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Should classic franchises be allowed to die? [roundtable]
 
Jeremy Parrish has an interesting blog post at USGamer.net covering a topic I've discussed a few times on this site in the past: Classic video game franchises and the default assumption that they should continue in perpetuity. He makes an argument similar to one I've made. Namely, a series doesn't have to keep going on and on forever. Those that have run their course should be fondly remembered, replayed and recommended to newcomers, sure, but don't need to be kept alive with new installments just for the sake of it.

He mentions the likes of Mega Man, Castlevania, and even Metroid as beloved series that he wouldn't mind being put out to pasture. That doesn't mean that what makes these games great needs to die as well. Games like Mighty No. 9 will continue the spirit of Mega Man, games like Axium Verge will continue the spirit of Metroid. But the characters and worlds of those games don't need to continue.

As you may have guessed, I agree full-heartedly. I want a new Metroid game from Nintendo as much as the next guy, but I want it because I like the way Nintendo makes those kinds of games, not because I need more adventures from Samus in her iconic ship. If Nintendo released something like Shadow Complex would the new style and setting make it less of a game? As Parrish says, it might make it even better because the developers will be free to break the mold of a franchise's staples in a way that they wouldn't feel comfortable in making a new Metroid game.

From Nintendo's perspective, I understand why they are quick to slap one of their IPs onto most of their new games. Brand recognition is important and all things created equal, Mario Paint Attack would likely outperform Splatoon. So I don't think we'll actually see franchises that are still money makers like Mario disappearing anytime soon. But a series like Metroid which was never a blockbuster and has had recent flops? It's a possibility (although I think they probably realize that a new Metroid can rejuvenate their base in a way that makes it worthwhile even if the sales aren't overwhelmingly strong).

I understand it from a fan's perspective, as well, but in the end I think it's coddling. Consumers these days seem to want to be kept in an artificial childhood. They want everything from their formative years to remain forever so that they don't have to deal with the brutal reality that time passes, we get older, things change and people die. This might make people feel more content in a world that forces you to reckon with these realities in plenty of ways outside of media, but I think it ultimately lessens what we can get out of our interaction with art and media. It might seem trivial, but I think forcing gamers to cope with the fact that Samus has blasted Ridley away for the last time would do them some good. At the very least, I think fans need to come to terms with the idea that Nintendo doesn't owe it to them to keep these series running and that they are not entitled to a new Metroid game every generation.

What do you guys think? How would you feel if Nintendo officially signaled the end of some of their long lasting franchises? Should Mario and Zelda games keep coming out long after Miyamoto is dead and gone? Are there any series which you would rather see call it a day than continue on their current trajectory? Bonus Question: Does Seasons 11-30 of the Simpsons diminish what made the first third of the series great?

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Posted: 04/11/15, 05:24:44  - Edited by 
 on: 04/11/15, 05:27:20
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@Jargon For some reason it was just yesterday that I discovered that Splatoon is an internal Nintendo product. I was assuming it was some 3rd party thing they were funding just because it's Splatoon and not like... Mario Paintball or whatever. It's so rare to see them just make a brand new IP like this. At least, in the "action / adventure" type games.
Posted: 04/12/15, 02:16:55
It's crazy to think that there was a time when new IP was typical... like, almost all of the great Nintendo franchises were created in a ten year span. It sure would be nice if games weren't so expensive to develop and publishers could take the risk of launching a bunch of new character IP again like they used to.

As to whether a franchise should be "allowed" to die, sure. It's inevitable. While people are still interested, I see no reason why to purposefully kill something though. Despite my complaints, I also think the sequel problem is less of an issue with videogames than it is with other mediums, because there are only so many basic genres anyway, and the gameplay and design itself matters much more than the stories, characters, etc. Nintendo could release another platformer with a new character in Mario's place, but if the gameplay elements make sense with Mario anyway, then does it really matter?
Posted: 04/12/15, 12:06:58
Jargon said:
@deathly_hallows
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the guys at Nintendo would really prefer to be allowed to make their own thing with their own characters and worlds rather than having everything shoehorned into games that some old guys made up 25 years ago.
There is nothing mutually exclusive about making new IPs and continuing Metroid.

Look I think it's great that Parish and a bunch of y'all have decided to take a big shit on Metroid and say the the only reason people like it because of Nostalgia and that any new game is better simply because it's new, but I find it really ironic that it's Metroid that has become the punching bag for this anti-nostalgia-old-franchise-should-die movement, when there have only been 11 Metroid games total, compared to literally hundreds of Mario games, maybe even thousands.

So is this really about old franchise must go to unshackle the poor devs who hate working on them, or is this just about shitting on Metroid because of the circle-jerk-over-hype media frenzy over Axiom Verge? Which I actually liked when playing but am beginning to hate due to the over-hype. For one thing, the game is just fucking ugly, the dude who made it is a great programmer no doubt, but he can't draw, everything is a shitty imitation of something done better in another game, and it's all drab and gray and just playing boring to look at it. Compared to the incredible art and design and color in a Metroid games it's simply laughable that this is the new poster child for killing a franchise that it's ripping off in a blatant manner.

