The landscape of the video game world is one of near constant change; genres come into popularity just as quickly as they fade back into obscurity. In an industry where change is almost always the only constant, a few select franchises have managed to beat the odds and succeed based solely off of their ability to continually be repetitive.
While a lack of innovation can often be the downfall of many great titles, the four franchises listed below are known not only for having tons of games in their rosters, but also for continually releasing titles that are largely the same year after year.
Nintendo has always been known for their heavy hitting franchises and countless titles released featuring their flagship characters. The storied Pokémon series is no exception, and in many ways the best example of a repetitive franchise.
For over a decade, Pokémon titles have stayed largely the same. Starting from the original 151 catchable pocket monsters, the series has expanded to include hundreds upon hundreds more creatures all while staying decidedly similar with each iteration.
While Pokémon’s most passionate of fans may cry foul at claims of repetition, the game’s formula is stone cold proof. Players always take on the role of a youngster tasked with cataloging and catching the creatures that inhabit the various tall grasses throughout the land. New areas are included with each new generation, but Pokémon’s formula never really breaks from the mold of catching, battling, and thwarting the plans of semi-nefarious organization.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise has seen an overwhelming amount of releases since the first game hit shelves in 2007.
The Assassin’s Creed formula has proved to be remarkably successful; however this success has led to a serious lack of innovation titles. Ubisoft continually pumps out new Assassin’s Creed titles with a fresh coat of pain and a new protagonist, while never really bothering to add much else in terms of new gameplay elements.
Call of Duty:
Call of Duty, thanks to its addictive multiplayer and cinematic campaign, has long been the king of the first person shooters. Millions of gamers anxiously await the now yearly release of a new Call of Duty title, playing online for hundreds of hours without a second thought.
Similar to the approach of Assassin’s Creed formula, Call of Duty is a prime example of shirking innovation in favor of placating the masses. Each new Call of Duty title promises new features and a larger experience, but looking past these claims exposes a franchise rife with stagnation.
Call of Duty does manage to successfully incorporate a new feature every so often, but otherwise plays almost exactly the same year after year. Of course, sales numbers don’t lie – so it is safe to say that Call of Duty will continue its repetitive releases while Activision laughs all the way to the bank.
Dynasty Warriors is perhaps the best example of a repetitive franchise. With the exception of the PS1 Dynasty Warriors, each subsequent release has followed the same exact formula year after year.
Dynasty Warriors quickly found its niche in terms of bringing gamers exactly what they want with each and every new game – hacking, slashing, and leading historical Chinese dynasties to victory.
The battles may have gotten larger and new generals may have been added, but each Dynasty Warriors title is an unabashedly rehash of the last. Luckily, the series is remarkably addictive and fans seem to be content with repetition when it comes to conquering feudal China.
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