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Why Do We Prefer Sequels? 121

jayintune writes "2old2play has up an editorial about our love affair, as gamers, with sequels." From the article: "Sequels make us feel comfortable. Control schemes and gameplay doesn't need to be totally relearned. If you train to be a sniper in Halo 2, hopefully you will still be a good sniper in Halo 3. I still remember the disappointment I felt when they totally changed the light saber controls when Jedi Outcast came out. For an 'old school' player like me with many hours of practice, a new control scheme was just too much to relearn. A good sequel will retain mechanics to retain the existing user base and hopefully add new players as well."
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Why Do We Prefer Sequels?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @07:48PM (#16314261)
    I know, it's shocking... but could it be we've invested time and emotion in storylines and characters? That's the primary reason I play sequels. They're like old friends.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I'm not sure I "prefer" sequels as much as that I am denied the opportunity to play new games by the overwhelming flood of sequels and ports released every month. I've always held it to be a tragedy that I am often denied the chance to play a game like Shadow of the Colossus because the store owner has decided to get a few more rows of the latest Madden game. I am quite happy to play a sequel of a game I have liked, Half-Life 2 for example, but I would much rather play a new franchise like Hellgate: London
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @07:50PM (#16314285) Homepage
    The reason we prefer sequels is the same reason we "prefer" McDonald's. We know what we are getting. Sure it may not be the best, but there are no surprises, and we don't have to worry about the food being bad.
    • by demondawn ( 840015 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @07:53PM (#16314347) Journal
      ...I assume you live in Canada? In the U.S., "we don't have to worry about the food being bad" would be a logical fallacy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
        I do live in Canada, but the food from McDonald's is still bad. But I eat there once in a while because it's fast, and I know what I'm getting. It's a consistent product. I mean, you could go to that no-name place down the road, but you never know, it could end up being worse than McDonald's.
        • I mean, you could go to that no-name place down the road, but you never know, it could end up being worse than McDonald's.

          If I'm considering a no-name place down the road that isn't supported by millions of dollars of advertising and support infrastructure and yet is able to stay open, I'd be optimistic enough to think that it might be better than something I know is uniformly awful. If the no-name place is new, at least they'll be wanting to make a good first impression. If variety is the spice of life,
          • In my hometown, we had 4 restaraunts in the same location in the space of 2 years. One of these closed because the owner/manager/do-everything woman quit, leaving me unemployed. The other three had awful food. Just because the no-name place is new doesn't mean they're trying their hardest.
          • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
            About a year ago, several people died of food poisoning here after eating at one of your quaint "mom and pop" restaurants.

            It wasn't supported by billions in advertising. It also didn't have a huge professional infrastructure on top of it to properly train its cooks or oversee them and make sure they were following proper cooking and health procedures.


            • "several people died of food poisoning here after eating at one of your quaint "mom and pop" restaurants....It wasn't supported by billions in advertising."

              I would think that McDonalds has just as many cases per year of food poisoning of that of any small mom and pop, the difference is they have a million dollar legal team to deal with any of these issues plus the marketing that makes people think they can trust the food they buy at MCDs.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by maxume ( 22995 )
          My strategy for situations where McDonalds is teh best 'dining' choice has become: eat a Snickers. Really hungry? Eat 2 Snickers. I am pretty sure it is healthier.
        • and I know what I'm getting. It's a consistent product.

          Wow... I need to find out where this McDonald's you go to is. It sounds like Redlobster compared to the McDonald's I'm stuck with!
          • McDonald's is a lot worsse than it used to be. I remember 10 years ago things used to be a lot better. I think this is why McDonald's profits have been taking a dive lately. I'm more talking of the McDonald's of yesteryear, which brought them to world domination of fast food, not the McDonald's of today.
            • by orasio ( 188021 )
              Here in Uruguay, after lots of years ( more than ten, at least ) McDonalds has a consistent quality.
              Of course, it's not the best fast food available, but its the most widespread foreign franchise, and you get a reasonable meal for a reasonable total price (3 - 4 dollars).

              It's not all that great, but compared to the fast food restaurants (MD and others) I saw in Miami, Fort Lauderlale(?), and Orlando when on vacation, I can see it's much cleaner here, the food tastes much better, and the people are nicer.

