There are thousands of game developers in the world and even more games that have been developed, especially for this console generation alone. With so many ideas and talent, you’d think it would be fairly easy to come across new and successful IPs and franchises on a fairly consistent basis – but that simply is not the case.
Not only are several gaming franchises releasing on yearly schedule now (and I don’t just mean sports games either) but many of them are uninspired and don’t seem to offer anything new or innovative to the industry any longer.
When I say that they need to die, I mean it. Not a reboot, not an overhaul and not a spinoff; they need to die – cease to exist. Each of my choices will be explained well and offer more than just my personal opinion on the franchise, but also explain how it’s good for the industry and how it benefits the developer/publisher specifically.
I’m sure many of you will disagree with my picks and probably have several great ideas of your own, but these are my choices for eight gaming franchises that need to die.
8) Medal of Honor
Call of Duty isn’t going anywhere (even if it should, as I will state later in this list) and its #1 competitor is clearly Battlefield now. Medal of Honor, you used to be loved and you’ve been great to us over the years, but seriously, just look around you. After the disappointing attempt at redemption with Warfighter and the lackluster previous game just titled Medal of Honor, you’ve worn out your welcome.
Think of it this way – Medal of Honor has always been an influential series in gaming. It debuted back in 1999 on the original PlayStation and has seen numerous releases ever since. Some have been great, others good and a few more downright bad. EA would be better served focusing all of their efforts on the Battlefield franchise, making it the best that it can be and just letting Medal of Honor die a quiet death – it deserves at least that much respect.
7) Sonic the Hedgehog
What if I told you that, back in the 90s, Mario and Sonic were in a brutal competition that spanned an entire console generation? What if I told you that, kids these days don’t even know the term “rivalry” when it comes to video games? Not only was it an intense battle between the two biggest gaming mascots, but it was a close one, too. Sonic and the Genesis actually came out on top for a while, but in the end Nintendo’s plumber flushed him down the toilet.
I’m not saying that Sonic doesn’t deserve fandom and recognition, he does, several of his games are among the best platformers gaming has ever seen since his original debut on the Genesis back in 1991. However, when was the last time you just had to play a new Sonic game? When was the last time Sonic contributed anything innovative or meaningful to the gaming industry? Some of his games might still be fun today (Generations and Colors were both reasonably fun experiences) but he just isn’t needed or wanted anymore. Sega would be much better off publishing titles that actually pushed the industry forward, not ones that cling to things in the past or worse, make us look at Sonic’s outcast ensemble of “friends.”
6) Call of Duty
No matter what I or anyone else says, it’s likely not going to change anything. Call of Duty has taken over this console generation with a firm grip at the top of the pile and shows no signs of slowing down. Critics and other gamers like me be damned, as Activision sees no reason to change their recipe built for success. Consider these paragraphs here my plea to them, then, my plea to realize what they are doing and what they are justifying.
Not only do they release 1+ (Blops 2 and Declassified last year) Call of Duty game every single year, but you would be hard pressed to notice many differences, if any, between the entries. If they want people to continue playing and actually be impressed, why not offer something new? Why not create a unique experience? I understand that they are making a ton of money right now, but all franchises like this eventually hit a brick ceiling that prevents them progressing any further and they ultimately collapse. It’s going great now, but unless they constantly think of how to evolve at the same time, they’re going to lose one of their key cash-makers.
5) Gears of War
Think of something that’s synonymous with the Xbox…Halo, right? Correct. Now think of something else that is an Xbox exclusive…Gears right? Correct. Now, Gears has amassed a ton of fans and is definitely a great asset for Microsoft to have moving forward, but what else can it truly offer? Shooting disgusting Locust hordes while crouched behind conveniently placed chest-high barriers is a lot of fun, in this and several other series this generation.
The base trilogy was one of the defining franchises for the Xbox 360 and the final installment went out with a glorious bang as the strongest game thus far, but with Judgement already coming out so soon – what exactly are they planning to do? This story is a spin-off tale with characters that gamers don’t really care that much about and to make matters even worse, Cliffy B isn’t even with Epic anymore. Do they honestly intend on continuing the franchise past this point without the father of it all? While they could clearly milk it a bit longer, out of respect and for the sake of industry innovation, I’d like to see the Gears franchise just put to rest.
