Should Games Start Taking Risks?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Ryukouki, Dec 9, 2013.


Should video game developers continue taking the safe road and rehash old ideas in new forms?

  1. Yes

    25 vote(s)
  2. No

    58 vote(s)
  1. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    Over the years, we as gamers have seen the development and regression of video gaming franchises. Some franchises can hardly get off the ground, while others just skyrocket in terms of popularity. I find that a lot of these popular franchises get themselves to the top, and then they just plateau and stop progressing. I like to see games develop as a series, rather than make a quick buck from already being famous. What I would like to explore is simply whether or not it is the right way to go, making a quick and easy buck. Is it sometimes better to just bite the bullet and take a risk?​
    We can easily open up with the Mario franchise. Having come out with a new title for the Wii U; it sold well, but from what I have heard from friends and the media, it felt like more of the same old thing, with Nintendo playing it safe and opting to make that quick buck. We can say the same about the newest Pokemon X and Y titles, which generated great sales, but felt like more of the same and, in my opinion, even taking several steps backwards. The same thing happens with popular shooting games for other consoles. They sell fantastically well, but in the end, the formula has not changed, save for fancier graphics and slightly modified features. ​
    Something I was thinking about exploring, and had some agreement with friends with, was the idea of "scrapping" current franchises and starting from scratch, taking the franchises back to their roots, back to its drawing board. Let's face it, we're never going to get a game like Zelda II again, are we? I still very much admire that title because it was something so new considering previous and later titles. If these franchises were in a way, "scrapped," where could they go to? What new ideas could happen that would change the way these franchises play out? ​
    What would happen though if a franchise decided to take their game and go in another direction, and fail? One case that I observed this happening in was The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, for the Nintendo 3DS. This game was a sequel to the highly popular The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and one of the major changes of the game involved removing the linear component of the title, allowing free exploration into dungeon choices and item progression. For me, this particular goal failed because it removed the often rewarding feel of dungeons, the staple to the games, and exploration, instead opting to give the player the power to own the entire inventory early into the game, often reducing dungeon rewards to rupees only. On a personal level, with a slight admittance to being blinded by nostalgia, I found that the game failed to live up to its predecessor, although I do admire Nintendo's boldness in attempting to take the game in a new direction. What I say technically does not matter as the game still sold well, and many fans praised the title. Which goes back to my main point, I would like to see developers trying new things, even if it takes a few stumbles. ​
    Interestingly enough, the removal of the linearity of the title killed the game for me!
    This is interesting to me, though. Could it also be that we as gamers, having grown older and more experienced, are just not seeing it anymore? Is it that when we find games too easy, it's due to the developers not trying anymore? Or is it that we have just become experienced enough to note the patterns? Have we become so jaded that it would take a huge shock for us to realize that the franchise is changing? For me, I would like to see what the middle ground is for developers to create something new for their respective franchises. If it involves scrapping the fundamental basis of their franchise, I would applaud it as I like seeing these risks as they happen, although this is most likely suicide on the developer's part. ​
    I'm being a bit wordy again, and I'll close it off. If you are just scrolling to this portion (you know who you are!), the idea I want to explore is seeing developers taking risks in making changes to their franchise's fundamental elements. Would it be more profitable to take that chance and risk hurting the devoted fans, or would it be better to take the safe, current road? Chime off in a comment below, and remember, keep it clean. ​
  2. Costello

    Costello Headmaster

    Oct 24, 2002
    Some games such as GTA V just go for "bigger, better, longer", and they sell really well and get positive critics.
    For me gaming has become more about story telling; there's not much more to offer in terms of gameplay.
    I like a good game with cutscenes, an actual scenario, and nice graphics, I think the perfect embodiment for that is what Rockstar offers (Red Dead Redemption, LA Noire, GTA V... these are among my all time favorite games)

    As I was saying when it comes to gameplay I think over the years we've explored most of what can be done with gamepads, the next evolution would be virtual headsets with movement recognition (something like the occulus rift, but pushed even further) or similar concepts.
  3. gamefan5

    gamefan5 Kid Icarus Uprising connoiseur

    Aug 29, 2010
    Somewhere in this Earth
    Removing the game's linearity for zelda LBW allowed for much more freedom.
    Ahh and I loved every second of it.
    Linearity works, but it also proves that non linear works as well for the classic zelda formula and I am hoping that they include it in the next 3D installment.
    Suicide likes this.