      • We don't have to worry about the "food" being food. :P
      • "we don't have to worry about the food being bad" would be a logical fallacy.

        False, whether the food is bad does not cause me worry when I walk into a Mac Donalds.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by rob1980 ( 941751 )
      and we don't have to worry about the food being bad

      Haven't seen and/or played Final Fantasy X-2 then, I take it? :)
  • We prefer sequels? This is news to me.
    • by Mullen ( 14656 )
      No shit. Give me original content any day of the week.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lazerf4rt ( 969888 )
        Although, you gotta admit, most Mario games are sequels and feature original gameplay and content.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          "Although, you gotta admit, most Mario games are sequels and feature original gameplay and content."

          It's easier to describe Mario games as a franchise instead of sequels. I have no problem calling Mario Sunshine a sequel, but Mario 64? Different animal.
      • No shit. Give me original content any day of the week.

        You make a common mistake -- an "original" game is no more novel nor innovative than a "sequel". In fact, since time has to be spent on developing a new premise, we actually wind up with less original content than if a sequal had been made.
  • "Why do we prefer sequels?"
  • by mackil ( 668039 )
    Perhaps it is our inner fear of death that makes us love sequels. As long as the story continues, our hero or heroine, will live forever in our minds. This might possibly negate the feeling of our own impending doom as we sit in the theater.

    On the other hand, there are those sequels where we wish death would visit us before the end of the movie. So in conclusion, who knows really.
    • I think that we prefer sequels because it means that we finally get to see Kate Beckinsale naked.

      Okay, so maybe this logic only applies to one specific case.
    • On the other hand, there are those sequels where we wish death would visit us before the end of the movie

      Oh, you poor wretch... You went to see the 2nd and/or 3rd Matrix movies, didn't you. There, there... it'll be okay...
  • by The Living Fractal ( 162153 ) <banantarr@YEATShotmail.com minus poet> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @08:00PM (#16314443) Homepage
    I happen to think it has little to do with control schemes et al.

    It is more about the story, believe it or not. I mean, hello? Most FPS games share almost identical control schemes. And if the defaults aren't the same between Quake 4 and F.E.A.R then you have free reign to change the controls.

    No, I think it's the story. A story creates a world in our imaginations. A world which if we find we enjoy we will want to continue to visit.

    Why do I want a sequal to a movie like The Matrix? Because (actual sequels aside) I want to be able to go back to the world the Wachowski's created, be a part of it even if I'm just the observer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cowscows ( 103644 )
      In some cases it's the story, but sometimes it's just the gameplay. Mario Kart didn't have much of a story on the SNES, but it was fun as hell multiplayer, and it's still fun as hell two versions later with some friends sitting around the Gamecube.

        I'm as much for innovation as the next guy, but there's nothing wrong with building on a successful formula or continuing a successful franchise.
    • Indeed. I can't wait to see how Unreal Tournament 2007 resolves the cliffhanger ending of 2004!
    • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
      It's not controls as much as game mechanics. Sequels usually feature the same game mechanics and specific behaviours (if they don't you can bet your ass the fans will complain). For example, many RTS games control the same but the Command & Conquer series has a clear split between vehicles and infantry where most weapons are only effective against one of them and generally battles are pretty short. Contrast that with the Age of Empires games (and its imitators) where units can take a lot more damage, ge
  • Here's a Theory (Score:1, Interesting)

    by rabbitfood ( 586031 )
    Folk with unhappy childhoods crave consistency. Sequels (usually) provide consistency. The piece is run on a site for older, primarily US. gamers.

    Next story: Tortoises run slowly.
    • Your comments are odd, and seem to be biased against Americans who are in the older age group for gamers. You seem to think that these people would have had unhappy childhoods.

      People in that demographic would have grown up in the 1970's and 1980's. Those were two of the best decades to grow up in the U.S.

      The people would have been young enough not to have dealt with the Vietnam war. The US was moving into an economic boom, things were IMPROVING. People are always happiest when things are getting better.
  • by Headcase88 ( 828620 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @08:02PM (#16314465) Journal
    So as said before, you're comfortable with the controls, characters, and storyline, and you figure it's going to be as good as the lsat one, but I have another reason to contribute:

    they already have the characters and story developed, and usually they have an engine to build with too. In other words, they're not starting from scratch, so they have more time to make a better game.

