Video Games That Cross Multimedia Boundaries
Over the years, video game publishers and developers have focused their efforts on constructing products that sell well. Marketability always drives sales as consumers that find a series they like tend to flock to the sequels and/or prequels that follow each installment. Here are some examples of a few games that have shifted from their source roots or have expanded into full feature films.
Series such as Resident Evil is a franchise that has flourished over the years. I remember when the first installment was released on the PlayStation console and the game defined the survival horror genre. I was hooked on survival horror because of the enticing allure of fear that messes with the player’s mind. But look at the Resident Evil series now.
The sixth installment is on the rise along with the recent release of the newer Resident Evil movie. It seems that if publishers and developers discover a product that sells well upon its first release, then the companies will capitalize on it. Does this add value to the successful series? Or does it actually make it less appealing?
Final Fantasy is a long-standing RPG franchise that has withstood the odds and spawned multiple sequels, prequels, and movie/anime adaptations. But I feel that Final Fantasy has lost its luster, so to speak. Final Fantasy XIV had to be revamped because of the lack of appeal from its first attempt. When I first saw Final Fantasy XIII, I was wowed by the graphics, but there was a lack of nostalgia and a feeling that made me think that what I was seeing was not a Final Fantasy game.
In comparisons to earlier Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy XIII surprised fans with breathtaking graphics, but there were some musical nuances from the past that were lacking. The series has advanced in its evolutionary stage of development (game mechanics, graphics, etc.) to compete with today’s technology.
Rumors have circulated about the possibility of a Final Fantasy VII remake on a next-gen console. Is this another sign of expanding the series to reach a broader audience? Or is it to showcase a profit from a classic that could revitalize the franchise? It certainly seems plausible that the different variations of Final Fantasy titles across multiple platforms serve as the answer to both questions.
Final Fantasy is not the only series that has crossed multimedia boundaries. Silent Hill is another franchise that I loved when I was younger. However, the original developers, Team Silent, have long been absent from the series and titles such as Silent Hill 4: The Room turned me off because of the awkward game mechanics and change of scenery.
Although, what I do find interesting is Silent Hill is coming to Universal Studios in mid-September as the studios main Haunted House attraction. Silent Hill: Revelations, the second live action movie, is going to be released in October and Silent Hill fans alike will flock to the psychological horror film adaptation to the third game in the series.
Devil May Cry
Another series that has received high marks is the Devil May Cry franchise. Devil May Cry has recently received a reboot to offer a structured cohesive storyline that the third game introduced in the series called, Devil May Cry: Dante’s Awakening. I think reboot decisions by developers is a nice step in acquiring a new fan base and rekindling a player’s passion for a series. The rebooting process allows creators more creativity to explore more areas to the game’s universe and improve on mechanics that were originally introduced. If the reboot bodes well, then the company has a new successful title to market and expand onto other media outlets.
The list can go on and on for various series making the jump from a console to the big screen. Some publishers experience a hit or miss with some titles, but the multimedia marketing of selling a series tends to work in the publishers favor. Companies know that diehard fans of certain series will lineup at stores to pick up the newest release. But the company’s pursuit of an extra dollar could lessen the impact of a novelty game’s first release by hashing out more and more of the same game just different packaging.
It is the consumer’s choice of making and breaking a series.
But I will say this. Where is the sequel to Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem?
What other video games, or franchises have you seen completely shift directions?