    GHANMI GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jun 10, 2012
    Check Marvelous for the Super Famicom (the first one from the three -or five if you include the rebranded spiritual sucessors Tetra Trackers and Tingle DS 2- has an incomplete fan-translation) to have an idea what a Zelda game after taking risks would look like. It's sad they don't really do bold experiments like this (Doshin, Giftpia, Cubivore, Chibi-Robo, Mole Mania..) that much nowadays.
    Suicide likes this.
  5. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    Sure, but most mainstream, AAA developers aren't going to do that because AAA games are multi-million dollar investments that need to recoup a lot of money before they can even hope to turn a profit. The problem with experiments is that there's no guarantee they'll succeed. Middle of the road is always a safer bet, and the stockholders aren't going to be too happy to hear you're throwing their money around on what may be a complete dead end. They change and improve over time, sure, but mostly with baby steps, not giant leaps.

    That's not to say that AAA games can't be good (please, I'm not that much of a hipster), but if you want giant risks and huge gambles, you're better off turning to the indie scene. Indie developers have a lot more freedom to experiment; by being low budget, they can afford to be weird.
  6. XDel

    XDel Author of the Alien Breed Odamex Projekt.

    Jul 25, 2012
    United States
    I dunno, maybe I'm just a Nintendo Fanboy, but I happen to have loved the new Mario and it felt very fresh to me, while bringing back a lot of elements lost from sequels from long ago. It's a cheap gimmick I guess? Rehashing the same old formula but adding a unique little twist to each one...
    ...but it takes careful hands to make that concept work and for Nintendo, at least for most Nintendo fans I presume, they deliver. Guess a lot of it once again is a matter of opinion.
  7. anhminh

    anhminh Pirate since 2010

    Sep 30, 2010
    Actually they do try to take the new road, it just not as success as main series ever were.
    Just look at the spin-off of Mario and Pokemon like Mario Super Star Saga and Pokemon Dungeon. They have try to go a different route with the main series, but none of them can be as success as main series. This make the development wonder are their risk worth it?
    zero2exe and Ryukouki like this.
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    At this point people are often inclined to compare it to the film world. There places there which are inclined to occasionally do things for some artistic merit rather than outright profits, being so close to the main awards show for games ( ) this is probably somewhat poignant, where there is not so much of this elsewhere.

    Of course the film world engages in some remarkably creative accounting (indeed going so far as to have what is basically a synonym named for the it in "Hollywood accounting") so that might not be the most apt comparison. However at least some of that is a "pay it forward" approach to things. On the other hand names are a thing in the film world where game world seems far less concerned with such practices (pushing it I might be able to name 30 people responsible for games at all levels, I could probably name 30 film composers/scorers with relative ease and for the record I am the kind of person that does not even know the names of people in bands I like).

    On the other hand everything (games and otherwise) might be more stale but maybe through a combo of knowing games more and knowing basic theory as far as storytelling goes with games barely attempting to go beyond that makes it more noticeable.
    Ryukouki likes this.
  9. DinohScene

    DinohScene Feed Dino to the Sharks

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    Oct 11, 2011
    В небо
    AAA titles wil allways sell no matter what.
    First party Ninty titles for example.
    COD series being another example.

    I'll just mainly stick with the game series that aren't released one year after the last installment.
    And the lesser titles.
    Ryukouki likes this.
  10. WhiteMaze

    WhiteMaze GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jun 16, 2013
    A real shame so few game developers think like this topic's creator.

    A real real shame.

    For me, I've grown tired of playing the same old Call of Duty: PTSD, Super Mario World 5000 and Halo: Master Chef Returns.

