5 Franchises That Got Beaten Like a Dead Horse in 2011
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Don’t worry, they said. It’ll be different this time, they said. Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games even combined forces to create this year’s installment of the incredibly, stupidly popular Modern Warfare franchise. Activision started a whole new studio just to build an online stats-tracking and filled it with content, then started charging people for premium access. They even put on the (admittedly for charity, which was cool) Call of Duty XP fan event in California, complete with Modern Warfare 2 maps rendered in reality for people to run paintball games on.
It’s fair to say we got enough f–king Call of Duty this year, I’d say.
Of course, Call of Duty is the Madden NFL of the shooter/action/blockbuster game world, and Modern Warfare 3 made $1 billion in 16 days after its release. That’s a stupid amount of money, and it all but guarantees that we’ll be inundated with more Call of Duty hype and nonsense, as well as a barely iterated version of the title, come November 2012. But for once, just once, it’d be nice for a little time to go by without a Call of Duty title so we can learn to appreciate it. After all, we could only pound Guitar Hero into the ground for so many years before it stopped getting back up again.
3. Capcom Games
“Hey, you know what we should do?” a nameless Capcom executive hypothetically said to himself one day while reclining in an office chair in a Japanese office. Presumably he said it in Japanese. “We should make slightly altered versions of franchises that people like and repackage them as full games. Fans will totally love to pay for the same game again despite having just played those same games less than a year ago.”
And so Capcom went forth and released Dead Rising 2: Off The Record — basically a reskinned version of Dead Rising 2, but with a different protagonist — and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, a new $40 version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, but with a few additional characters. And the fans were angry.
Then Capcom rolled out new editions of its old Resident Evil franchises in HD versions, spreading them to the four corners of the consoleverse as downloadable titles of games we’ve played before. And they were nice, but they weren’t new. They were old. In fact, wherever Capcom could, it released new versions of old games — even on the iPhone, with Street Fighter IV: Volt and Devil May Cry 4 Refrain.
Yes, refrain, Capcom. Both “to repeat” and “to desist.” Refrain from further refrains, please.