d ago
Here's the deal...if you strip off the franchise and all branding on the game, does it stand up on it's own? Is it fun to play? If the answer is no, then it's not the fault of "change" or gamers rejecting the franchise...you just made a shitty game. Go back and try again! (Activision, are you listening? EA?)
GamingSinceThe80s  +   141d ago
Spotie  +   141d ago
Gamers aren't. This is just hyperbole. When devs make stupid moves with a franchise, gamers aren't happy. DmC is a great example: the game wasn't bad, but it made for a poor DMC entry. Frankly, it should have been a separate franchise; hell, just change the protagonist's name.

People complain about change when it doesn't hold true to established roots. It's not across the board or anything like that.
-Foxtrot  +   141d ago
Why? Because most of the time change ends up being bad

For example develoeprs changing a franchise into a shadow of it's former self and it ends up either being crap (RE6, dmc, Dragon Age 2) OR it ends up being a good game BUT it dosen't feel like a game in that franchise (Tomb Raider, Max Payne 3)
ShaunCameron  +   141d ago
Of course Max Payne 3 didn't feel like a Max Payne game because it was set in Sao Paolo, Brazil as opposed to New York, USA.
-Foxtrot  +   141d ago
Well there's that, then you have the fact that...

Max looked completely different half the time

The story was bland, generic and predictable

They didn't use the Dead on Arrival ending

Mona was pretty much dead...wasted strong female character

The noire feel was completely gone

No graphic novel cutscenes

It felt like I was playing Die Hard The Video Game at times.

I don't see why they didn't take the backstory with Max back in New York killing the head mobs son and make a full game out of that. Imagine Max trying to take down a Mafia group only to find out a much bigger plot involving corruption within the NYPD. Could of been great.
Grown Folks Talk  +   141d ago
Biggest thing I see is people claiming to want new IPs instead of rehashes, yet as a whole, we rarely support new IPs. Online forums are always a bad judge IMO, because if what I read almost daily was true, COD & EA games would never sell because everyone apparently hates them.
kalkano  +   141d ago
Maybe because the new IPs are EXACTLY LIKE EVERY EXISTING IP!
jts1891  +   141d ago
Because 'change' isn't needed. Does the flavor of your favorite brand of chocolate cake change often? Of course not. You buy it because it tastes the same every single time, and you enjoy the flavor. Same thing with games. I've bought every single Halo game ever released. The core gameplay hasn't really changed. While they might add a new feature here or there, at it's core the mechanics are the same. And that's just the way I like it.

Now, if it's a new IP, change can be a good thing. You might find that you like it's style, and you want more. However, once a franchise is established, changing things up ends badly more often than not.
ICANPLAYGAMES2  +   141d ago
People aren't afraid of change, well most aren't, but I'm sure that there is a pretty high aversion to b.s. (i.e. such sweeping change that you might as well be putting out a new IP, and making it a sequel just to cash in on a popular name by association, also how some titles are annualized). Not all change is good, as the author pointed out.

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