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Josh Smith, AKA "Sm1tty Sm1t" is a Gaming/Tech Writer, podcast host, father, husband and heir to the Kardashian fortune. You can follow him on Twitter @Sm1ttySm1t or check out his podcast at PressAtoListen.com

January 5, 2016 – They’re getting remakes wrong

The most direct way I can say it is simply that I’m sick and tired of all the game remakes. We’re in the infancy of this generation of consoles, yet we’re seeing games re-released from last generation at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, my opinion clearly isn’t shared by the masses, because the games are selling reasonably well. That’s the only explanation I can make about why it’s still happening: the publishers are still making money.

It’s not that they’re poorly made, nor does it have anything to do with the games themselves — they’re mostly popular games that are deserving of being remembered. It’s just that it’s too soon. And to get a little deeper, I think that issue extends beyond gaming and is rooted within society itself. Everybody is in such a hurry to “look back fondly” on something that they were able to experience when the subject was new because people want to feel special. It happens a lot in professional sports too.

And I know that I sound like a hypocrite here. After all, I’ve published dozens of “Bring it Back” articles at a number of sites — Loot Crate & KmartGamer to name a couple. I want to be clear: I am not against game remakes. But there’s a time and a place, like with everything in life.

We’re all excited about the Final Fantasy VII remake that’s (allegedly) releasing, but can you imagine a world where FF7 was remade within four or five years of release? Sure, it got a PC port, but that’s entirely different. Here we are though, nearly 25% through the life expectancy of this console generation and we’ve got no new Borderlands, no sequel to State of DecaySleeping Dogs is dormant, and many of us are aching for a new jaunt through the tunnels of Metro. But there’s nothing new for us, instead we’re actively cheering about the fact that we get to stomp through the same levels and experiencing the same stories that we just had, and we’re spending an extra $40-$60 to do it.

metro

I’m disappointed, but I can’t really blame anybody. It’s not the consumer’s fault. Who the hell am I to tell someone what they should or shouldn’t be spending their own money on? It’s not the developer’s fault. A publisher says, “Make this and we’ll give you money.” And it’s not the publisher’s fault. The video game industry is a business and investors need to see a return on their money. The less risk the better for them.

Developers have it rough though, so my issue is that while a game is being remade with better resolution and framerate — the extent of most of these “upgrades” — they’re not able to put resources or attention on creating something new, whether it’s in the universe of an established game or not. And that’s upsetting.

There should be a 10-year delay before a game is remade. If there’s such an outcry for a particular game or universe, make a sequel. I’m not talking about a game like Tomb Raider, where it was “remade,” but in an entirely new way. That franchise was handled wonderfully by Crystal Dynamics and here’s hoping other developers notice.

A common theme you’ll see as I start putting my thoughts here more consistently is that “We speak with our wallets.” I’ve not been excited or in support of all these remakes, so I haven’t purchased them. Full disclosure, many of them I have requested for review, but only for the sake of content — remember, I have a responsibility to the sites and their readers more than to my own ideals.

I also understand that these games are selling millions of copies and I’m only a small voice squeaking amidst the thunderous roar of impressive sales. I get it, I’m probably wrong, but that doesn’t stop me from expressing my discontent. Negativity isn’t something I like to embrace, but I wanted my first post to be about something that we can all relate to.

We’ve all noticed the trend. But for a community that comes down so hard on games with annual releases, why are we so willing to accept the same games so soon after their initial release?

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