    Take Mario Power Tennis, as a random example. They already had the actual Tennis part down (and down well), so they had time to tweak the controls, and add lots of fun gimmick courts and mini-games that fit well with the existing engine. (Also you get the power shots, but I'm lukewarm on those).

    It's especially good if you were new to the series, because it's like you're getting everything the N64 game and those cool additions.
  • There isn't a single game that has done for me what the original did. We Love Katamari was ho hum after the original (which I still play). UT2K3 was nowhere near as much fun as the original Unreal Tournament. Project Gotham Racing 2 was "eh" after the original, and I don't have a 360 so I haven't had the pleasure of PGR3. And who thought San Andreas was so much better than Vice City, or even the "original" GTA3.

    Sure maybe the control schemes are the same but the fact is that nothing grabs you like an origin
    • Re:I don't! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @08:24PM (#16314737)
      You seem to have "back in my day..." syndrome. I disagree with all of your points. We Love Katamari was what the original Katamari should have been. I liked UT2K3 better than the original: better graphics with the same fast-paced FPS-styel gaming. GTA: San Andreas was/is so much better than the original GTA: more and varied vehicles, much larger game scope, much better storyline, etc. Certainly there are bad sequals, but none of the ones you've mentioned are them.
    • by DocBoss ( 956304 )
      Baldur's gate was crap, Baldur's Gate 2 was a masterpiece.
    • PGR & GTA (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Intellectual Elitist ( 706889 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @08:53PM (#16315029)
      > Project Gotham Racing 2 was "eh" after the original

      That's funny -- I thought PGR1 was "eh" after the actual original, Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast. [wikipedia.org]

      > And who thought San Andreas was so much better than Vice City, or even the "original" GTA3.

      I certainly did, and I've been playing the GTA games since the demo of GTA1 first came out.

      I think your PGR flub betrays what's actually going on here -- people are usually fondest of whichever game in a series they're exposed to first, unless a sequel really hits the ball out of the park. It's an emotional response, not a rational one. And you have to realize that each sequel is going to be someone's first exposure to a series, so the whole argument is kind of a non-starter.
      • I think your PGR flub betrays what's actually going on here -- people are usually fondest of whichever game in a series they're exposed to first, unless a sequel really hits the ball out of the park. It's an emotional response, not a rational one.

        I think a great example of this is with the ever popular Final Fantasy VII game. It was the first "FF" game for many folks, thanks to a huge advertising campaign by Square at the time. So, for all future FF games, FF7 has always been "the one" for these fanatics.


        • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
          I think it was something different, actually... FF7 was the first departure from the old FF structure. The 3d aspect helped a lot, but the battle system and Materia and many other factors made it quite a bit different from FF1-6. The whole game felt different.

          FF8 gets so much flack because all those tons of people that loved FF7 didn't want to see it change... And 8 was different yet. And 9 was more old-school, but with modern twists, so it was 'hated'. (I loved it.) FF10 continued the evolution from
        • Good call on that one. I started off on the original FF. And have played all of them but the MMO. The only games I didn't like were 8 and 10, I never got into 2. I think the 3D in 7 had a lot to do with why people liked it. But it also had an epic story. My favorite is 6. Followed by 4 and then 7. Never played PGR, but I like every installment of Gran Turismo better than the last. Though 5 looks like it will suck if they are going to nickle-and-dime me for tracks and cars. That and I won't buy a P
    • I'd have to say that Pikmin 2 was an improvement over the original.
    • Warcraft 1, Warcraft II, Warcraft III. Each improved upon the last and made the former seem limited and small in comparison.
    • "And who thought San Andreas was so much better than Vice City, or even the "original" GTA3."

      I thought San Andreas improved on GTA3 by leaps and bounds. The improvement from GTA3 to Vice City was not as evident but still noticable. Furthermore, the jump from GTA2 to GTA3 was monumental. I noticed that you didn't even mention that, which is quite telling about your argument.