4) Assassin’s Creed
Along with Call of Duty, I’m sure you’re not surprised to see this on the list either. Ubisoft has made it their mission to feed us 1+ Assassin’s Creed game a year for the past few years and it’s really done nothing other than rid the series of not only its charm, but innovation. Look at the difference between Assassin’s Creed 1 and 2, it’s a major leap. There were years between those two games which built up not only excitement and anticipation, but time for innovation and new ideas coming to fruition. To this day, few would argue that Assassin’s Creed II is not the best entry in the series, and there have been four since then.
Ubisoft is almost afraid to let the public savor a single game for too long nowadays. Before Assassin’s Creed III even released there were promotions and advertisements for the first piece of DLC…and the game wasn’t even out yet! These weren’t leaks pieces of information either, no, Ubisoft was doing this promotion themselves. Now it’s been out for a handful of months and they’ve already announced another game in the franchise. Seriously? Give it a rest, please.
3) God of War
Kratos has been iconic with the Sony brand ever since his debut back on the PlayStation 2 in 2005. His journey to the top of the Sony brand has been almost parallel with his journey to the top in his several games, but there is just nothing left of this story to tell. We know his origin, we know his entire journey, we’ve had prequels and fill-in-the-middle-pieces games and now with Ascension we are getting a sort of almost origin story that doesn’t tell us any new information at all really. Kratos, along with Dante from Devil May Cry, largely helped define the 3D action-adventure genre and I thank him for that…but it’s time to move on.
Sony Santa Monica Studios are a talented bunch of people. God of War III, even though it came out years ago, is still one of the best looking games on the PS3 and features some of the most engaging and intense battles of all-time. Kratos’ story is literally legendary and I don’t take any of that away from him, but there’s nowhere left to go but down. SSM should lay him to rest while he’s on top and move onto another IP. I would love to see these talented developers create another iconic character and even in a different genre. With Ascension filling in non-existent blanks and adding on multiplayer, I fear that we have seen all that Kratos truly has to offer to the industry. He should not be missed, and never forgotten.
Pokemon has been around for a long, long time. Gamers still haven’t even gotten all the things they’ve been wishing for, but at this point, you’d be better off hoping for a Jade Empire 2 instead of a Pokemon MMO or a fully 3D console game. I’m not going to lie though, Pokemon was a huge part of my childhood and was one of the first RPGs that I ever played. I have deep nostalgic ties to the original generation of critters and it will stay that way for the rest of my life, but enough is enough at a certain point.
There are more iterations of the games than I can count, Nintendo still forces dual-releases on us (although I refuse to believe that is in any way at all necessary anymore) and have shown little to no change or innovation over the years. Before you get my flamethrower out, however, hear me out. What real innovation have you seen? You can feed them candy, they can hold stuff now, they have dual battles but…really? I mean, seriously? I’d venture to say that Call of Duty has shown more innovation and change, in half the time, than Pokemon has over the years.
1) 2D Mario Platformers
This is easily the most blasphemous of my choices and I apologize for that, but someone has to say it. If you just choose to open your mind and think about this reasonably, you will know what I say to be true. Look at, let’s say, Super Mario World. Now look at, let’s say, New Super Mario Bros. Wii U. Notice any similarities? If your answer was: “they’re basically the same game,” then yeah, you’d be right. Sure, they’ve added coop now and a few other tweaks here and there, but we’ve been playing the same 2D sidescrolling Mario games forever.
I specify just the 2D platformers because, to this day, every 3D Mario game has really blown me away. Each game seems to offer some type of huge change in the way you play the game, so I’d be crazy to want that to die. The 2D platformers on the other hand…well, let’s just say once you’ve played one, you’ve basically played them all.
Honorable Mentions: Every other military shooter franchise ever.
I have a dream, of a world where game developers are constantly innovating and thinking of new ideas. I have a dream, of a world where gamers speak with their wallets and stop buying rehashed and recycled ideas. I have a dream, that one day, we can look at store shelves and see first-person shooters sitting side-by-side that are all based in different settings, with unique characters and engaging gameplay mechanics. I have a dream…
Maybe one day some of these dreams will come true, but alas, today is not that day. Some of these choices sadden me to say, but it’s how I see it. If we want the gaming industry to evolve, it has to usher in change. While these franchises have given us tons of great moment over the years, nothing is truly meant to last forever. Please, take a moment of silence for our dearly departed franchises of gaming’s past.
Once the moment of silence is over, please comment down below and let us know your picks for franchises that you want to see take a bow and exit the world of gaming.