Now, before I start this article, I would like to point out that I have in fact purchased one HD remake, or shall we say remastered game. And that was Resident Evil 4. The only reason I chose to do this was due to losing my original copy and not wanting to fork out all that money for a game I had previously owned. It seems like the entertainment industry just seems hellbent on repeatedly monetizing the same branches of video games. Think about it this way: If you kept reheating a leftover meal over and over again, it would keep tasting worse, right?
An Effective Moneymaker? Y'Think?
Every producer and gaming company seems to be working from the same moneymaking playbook at the moment. What's the easiest way of making money? Recreate something that was successful in the past. The ability to create new and effective ideas seems lost, and creators have an ever-growing reliance on bringing up something created previously, rather than taking the time and effort to create an entirely new story. You can see why. People loose their mind when a fresh remake is announced, because that's what we're familiar with. It seems new and exciting, when in fact it's exactly what we've seen before, just now it's got a shiny new look to it and seems less clunky. We get excited, we buy the game, and then quickly realize it's all stuff we already knew.
You can say that the remakes are for those who have never experienced the games previously. But the overwhelming sense of buying a game for the nostalgia seems to be the determining factor as to why these remakes make so much moola. Also, there's the argument about what can be considered a remake. You can sometimes purchase an HD collection for the same price as a HD remake. With the collections, you get multiple titles that have had the frame rate and graphics improved, instead of paying as much as $70 just for one single game that you have played through previously.
The money aspect is a strong component of why these remakes happen. The Last Of Us is a prime example of that. The game received an HD remake for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, despite being on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for less than two years. Naughty Dog saw how successful its game had been and likely thought, "Hey, here's a way we can essentially print our own money, release the game again!"
Maybe some of the games were saving content for these releases. Grand Theft Auto V gave us the first-person mode and seemed to run a lot smoother, with less bugs and glitches. Grand Theft Auto also had new music, new freaks and strangers, new missions, and new cars. Why was this not in the last release? Why do we have to part with our cash once again just to access this, when it could have easily been added to the original?
So What's The Alternative?
It seemed the norm for the remakes to appear in time for the release of a new console. It ushered in the dawning of a new era of gaming and brought some nostalgia along for the ride. These remakes can take up valuable time and effort within a game creation studio. Imagine if this time and effort were poured into making original content and new storylines? Think about how many The Last of Us-type games could be made and how revolutionary they could be.
The argument deepens when you realize all this could be solved by making the consoles themselves backwards compatible. I mean, all they seem to be improving is the graphics. The gameplay rarely changes at all. Maybe it's worth making the consoles more expensive so we can avoid creating all these needless games. Maybe make the consoles $140 more expensive? Think about it logically: That's two games. The cost of two games could maybe make all the consoles backwards compatible.
I suppose we have to accept this will become a part of the world of gaming now.
What do think about this culture of game remakes? Tell me in the comments section below.