Remakes Are Good for the Gaming Industry

There is a lot of controversy around older games getting reboots, remakes, and remasters. The idea is loved by some but vehemently opposed by others. Some remasters add little to the game, like The Last of Us remaster on PS4. It was a remaster released a year after the original. For instance, the Final Fantasy 7 remakes add a lot to the game. A remake is usually a good thing, in my opinion.

Older Games That Need a Remake

The Warriors hanging out in their club house. Some are leaning on the rail, others are playing pool. Some Warriors are just walking around.
Image via Rockstar Toronto

We often forget that dated graphics are hard to sit through when we give younger gamers a game and say, “try this, it’ll change your life.” While there are some games with a lot of vintage appeal, such as Mario and Pokémon, they are a rare breed. Today’s gamers expect open-world games with high graphical fidelity, responsive controls, and high frame rates. Things like that have only recently become the norm.

Despite knowing it is a masterpiece, I know The Warriors’ image above cannot compete with games today. It is often necessary for a game to be visually appealing for a gamer even to consider playing it. Obviously, I’m not saying that’s a requirement for a good game, but I realize that’s become a standard. Half-Life, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Legend of Dragoon, and Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind are all games that aren’t getting the love they deserve because they look dated.

Consider how many games have only been seen by newer gamers due to their upgrades. Crash Bandicoot and Spyro are great examples of games that never lost their charm but did benefit from a facelift.

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Remakes Are Often Safe Bets

A common fact about the movie industry is when a recession or time of hardship comes, studios would rather make sequels and reboots than invest in something new. These are safe bets that keep studios from going under. Even though indie games are experiencing a renaissance, Triple-A games are getting to the point where they are too expensive to make. Studios would make remakes if they knew you would pay top dollar for them.

Unfortunately, many people say, “it doesn’t look that bad!” when watching a trailer for a remake. Mass Effect is the perfect example of why this doesn’t matter. After the third game in 2012, the series went on hiatus. Mass Effect Andromeda put the series on hold when an entire generation of gamers had become old enough to pay attention. As a flagship title for BioWare, once regarded as an unstoppable storytelling studio, Mass Effect was once as popular as Assassin’s Creed. Nevertheless, a game that didn’t look very good and had dated controls were hard to convince a younger audience to try.

Then came Mass Effect Legendary Edition, combining all three games and adding all the DLC. It was the ultimate edition fans had been waiting for and sold far more than EA expected. As a result of the success of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, fans called for a remake of the Dragon Age Trilogy. That’s even more guaranteed money from a hungry audience.

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Remakes Can Inspire New Creators

Eric Barone, the creator of Stardew Valley, meets with Yasuhiro Wada, the creator of Harvest Moon. They are interviewed by PC Gamer.
Image via PC Gamer YouTube

You definitely have new Developers who have been inspired by Notch (Minecraft), Eric Barone (Stardew Valley), and Scott Cawthon (Five Nights At Freddy’s). Yet, those developers were inspired by Sid Meier (Civilization), Will Wright (The Sims), and Yasuhiro Wada (Harvest Moon). Many developers have created older games that have inspired the games we see today, and because of how dated the capabilities of games were at the time, it’s hard even to get into them if you don’t have nostalgia.

I am old enough to have played the original Sims, Sonic The Hedgehog, Total War, and Sim City, but it took me until my twenties to play Mario Bros., Civilization, and even The Legend of Zelda. It’s my job to write about games, and that’s why I finally played them, but what about developers who can create Stardew Valley’s equivalent of The Sims? Through a remake, younger audiences can experience what you did without upscaling issues or trudging through dated mechanics.

Due to our limited capabilities, we remember games looking much better than they actually did. Nothing could be more intuitive than the original Far Cry, and nothing could look better than Super Mario 64. Nothing could beat Crysis, but eventually, something will, and it will appear dated.

Invest in a remake so newer players can experience what you did, without the superiority complex of “I played it before it got fancy” or “It’s still good enough.” Who knows, maybe an old cult classic will return and give us even more pleasure.

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