    Been losing my interest in video-games because of this sole reason. Whatever happened to things like "The Last of Us?" That was a gem in it's own way, among so many other games for numerous platforms.

    But nooooo. I keep getting shoved in the face with the same crap, all over again.
    B.B.Link likes this.
  11. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey

    Are people nostalgic for games that came out this year already?

    Good grief, it's like r/gaming on steroids.
  12. WhiteMaze

    WhiteMaze GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jun 16, 2013
    Just something that came to mind. I could recall many others.
  13. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    Still, it's kind of silly to go "People don't make games like this anymore!" when they literally just did.
  14. kakashi919

    kakashi919 GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 1, 2009
    I have to admit,I've found myself running back to the old JRPGs these days to get my gaming fix. Though, I started Dark Souls the other day and have been hooked trying to get somewhere. I'll use Demon Souls/Dark Souls as developers taking a risk,simply because the gaming scene has changed. A lot of developers are targeting the casual crowd in recent years. But they made this game so difficult it forces you to spend a lot of time with it.
    I would love to see a new Metroid in classic side scrolling gameplay. (Fusion 2 please?:P ) Not a very huge risk, but I think it's a start to going back to it's roots.
    Ryukouki likes this.
  15. Transdude1996

    Transdude1996 GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 28, 2011
    United States
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I'll just leave this here:

  16. stanleyopar2000

    stanleyopar2000 The Official GBATEMP Thread Killer. No Mercy.

    Jun 22, 2007
    United States
    I think after so many goddamn stale DS games..Pokemon X and Y changed things enough to get me interested back in the series....and believe me..I swore to never pick up a copy of pokemon again after the staleness of Platinum pissed me off
  17. Youkai

    Youkai Demon

    Jul 1, 2004
    Germany , NRW
    don't change something that is working just fine !
    I agree that changes can be very good and can change anything to something better BUT why change something that works ... I have seen many great games becoming garbage because the developer thought they do something awesome ....

    good or better bad examples are Simon the Sorcerer 3D, Gothic 3 and HoMM4+ ... ...
  18. JPhantom

    JPhantom GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 12, 2009
    United States
    in all honesty they can think up new characters for a lot less risk then changing fundamental aspects of a series. if the team behind a AAA title wants to experiment with something different they make a new series instead of risking the big money by changing the cash cows. this has the added benefit of being able to see how the series fares on its own as opposed to just hearing the voices of overly conspicuous fanboys
  19. Hells Malice

    Hells Malice Are you a bully?

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    Apr 9, 2009
    I like when a franchise takes risks, but it still has to remain that game.
    A Link Between Worlds is damn fun. I hated the idea at first that dungeons wont have proper loot, but in the end I was really enjoying having the freedom to use the items I wanted, when I wanted. But I think it was a little poorly implemented...but hey, they have to start somewhere. I think it was a valiant attempt and the game was still really good. It just really needed a bit more content. I think it would have been fine to add more interesting and "neat" but not essential to progress items in dungeons too, or item upgrades or what have you outside of the miamai or whatever upgrades.

    Mario Party on the other hand, changed things and basically ruined what the game was about. It's total trash and unless it reverts, the series is officially dead to me. They went too far in the wrong direction and I bet they lost a lot of previous fans because of it.

    Some games like Dark Souls really don't NEED to take risks. You can have "more of the same" but with entirely new content, and it's fun again. There doesn't need to be broad sweeping changes for a title like this, as long as there's new items, new land, new bosses, etc, it retains it's funness. I think it'd lose itself if they tried to take any real risks with the game, and there's no really too many directions it could go anyway.
    _acid_ and Ryukouki like this.
  20. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Addict

    May 5, 2013
    United States
    the problem is that developers dump too much money into games to be able to afford to take risks. If their expensive AAA title flops, they might be filing for bankruptcy. If you want games that take a risk, you mostly have to look to smaller developers that aren't going to spend so much money that they can't afford to try something new.