EDIT: this article honestly upsets me, I'm really kind of baffled that people dislike Metroid this much.
Posted: 04/13/15, 01:31:22  - Edited by 
 on: 04/13/15, 01:42:58
@deathly_hallows

That's not ironic and you have serious reading comprehension problems.
Posted: 04/13/15, 01:50:55
@Jargon
You have problems with constantly insulting people in every thread, don't you know any other way to communicate?

If don't see a strong anti-Metroid sentiment running through this entire conversation then I'm not sure what to say, and it's not just Parish, this conversation has popped up in other places too, all centered around Axiom Verge as the second coming or something.

In theory, should a franchise that has become stale and run it's course, be allowed to die? Sure. But leave Metroid alone, it's far from running it's course, and Axiom Verge proves nothing in terms of it's viability as a world or a universe in which to have new games. It's dead anyway if you haven't noticed.
Posted: 04/13/15, 02:11:02
@deathly_hallows

Actually I'm only insulting you. That's because you're worthy of insult and because your inability to address the ideas actually presented is insulting to me. Take your grudge against Axium Verge elsewhere.
Posted: 04/13/15, 02:14:44
@Jargon
So you've never made personal insults to other users of this board?

Also, I don't have a grudge against Axiom Verge, I'm playing it right now, would have played it a lot more if it wasn't for it coming out right after Bloodborne. I just don't think Axiom Verge is better than Metroid, Metroid II, Metroid 3, or Metroid 4 and means Metroid should die as a franchise. Maybe by the time I'm done I'll have changed my tune, but right now... nah. Axiom is a cool indie game, very impressive for the work of one dude, an obvious love-letter to Metroid which is cool, but not better than Metroid, and not a replacement for Metroid.

God forbid I have an opinion that's different from the great Jeremy Parish.
Posted: 04/13/15, 02:36:52  - Edited by 
 on: 04/13/15, 02:38:23
@deathly_hallows

You can have whatever opinion you want, but you can't insert nefarious ulterior motives into other people's opinions without evidence and expect to be taken seriously.

deathly_hallows said:

Look I think it's great that Parish and a bunch of y'all have decided to take a big shit on Metroid and say the the only reason people like it because of Nostalgia and that any new game is better simply because it's new

Are you really surprised when you write this that I'm going to push back and even insult you? I mean, it's a ridiculous, childish statement that deserves nothing but scorn. I'd give you the benefit of the doubt if this was your first time completely misconstruing what was being said, but sadly that's not the case.

Is it that hard to understand that you can love something and still be OK with it ending? Everything and everyone you love will someday die, buddy. You're going to have to come to terms with that.

I can just imagine if we had these groups on the internet when JRR Tolkien died. So what, they'd say. We need more Lord of the Rings books forever!
Posted: 04/13/15, 02:44:52  - Edited by 
 on: 04/13/15, 02:47:08
@Jargon
Go back and read everything I've written. I'm not saying franchises shouldn't end, I'm saying that IN MY OPINION METROID has not run it's course.

Mega Man, sure, die. Mario, sure, die. Pokemon, die. Smash Bros. Die already. But Metroid is too good. Other franchises simply aren't that good.

Sure, Prime 3 was utter garbage, Other M was... not really that great (but not for lack of ideas, IMO, for just having some bad ideas about how to interject story and some weird gameplay/controls choices). But Metroid, Metroid II: The Return of Samus, Metroid 3: Super Metroid, and Metroid 4: Metroid Fusion, are all stellar masterpieces, without equal. The lack of a proper Metroid 5 is a crime against humanity. That is my opinion and I guarantee you nothing anyone can say could ever change that.

So, it's great you agree with Parish, I don't, you think it's okay to insult me and treat me with scorn because I disagree with you but I don't care.

METROID IS AWESOME. full stop. If I deserve to be hated for having that opinion then hate me. Am I being emotional about this subject and not cool, calm, and objective? You bet.
Posted: 04/13/15, 03:00:53  - Edited by 
 on: 04/13/15, 03:03:15
@deathly_hallows

You're also saying that people are taking a shit on Metroid despite the fact that everyone who has said that they wouldn't mind if the series was brought to an end obviously loves Metroid. If you think Jeremy Parrish and I don't love the Metroid franchise then you're completely unfamiliar with our tastes. And no one said that the only reason people like Metroid is nostalgia. Am I supposed to be fine with you putting words in my mouth and distorting my argument beyond recognition?