      In making a case that sequels rarely improve on the originals, you ignore the case of GTA2 -> GTA3 because it was too dramatic a ch

    • Yeah, 2k3 sucked, but UT2k4 was better than either of the previous ones. More levels, return of the sniper rifle, a pile of new game modes, less gritty looking characters returning the original feel, clones of all your favourite UT99 levels, return of the much lamented Assult (this time with more balanced levels) and vehicles if you feel like playing them. I hated 2k3 but wouldn't dream of returning to UT after 2k4, I just hope that 2k7 is as good.

      As for San Andreas, you havn't played it much have you? On

    • (I'll bet you ten bucks you're a Halo fanboy taht crWhile you're making what in theory is a good point, I think you've made some really retarded game choices to make it with. EA sports series would have been a much better, and much more obvious, example of what you're trying to get at. The same game with with a slightly altered title and a few tiny extras. It's a problem for sure but at the end of the day it's only stupid people that get suckered in to purchasing the new 'update' for the full price.

      But w
      • Damnit someone talked to me when I was writing that comment right at the start and when I came back I forgot to finish it before posting. I was going to say that I'll be that, regardless of all your going on about games that you claim hardly changed you probably love Halo and thought that Halo 2 was totally innovative and the best thing since sliced bread. Or something. But yeah, I fucked that up, eh.

        Sometimes a leopard can change it's spots, but it's still worth two in the bush
    • >>And who thought San Andreas was so much better than Vice City, or even the "original" GTA3.

      I thought San Andreas was much better than Vice City and GTA3. But I think that's the exception that proves the rule... ;-D

      Most 'sequels' are 'spiffier-looking' rehashes (Tony Hawk anyone?), if you dig the gameplay on the original, you'll likely pay for the spiffiness of the sequel.

      There are a lot of games that do this that aren't sequels. All those tactics games (Disgaea, La Pucelle, Phantom Brave, etc) are e
      • by ingvar ( 66436 )
        Well, now... There's been a few "game series" I have bought, having played the first game. Let's see...
        Jak & Daxter
        Liked the first a lot. Liked the second, but found the car-mission things annoying. Really liked the third. Second game is the worst.
        Ratchett & Clank
        Liked the first. Liked the second more. Liked the third one a lot. Only "gripe" I have with the third is that it feels comparatively "small", even though the rest of the game is good fun.
        Ape Escape
        Tried a demo on the PS1. Liked it
    • You must be too young to have played Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3. Talk about an amazing sequel. :)
  • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @08:13PM (#16314615) Homepage Journal
    Ever read a good book, then get to the end and wish you had more to read? If it's a series, you'll probably go pick up the next book in the series so you can get back to that same feeling of elation that the previous book brought you. If the book isn't a series, then you might look for more books by the same author in hopes that his other titles will be just as good.

    It's the same with video games. If a particular game brings you enjoyment, then you'll want more when you're done with the current one. A sequel provides a seemingly "safe" method of obtaining that enjoyment. Simply picking up a different title removes you from your comfort zone and exposes you to risk. Ergo, we try to minimize the number of new franchises we "get into". /End amatuer physcology
    • s/physcology/psychology/g
    • by Eideewt ( 603267 )
      Yup. I don't see why this is mysterious. Maybe I've played through (Thief | Commander Keen | Descent) so many times that I just can't stomach those same levels again for a while, but really wish I could keep playing. Sequels to the rescue!
    • There -are- ways to go over the top with this, though...

      Take for example Star Trek, which I think is probably a very good example.

      I loved the shows - all of them, to varying degrees, but loved them. I watched TNG because I watched the originals, DS9 because I watched TNG, and voyager because I watched TNG as well (Darn them for running two series at about the same time).

      I also watched Enterprise, but quite frankly that was a 'prequel' that just ruined a bunch of it.

      Now shock & horror... there are fanfi
    • You know, this is probably the reason that fan fiction is such a large phenomina these days. You get to revisit your favorite characters, in a myriad of situations.

      What would have happened if Harry Potter had known he was a wizard earlier?

      What was the final fate of Belgarion?

      And, of course, you get to see unplausible "crossovers" that are terribly popular when they are sanctioned.

