Do You Want Your Favorite Franchise To Practice "Annualization?"
"Annualization" is a big trend these days. For those who don't know, it's when a publisher releases a new entry in the same franchise each year.
Obviously, Madden and other sports titles have been doing this for a very long time, but this generation, we've started to see the trend hit the biggest franchises in the industry. This includes Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, and the ill-fated Guitar Hero (for a while, anyway). Now, there's no doubt that AC is a fantastic franchise and ACIII will likely be a Game of the Year contender. But most gamers - and some developers - have spoken out against annualization, as it obviously doesn't give designers enough time.
Of course, ACIII has apparently been in development for three years, and each CoD might take around two years, as Infinity Ward and Treyarch trade off. But as name-brand recognition becomes more and more important to the mainstream, you can bet that game makers will continue to try to pump out more titles in their most successful franchises. Most are against the idea, but here's the question: Take your favorite game series and ask yourself if you wouldn't want to see a new entry each and every year. Would you really be against it? Or would you be willing to put up with some small sacrifices in terms of innovation and progression to get a (mostly) new adventure every year?
Personally, I'll take the break. I never wanted a new Final Fantasy each and every year. It did me good to know that Square was working hard and long on the new installment. And by the way, this era of instant gratification has generated legions of deprived individuals who don't know the pleasure of waiting for something. You know the old saying, "The anticipation of getting something is often better than actually getting it."
4/15/2012 9:11:21 PM Ben Dutka