I have no issue with anyone thinking that Metroid is a great franchise that should have more sequels. I might think that myself. But you can make that argument without inventing hate and derision on the other side to replace the respect and admiration that actually exists.
Posted: 04/13/15, 03:07:27
Be nice people.
Posted: 04/13/15, 03:10:09
Jargon said:
@deathly_hallows
You're also saying that people are taking a shit on Metroid despite the fact that everyone who has said that they wouldn't mind if the series was brought to an end obviously loves Metroid.
Yeah not seeing that so much, sorry. That article does not come off to me as in any way showing love or respect for Metroid, in fact it shows that he doesn't get what makes Metroid special at all, he just looks at them as pure mechanics, not as art, he doesn't appreciate how the 2-D Metroid games are staggering artistic achievements without equal. To him Axiom is just as good, because the mechanics are sound, is a very cold and mathematical way to look at things. Like you could just replace you wife with another female because the anatomy is the same. Whelp she's got a uterus, just as good.

I'm not disagreeing with his theory, in fact I think it's so obvious that it goes without saying, but Metroid is not a great example of a franchise that's run it's course and has no room for new ideas, or new stories. If you feel that way fine, but I will never, ever, in a million years agree with that.

@Zero
METROID 5 forever.

Posted: 04/13/15, 03:17:45  - Edited by 
 on: 04/13/15, 03:34:56
@deathly_hallows

Are you going to seriously argue that Jeremy Parish doesn't love Metroid? How'sthis, this,this, and this as evidence otherwise? Should I keep going?

And you also said that people here were shitting on Metroid. That's got to be about me since I'm the only one who could even possibly be considered to be advocating for its end as a series. So do I hate Metroid? Let's go to the source. What do you have to say Jargon?

I love Metroid.

Oh, weird. Sounds like anyone who says Jargon doesn't love Metroid is talking out of his ass.
Posted: 04/13/15, 03:33:56
@Jargon
So you love Super Metroid, Metroid 3. What about Metroid 4? What is it about Metroid 4 that says to you "this franchise is the prime example of a classic franchise that needs to die"?
Posted: 04/13/15, 03:42:27
@deathly_hallows

First, I never said Metroid needs to die.

Second, Metroid Fusion is very good and I'd be happy if Nintendo made a new 2D Metroid that was as good as Metroid Fusion. It wouldn't blow my mind but I'd be happy to play it.

But if Sakamoto doesn't feel inspired to make another 2D Metroid, why should he make one? He doesn't owe it to his fans and if he was making a game out of obligation, it probably wouldn't be as good as it could be anyway.

And I don't see why the series needs to keep going if Sakamoto moves on. If other people at Nintendo want to continue the series, that's fine, but I it's not imperative to my love for Nintendo as a company. It'd be cool to see what Nintendo could do with a fresh take on the Metroid formula with a new setting and characters.

Nowhere have I said Metroid must die or even that I wouldn't want a new Metroid game. All I'm saying is that fans constantly craving new entries in every classic series can do more harm than good.
Posted: 04/13/15, 03:56:40
@Jargon
I think everyone is making a lot of assumptions about what is going on behind the scenes at Nintendo. I'm assuming the creatives at the company would love to make a new Metroid game, but the money people don't want to because they've calculated that other franchise like Donkey Kong sells more copies. It seems like the other assumption is poor old tired Sakamoto is all out of ideas and just wants to lay down and die but the "fans" who are nothing more than mindless slaves to nostalgia want to force him to make another game against his will.

I don't know if either of those cases are close to the truth. It's hard for me to believe that no one in the company cares about Metroid and that there aren't younger designers who'd jump at the chance to either continue the series, but what do I know?

All I know is that I feel like Metroid is the black-sheep. People love Mario, keep that guy around, people love Kirby, no talk of killing off the little pink roundy guy. Yoshi, cool. DK? All good.

But Samus? Meh. Let her die, good riddance. Make me sad.
Posted: 04/13/15, 04:18:16  - Edited by 
 on: 04/13/15, 04:21:50
@deathly_hallows

You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of Indiana Jones than me. Was I wrong for not wanting Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to be made? Am I wrong to not want a fifth in the series? Am I shitting on Indiana Jones by wanting to remember the original trilogy in all its glory?
Posted: 04/13/15, 04:21:17
@Jargon

I'm so jonesing for a Super Metroid experience that I wish I could search Steam or the eShop for the word "metroid-esque" and it would pull any games up that ever came close to it.
Posted: 04/13/15, 04:30:26
@Jargon
I don't know, I don't really give a crap about Indiana Jones, but as a Stars Wars fan I'm hella excited about the new movies, I can't think of a good reason for not wanting them to be made... it's an awesome universe with endless potential. Even if they end up sucking so what? Let the new generation of filmmakers have a try.

Is that why you don't want a new Metroid, it might suck? Who cares? Metroid Prime 3 was an abomination in my opinion, and it didn't ruin my love for the first 2 games, and it wouldn't even ruin my excitement about a Metroid Prime 4 (although they'd need to seriously break away from what I think to be a very tired formula and try something new).

@DrFinkelstein
Did you play Guacamelee?
Posted: 04/13/15, 04:32:53  - Edited by 
 on: 04/13/15, 04:34:16
@deathly_hallows

Sure did. Beat it fully (sans the bonus challenges I didn't need for the final orb). Great game.
Posted: 04/13/15, 04:56:35
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