      Eveyone loved seeing some of the Star Wars characters/actors on the muppets all those years ago.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We like sequels to software, everyone loves a new version unlike movies, a game can experiance a large amount of improvement or at the very least a continuation of gameplay that the user loved before.
  • Why can't game developers finish the story the first time around?
  • Whatever was wrong with the original, that got rushed through production, is probably sorted out by the time the sequel comes out.

    See: Oddworld's save system.
    • Oddworld's a bit of an anomaly though. Abe's Oddyssey was fun, atmospheric and original (smacking of Prince of Persia though it did), Abe's Exoddus was more of the same, with some coolness on top, so it supported the "we love sequels" theory.

      Then came the bloody third game with the psychic cripple toad, and they totally ditched the slick-platform style for some half-arsed semi-fps-puzzler. I couldn't bring myself to play more than a couple of hours before I wept bitterly into my shreddies.

      I believe there'

      • Abe's Exoddus was more of the same, with some coolness on top, so it supported the "we love sequels" theory.

        Then came the bloody third [...] and they totally ditched the slick-platform style

        I think this kinda proves my point. The second game was the same gameplay, but without the bad elements of the first.
        The third only kept the brand, the name and general look, and dropped all the gameplay!
        By that time, it's not a sequel, it's a franchise.
    • by aygh ( 122528 )
      Refinement is an important point that's often overlooked. There are way many more unknowns in the production of the original title that had to be sorted out and that lets the team focus more on what (they think) is important in the second instance. That doesn't mean sequels are bound to be better, but production is a lot easier, even with raised expectations and all.

      Sequels can propel all kinds of the game's aspects to new heights - the obvious example being GTA3. It wouldn't have been what it was if it had
  • by LordZardoz ( 155141 ) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:15PM (#16315215)
    People generally do not want original content in and of its self. Original content is good from time to time, but when people sit down for a few hours of hard core gaming, they dont necessarily want original content. They want good content.

    You dont need to make original games, just good ones, and unlike movies, games tend to improve from one sequel to the next.

    People will go for a sequel because if the original game was good, the sequel is usually at least as good, or close enough to it. Unlike movie sequels, games have more assets with which to appeal to their audience. Solid and engaging gameplay is more important than story content. The storyline for a sequel may not be as strong as the original, but most of the time the gameplay is intact. And if the gameplay is intact, it can deliver the same things that the first game did, but do so in new levels. Gameplay in sequels generally gets improved from one iteration to the next as well, since they have all the user input from the first game to fall back on. They can reduce or remove elements of the originals that did not appeal, and improve and build upon elements that did work.

    Now, not all videogame sequels are as good as their predecessors, but if the orignal was a 9 out of 10 game, the sequel is probably no worse than 7 out of 10 at the worst.

    • (Ok, *usually* don't get sequels :-)

      Sometimes a game that does ok has enough depth and playability to make a sequel out of it,
      and the authors can take the bits that worked and improve them, fix the stuff that didn't,
      and add enough new material to make it worth playing (even if that's only new dungeons
      to wander around in and different monsters to shoot.) Doesn't always work, but if there wasn't enough playability to make a sequel and the game tanked in the market, usually the authors will
      go out of business

  • I think it's similar to some advice I heard growing up about dating.

    It's always better to leave while their wanting more then give them more and make them wish you would leave. :)
  • I can't believe I haven't seen a single reply here talking about publishers.

    Publishers love sequels far more than your average gamer, because they're a safe investment. This is particularly telling nowadays, with the cost of game development going through the roof. I read a few years ago that one of the Final Fantasy games would need to sell nearly two million copies just to turn a profit; very few games have that kind of brand recognition.

    In fact, not many developers have that kind of brand recognition

    • by nologin ( 256407 )
      In general, publishers do like their sequels for the reasons stated above. Since they are dealing with a relatively known quantity of sales they can push by rehashing an idea or extending it somehow, it's like a guaranteed return on their investment.

      But it's not just that. We "seem" to prefer sequels becauses these sequels are continually pushed in our faces by their marketing/advertising firms and all the spin and hype that the publishers (and developers to some extent) build up leading to their next relea
  • I don't think it is quite as simple as it may seem with people being comfortable with the familiar idea.

