Author Topic: Are franchises such a new thing?  (Read 1884 times)

Offline TL

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Are franchises such a new thing?
« on: April 13, 2013, 15:12:05 PM »
There has been so much talk over franchises in modern gaming and how they have taken over. Many people view them as evil and something that is killing the games industry. But haven't they always been there? Let's look back in time to the early 80's and we have one of the very first examples of a franchise:


Offline dougtitchmarsh

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 16:28:16 PM »
Could Pong be considered a franchise with all the versions it spawned for various TV games (Binatone etc.) with their variations on the theme?

Space Invaders, with the Deluxe versions and updates every few years. Then Pacman has to be included with Pacman Jr. Ms. Pacman etc.
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Offline TL

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 16:31:10 PM »
Quote from: "dougtitchmarsh"
Could Pong be considered a franchise with all the versions it spawned for various TV games (Binatone etc.) with their variations on the theme?

Space Invaders, with the Deluxe versions and updates every few years. Then Pacman has to be included with Pacman Jr. Ms. Pacman etc.

Pong - not really, there were just lots of clones.

Space Invaders got lots of updates so just flogging the same horse. The Pac-Man games have to be among the first to be considered definitely.

Offline tomwaits

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 16:40:09 PM »
There's nothing new about franchises or mascots, but for me there's a big difference between most retro franchises and modern franchises. DK, DK Jr, and DK3 are VERY different games with VERY different gameplay styles. If you showed screenshots of the last 5 CoD games it would take a hardcore modern gamer to tell them apart.



EDIT: Oops... just noticed the questions below the screenshots... I'd say Space Invaders or Pac-Man both qualify as pre-DK franchises. They're both gaming icons that have had plenty of quality games with a variety of gaming styles over the years. For recent consoles, Space Invaders might be the most consistent in quality of all the early retro franchises. Space Invaders Get Even, Space Invaders Extreme 1 & 2, and Space Invaders Infinity Gene are all quality shmups with completely different gameplay.

Offline Shadowrunner

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2013, 17:51:24 PM »
Well considering he's in Donkey Kong and still going strong today I think you have to add Mario, even if he was called Jump Man at first.

Offline TL

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2013, 18:40:40 PM »
Quote from: "tomwaits"
There's nothing new about franchises or mascots, but for me there's a big difference between most retro franchises and modern franchises. DK, DK Jr, and DK3 are VERY different games with VERY different gameplay styles. If you showed screenshots of the last 5 CoD games it would take a hardcore modern gamer to tell them apart.

EDIT: Oops... just noticed the questions below the screenshots... I'd say Space Invaders or Pac-Man both qualify as pre-DK franchises. They're both gaming icons that have had plenty of quality games with a variety of gaming styles over the years. For recent consoles, Space Invaders might be the most consistent in quality of all the early retro franchises. Space Invaders Get Even, Space Invaders Extreme 1 & 2, and Space Invaders Infinity Gene are all quality shmups with completely different gameplay.

I totally agree Tom and the modern franchises are certainly a very different thing to the ones of old. The games often varied much more and often followed much more original concepts too. There is no doubt that many of the modern franchises are stifling creativity and originality in gaming and the negative viewpoint of them is often warranted. But I have seen people say that franchises are some kind of recent "trend" in gaming when in fact they have always been around as we have already alluded to with titles like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong.

The modern franchises like Call Of Duty, Need For Speed, Fifa, Halo and Grand Theft Auto are talked about constantly on the internet so I thought it would be great to talk about some of the original franchises in gaming for once. It's also very interesting that the 3 big ones we have picked out so far are ALL still going to today in one form or another. Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong are still just as well known today as they were in 1980  :16:

Offline dougtitchmarsh

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2013, 19:16:18 PM »
I wonder how much of the "same game rehashed" in modern games comes down to how much we all used to moan when something in a game changed in days of yore. Also todays youth seem to have a much shorter attention span than I remember me and my mates having, so if they had to spend time learning something new each time how many modern younger gamers would keep buying games?
Another thing which strikes me is how eager game companies are to sue each other, so trying to come up with something new which doesn't borrow from somewhere else must be getting difficult. In the early days we are discussing everything was new and there seemed to be less concerns over intellectual property so more people would make clones or change something slightly but still borrow heavily so franchises could differ more for each successive game.
Well it's an opinion anyway...
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Offline TrekMD

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2013, 03:57:57 AM »
I think the franchises may be perceived as killing the gaming industry because, as doug noted, many of these games are rehashes of the same concept.  If you look at the DK games from the 80's, they retain the characters but change the formula enough to be successful.  That doesn't always work though.  A perfect example is Super Pac-Man, which changed the formula so much that many people hated it. 

Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline nakamura

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2013, 12:19:03 PM »
Franchises are always tricky to get right I guess. It's successful for a reason and if you make changes you risk alienating fans but if you don't you get called lazy. Fifa for example cannot change because it's a sport but even then, each year EA to add a lot to the game.

As for old ones, games might have varied more because it was a more experimental time in gaming. The industry was so new and it had so many avenues to explore. Current gen games feel like they have nowhere to go. Also I still feel they are going backwards at the same time when you factor in things like automated platforming and button icons appearing above a character to execute a move EVERYTIME.

Offline dougtitchmarsh

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 17:29:27 PM »
If we want to go further back then Franchises were around long before video games, take the Spaghetti Western films of the 1960's as an example. And you can keep going back to the silent comedy era, surely Charlie Chaplin and the Laurel and Hardy film series were examples of franchises.
Back to video games, could SpaceWar be considered a franchise as it went from one iteration to the next spawning extra features as it progressed?
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Offline TL

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2013, 14:29:33 PM »
This has to be one of the best examples from the early days, Atari's Sprint series:


Sprint 2 - 1976Sprint 4 - 1977


Super Sprint - 1986Championship Sprint - 1987


Sprint Master - 1988Badlands - 1989

Offline Bobinator

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 17:06:39 PM »
If there's anything I'd say is a franchise that got milked entirely too hard, it's Dizzy. I mean, speaking as somebody who was never really a fan, it's kind of ridiculous. We're talking nine different platformers in just five years, none of which really deviated from the basic formula besides adding a health bar at some point. Not to mention all the spin-offs, for that matter.

So, no. Franchises are not a new thing. Not even remotely.

Offline TL

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 22:09:21 PM »
Dizzy is definitely a good shout!

I was just looking at the list of games:

Core GamesSpin-Off Games

These are games which feature Dizzy but have puzzle or action oriented gameplay which is substantially different from that of the main series.

Fast Food - 1987
Kwik Snax - 1990
Dizzy Panic! - 1990
Bubble Dizzy - 1990
Dizzy Down the Rapids - 1991
Go! Dizzy Go! - 1992

Offline TL

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Re: Are franchises such a new thing?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2013, 22:59:19 PM »
They are not all well known but there were quite a few Galaxian games:


Galaxian - 1979Galaga - 1981
 

Gaplus - 1984Galaga '88 - 1987
Galaxian 3 - 1990