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.

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13 Comments on 5 Franchises That Got Beaten Like a Dead Horse in 2011

Mike Roch

On December 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm

you! Assassans creed is the best series since pacman!(also epic game) Ubisoft knows exactly where theyre going with the story! Vengence is the answer! And while i have not yet played revelations, i di know this: no matter how many times you add onto q story as complex as this, you have to k ow where youre going with it or the story stops making sence, and i fully understand it! So you! No one gives a about your personal opinion, because youre a dumb ass who doesnt know what the hes tslking about!

Phil Hornshaw

On December 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm


Um, in this conversation, it sounds like of the two of us, I’m the ONLY one who knows what he’s talking about, since I did play Revelations (as well as every other Assassin’s Creed game) and you didn’t. So by definition, you don’t know what Revelations is like or whether anything I say is valid or not.

Feel free to come back and berate me once you’ve actually played the game we’re discussing.


On December 16, 2011 at 2:18 am

Mr. Hornshaw, your articles make me laugh out loud.

Thank you and Sincerly,


On December 16, 2011 at 6:12 am


You might make a more coherent argument if you left out the swearing, ad hominem attacks, learned to spell and stopped ending every sentence with an exclamation mark.


On December 16, 2011 at 7:15 am


I can’t find the link now but it was just a few days ago that Ubisoft openly admitted that they are going NOWHERE with the story. They have NO end planned out.


On December 16, 2011 at 8:12 am

4. Should have also been EA and Battlefield 3 as well, for beating out 16 namesake tiles/expansions in the last 9 years. And besides its become practically a COD shooter now anyways.


On December 16, 2011 at 8:30 am

@Mark LOL assasin creed the best since pacman ? i think u forgot a billion games that are better then both pac man and assasin creed, Owned noob


On December 16, 2011 at 9:15 am

Man, truly, your post sucks ass. It is true that COD is just the same game, but why the hell include Skyrim? It is basically a new game altogether, and is much better than Oblivion.

Phil Hornshaw

On December 16, 2011 at 9:25 am


Aww, thanks, dude. Much appreciated.


Did you, uh, even read the part about Skyrim? It’s not about the game at all. It’s about the Internet memes — about fans overusing them to the point of making them annoying. Remember “The cake is a lie?” Now we have that with “Arrow to the knee,” taking a funny thing and rendering it totally annoying.

You know you can read a thing before you comment on it, right?

Phil Hornshaw

On December 16, 2011 at 9:26 am


Oh, and in regards to Skyrim being a “new game altogether,” in the words of the immortal Mitch Hedberg, “Uh…no it ain’t.”


On December 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Great article. I also find the angry responses even the more hilarious due to their obvious lack of reading skills (maybe they didn’t even read it at all). I think my biggest issue with the AC games is the fact they admitted they don’t have an ending. It’s one thing to start a story not knowing exactly how it ends, but once you get half way through, you should have some idea. I don’t even know if you can call something a story that has no intended ending.

Hell, The Never Ending Story, even had an ending.


On December 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Liked the article. Your comparison with AC and Lost was right on. (still a fan of AC though.)
@Mike Roch
You do know that Pacman hasn’t changed its game play either. this guy probably noobe tubes

Red Menace

On December 18, 2011 at 12:12 am

“I’m often asked if we’re doing a third game after ACII… I mean, we could do 35 of these,” he told Xbox World 360.

And they’re trying.