    Yes the consumer may feel more inclined to by sequels but that is really only true for sequels of good games. A Bad game will cause the sequels to sell worse regardless of the quality of the sequel. This works in the reverse as well. When you see a sequel to a good game there is the general idea that the sequel will be around the same quality of its predecessor. How many people bought Tomorrow Never Dies
  • That's odd.....I think this is one of those rare submissions that would be a lot funnier if it WAS duped.
  • It is a simple equation; we get ourselves into the role. A sequel represents a way in which we are reincarnated is it were. I am a quake god again. I am an awp whore again. I am a wizard-warlock-gremlin again.

    When we play games, we are the persona or the avatar, we develop skills based around our experience. Unlike a movie, if we don't like the game, we aren't likely to finish playing it. When we love a game, we play it over and over and over, and experience it in different roles. That is something that mov
  • It's because we didn't get enough the first time around, obviously. This is the reason people get pissed off when a sequel drastically changes things. They were looking for that same experience, but wanted it to "happen all over again."
  • the sequels are better than the original.

    Two off the top of my head:

    Descent 1 and 2, IMO, the improvements were fantastic despite some wierd bugs that
    were patched quickly. The weapons, the AI, the game play were all improved.
    D3 rolled around and the Grfx were fantastic, and the play was excellent still.

    Max Payne 1 and 2: Good story, good action and neat gimmics and 2 made it even more
    thrilling. Improved bullet-time, fantastic play and effects of two made me wish to
    play the first under the MP2 engine.

    • "Descent 1 and 2, IMO, the improvements were fantastic despite some wierd bugs that
      were patched quickly. The weapons, the AI, the game play were all improved.
      D3 rolled around and the Grfx were fantastic, and the play was excellent still."

      And this is where we'll have to part ways! Descent 3 bombed financially, whereas D1 and D2 did not. So to say D3 was better then Descent 2 is obviously at least partly incorrect. In fact I loved descent 2 to death, I played the think religiously over Kali even when frien
    • Half Life. You know it's true. (Episode One aside - I've yet to play them)
  • Why do we like sequels and franchises so much? It's the content, stupid!

    Sometimes its because we really enjoy the story and characters, and want to see it continue (see the Halo, Metal Gear Solid games, among many others). Often it's because we really like that particular brand of gameplay, whether it be sports (see Madden) or a brawler (see Smash Bros), or kart racing (see Mario Kart). And often its because we really like the way a particular developer makes a game (see Final Fantasy or Grand Theft Auto, b
  • Or do we just get more excited about them?

    We're still at a point where there are very few developers in the business where plenty of people will run out and get the latest game from them due to the name. Even the really big ones like Miyamoto didn't see first week sales for a new 'original' title like Pikmin when you look at what the Nth Mario or Zelda achieves.

    So unless a game looks REALLY pretty, or someone has an absolutely killer license (which is hardly a sign of originality either), to get the marketi
    • by l0cust ( 992700 )
      I think its a mixture of both. We do get more easily excited about names we are familiar with than the prospect of experimenting with something we know nothing about. But then there is the aspect of 'belonging' which comes into play too. We will be biased towards a particular sequel if the orginal game really clicked for us - meaning we are more inclined to forgive its minor weaknesses and screw-ups than say a new game with similar problems for which we usually tear it down to shreds. Thus the factor of act
  • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <grumbel+slashdot@gmail.com> on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:15AM (#16317993) Homepage

    The reason that sequels sell is simple, people already know them, so its easy to market them. Saying to the customer "more of the same" gives him a idea of what the sequel will offer. With a new game on the other side the marketing department has to start from zero, explain the world, the gameplay, the genre and what not to the consumer, a heck a lot more work then just saying "more of the same". This can also be seen by non-sequels, for examples Assassin's Creed, while its an original game, every interview basically starts with "From the creators of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time...", which is really not so different from saying "more of the same", they simply build up on the fame of the past, with true sequels that is of course even easier.

    In the end I don't think that consumers want sequels, it simply happens that marketing makes it easier to buy sequels then original games. There are of course a few exceptions, when the story isn't done and there is still something to be told or when the original game simply was to short to take advantange of the full potential of the game mechanics or when the technology has advanced so much that a reinterpretation of the original game is worth the try (PrinceOfPersia, Mario, etc.). For most part I would however say that non-sequels are prefered, however what I want and what I buy don't have to be the same things in the end, thanks to marketing and a bunch of other influences.

