: Do Failed Sequels, Reboots, Remakes, and Movies 'Ruin' a Game?

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Do Failed Sequels, Reboots, Remakes, and Movies 'Ruin' a Game?

Simply thinking about the myriad of issues surrounding our hobby means making connections.

Anybody else love Dumb and Dumber? That's where this origin story begins. While in the process of getting to know a young lady we both found that our favorite comedy of all time was Dumb and Dumber. When I asked the next logical question and it was answered I was once agrain struck by a common theme among gamers.

“Have you seen the sequel?”

“No, I didn't want to ruin it.”

So the question that arises even when we aren't talking explicitly about it is: do bad, sub par, or fan hated entries in game franchises actually “ruin” certain games or franchises? On the face of things I should think that no, they don't. The Dumb and Dumber sequel was funny but it certainly failed to reach the classic status heights and pop culture magic of its predecessor but I did laugh and it was nice to see two great characters back in action. Sticking to movies for a moment, when the likes of Tomb Raider, Hitman, and even Mortal Kombat came out they were considered pretty good films from the video game adaptation standpoint. Not all fared so. Look at Dead or Alive, or Super Mario Bros. Not great stuff, but did they “ruin” those games? No, they really just ruined a fantastic opportunity.

We Sony fans were all worried about casting and directing decisions for an Uncharted film because we didn't want the darn thing ruined. Were we really worried they would make a bad film or that it could besmirch the reputation of a generation and genre-defining franchise? I think we get over films more easily because they are easy to write off as having been put together by formulas from Hollywood rather than artists seeking freedom to tell their digital interactive stories. It could be different with games but I'm not sure. No sensible person can say that Final Fantasy hasn't been ruined as a franchise. The evidence that backs that up is self explanatory and I don't need to go into it here. However, will a very different version of Final Fantasy VII in its remake actually ruin the legendary status of the property should it be bad or disliked by fans? I'd like to say no, it is extra and thus you don't have to play it.

Gamers are fond of telling us fans to shut up and go play our old JRPGs. Well, we'd kind of like to experience new things too ya know? Destroying an opportunity to reignite the world's interest in a play style that shouldn't have been abandoned may truly besmirch the original.

Star Wars was said to be ruined by its prequels. It isn't as though that universe died though. If the dream of a true FFVII remake doesn't work out we will still have the good old days. An actual, more classic, high scoring and selling Final Fantasy of any kind should be able to un-ruin the franchise in my mind. And a new interpretation of FFVII shouldn't have much say in the spot for Final Fantasy VII as the best game in history.

That isn't the end of it though, what about franchises like Devil May Cry? I loved the reboot and the old games and I see a path forward for it. For fans though, that reboot which was critically acclaimed but a failure by sales and fan standards, could well be franchise ruining. We still don't know where the property will go next. Do they pretend the game didn't happen? In that case fans are going to be slow to forgive even with a great new entry and an old Dante. If it moves forward with Ninja Theory's vision then the chances of it ever getting back its fans or sales numbers are almost zilch. That could be considered the ruination of a franchise in the long run.

So I put the question to you all: does, when, can, and how will an unwanted entry be it game, spinoff, reboot, remake, or movie, actually ruin a game or property? If something is being ruined then what is it? A concept in our minds, a piece of nostalgia, or nothing at all?

1/30/2016 David D. Nelson

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (8 posts)

Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 1:50:06 PM

Another thing to consider I could have mentioned are bizarre business decisions. Could keeping Tomb Raider away from the vast majority of fans for a year ruin a franchise. Could putting a franchise on a console where its fan base doesn't lie ruin it? (Bayonaise 2) That kind of thing.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/31/2016 1:50:29 PM

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Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 2:55:33 PM

For me i view any game, movie, reboot or book as a moment in time. I don't look down or think any differently when something new enters the canon be it good or bad. I guess in a way i am just simply optimistic on things that are to come, and overall i believe society is the same.

Just look at some of your examples Star Wars, Final Fantasy, Super Mario and Mortal Combat they still exist and in a way have just as many if not more fans than ever. So i think society is far more forgiving then it appears to be. Even when the bad entries happen it can still be a good thing. As the core fans flip out they are so vocal that they spark interest in others who had no previous interest before that, creating new potential fans/customers. Its a cycle regardless of the good or bad and the creators can always win if they are careful on how much they invest into any given venture.

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Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 3:53:44 PM

Very thoughtful response thank you.

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Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 4:25:49 PM

Even if a bad sequel doesn't ruin the franchise, I'd say it certainly tarnishes its reputation, also of course making it less likely another sequel will be made/successful.

There are many movie examples of this. Aliens - The first two movies were great classics, but two bad sequels certainly tarnished the good name, and any chance of a good sequel after that.

The first Jurassic Park movie was a classic as well, but the bad to mediocre sequels also certainly affected the franchise & name. Terminator, same thing...

Doesn't mean I won't still hold the original entries in high regard, but it's impossible to ignore the bad sequels.

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mk ultra
Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 8:05:42 PM

Alien has another chance now with the new movie ignoring 3 and Resurrection.

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Monday, February 01, 2016 @ 4:02:06 PM

Yeah, at least it has Ridley Scott as director so that's something. Then again Prometheus was complete junk IMO so..

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mk ultra
Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 9:15:57 PM

I don't think a bad sequel can ruin the original work. It can I think destroy the franchise and any sequels moving forward though. I think the biggest mistake writers make with sequels is spelling out something that was left to your imagination in the original. No matter what they write, what you imagined was probably better.

Most of the franchises I've liked for a long time, I like because of the characters. So it's when writers do something that ruins the characters I love that really gets me.

Last edited by mk ultra on 1/31/2016 9:24:43 PM

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Monday, February 01, 2016 @ 4:02:09 PM

I think franchises can change. When a franchise changes, it can put the name at risk and potentially "ruin" it I guess.

But you're right. The old isn't gone. It's still there. That's more or less how I feel about the FFVII remake. I still have the original if the new one turns out sub-par. It's not going to be ruined.

What I do think can be ruined are continued stories. If you have a trilogy and the first two entries are phenominal, a terrible third entry can effectively "ruin" the experience for you by stopping it from being "complete".

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