  • by Bones3D_mac ( 324952 ) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @04:18AM (#16318009)
    Aside from story-related stuff, a game sequel would be better described simply as a software upgrade. Generally speaking, most sequels do exactly the same thing other software upgrades do:

      - correct bugs
      - improve the user interface
      - adds more options

    Actually, the line between console games and software has already started to blur. if you look at some of the games already out for the Xbox 360, you can perform minor upgrades of your own choosing with them, adding new characters, models, weapons and textures from a growing list of options available via Xbox Live. Future titles will eventually allow you to gradually add entirely new levels/worlds to explore, instead of making you wait a year for a simple repackaging of the same game engine with different data included on the disc.

    Of course, this could eventually backfire on the end user, where if you "buy" a game from a store, it's only the game engine with a couple token levels packaged in with it, requiring you to download the rest of the game from the internet in small chunks at a collectively higher price. There's talk that the next Gran Turismo title for the PS3 will actually do just that... requiring you to purchase each car or track separately.
  • Well, I would have to echo the thoughts of some of the other comments but not the article.

    I hate and detest sequals for all they are worth. Why can't people just leave a good game alone rather than trying to constantly cash in on the name? Rarely does a sequel come out better than the original unless the original was obviously lacking (i.e. pushed out before it was finished). Video game sequels may be slightly better than movie sequels (which, again, are on the whole quite terrible with only a few minor
    • by DeeDob ( 966086 )
      Just a note. Quake and Quake 2 are not sequels but in name only.

      The developpers have said that they wanted Quake 2 to be a different name than "Quake" but had trouble finding one at the last minute before a public game show (E3? can't remember which one). All the titles they wanted to use were already taken or could cause problems in court after they reserched them. At the last minute they stapled "Quake 2" on it just so it could have a title.

      The stories are completely different.
      Quake 3 is also an off-serie
  • I don't think it's so much that we, as gamers, have a 'love affair' with sequels, it's that the publishers do, and we usually accept it or benefit from it.

    Sequels are cheaper to make, as they require less story development and can reuse textures and code from the old games, assuming it's on the same console. Even if it's not the same console, it's still less work in the end, and thus is cheaper.

    So we wind up with GTA4, or a GTA clone, instead of some new type of game. Is GTA4 necessarily bad? Is the GTA clo
    • This is absolutely correct. People don't prefer sequels in the least, it's simply all we're giving. Companies are afraid to produce brand new content so they march out tired retreads year after year, and consumers keep the cycle going by buying them. Of course they're buying them because they have no other choices besides not buying anything, so since they sell companies make more of the same, and it continues on.
  • The author mentioned his incredulity that Final Fantasy is on XII. While this is *technically* true, I feel it necessary to point out that A: the very nature of Final Fantasy does not lend itself to sequels the way that games such as Halo, Half-Life, or Elder Scrolls, or even Fable do. Well, you can have "sequels" (FFVII: Dirge of Cerberus, FFX-2) but they really don't turn out very well (I've not played DoS, or FFVII even, but FFX2 sucked so hard it made Albuquerque windy for a couple days when I bought
  • I hate to be the mom bursting in the room when all this mental masturbation is going on, but maybe it's as simple as "hey, I had fun with the original."

    Now continue spooging up the internet.
  • One common thread that I'm reading is that while the sequel, by itself, isn't necessarily a good thing, it often represents a refinement of the ideas presented in the original game. For example, Max Payne gave us a successful third-person shooter (at the time, a rarity outside of certain adventure games and niche games that required melee combat) with the slow-motion "bullet time" along with a film noir story; Max Payne 2 refined the ideas presented in Max Payne 1, both in terms of gameplay and developing
  • It's movies, too; both the people who make the movies and the people who see the movies like sequels because they know what to expect. Some of it is also complacency; We elect the incumbent back to the house or senate something like 95% of the time even though all of us complain about what our government is doing.

  • "What's this 'we' shit, white man?"

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"