I am a 28-year-old guy who plays video games on occasion. I'm a casual collector and own various games from the Atari 2600 to the current generation of game consoles. Nothing really on the "rare" side... unless you count owning about a dozen variations of Wheel of Fortune as "rare."
I write and review things on occasion. I occasionally write reviews of games, otherwise it's me ranting about gaming and the industry at large. Be forewarned: Expect loads of cynicism over gamers and some of the things they say. I hate fanboys and all the things they stand for. I also dislike arguments without facts to back them up. Otherwise I'm a nice guy unless you try to teabag me in a multiplayer game. Then I might not be so nice.
When not sporadically contributing opinions to Destructoid's community blogs, I write about gaming obscurities and oddities at You Found a Secret Area.
Oh boy, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has been leaked and announced to the world. The next riveting installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise, coming out later this year. We're not even six months past Assassin's Creed III's release and already we're gearing up for the fourth one. Not counting spinoffs on the handhelds anyway.
This is awesome for those who've conquered King Washington and tomahawked dudes in the snow a bunch. However, for people like me, this is bad news. You see, I'm not one to play games the day they come out. I can't always afford the $60 price tag, and even $40 can be a bitter pill to swallow. So I end up picking up the game a year or so down the line, usually for $20, and play it months later.
"I shall punish you for not being hyped for this! What do you mean you still haven't finished Assassin's Creed II?! That shit's old, dog!"
I didn't get into Assassin's Creed until I got my 360 in 2008, and didn't finish it 'til 2009. I tried Assassin's Creed II when I had a GameFly subscription last year, and I have a copy of it still in the shrinkwrap, ready to be finished. I have a copy of Assassin's Creed Revelations unopened. Before the announcement, I was only four games behind (II, Brotherhood, Revelations, III). Now with the fourth Assassin's Creed, I'm now going to be five games behind everyone else. I got fed up. Because I see what Ubisoft is doing, and I hate it when they do it: a sequel every damn year.
I've done the yearly sequel thing with another franchise: Call of Duty (I know I've talked too much about the series on this blog. I'm sorry.). I got COD4 with my PS3 in 08, World at War for my 360 in 09, and got Modern Warfare 2 at launch. Afterwards, my interest in the series faded, and while Black Ops looked cool I just couldn't shell out another $60-80 to play another Call of Duty game. Since then, I bought Black Ops used for cheap, I've rented Modern Warfare 3, and played Black Ops II during the Steam free weekend a while back. I feel satisfied in the few hours I played, and feel I saved myself some money towards other games that deserve to be bought and played instead.
I don't care how many UAVs you send, I'm not paying $60 for this!
I suffered “franchise fatigue” when I got through Call of Duty. I was sick of it, I didn't really wanna play another one and pay $60 every November for the same kind of experiences I got with last year's model. Granted, the games have been unique enough that only the core elements have stayed the same – aiming down iron sights, shooting dudes in the face with old, new, or futuristic guns – but I just couldn't do it year-in-year-out like everyone else.
Rather than do it again with Assassin's Creed, I'm gonna finish ACII, and stop there. Not gonna open Revelations. Not gonna play III, or IV, or whatever they have in store for 2014. I can't keep up with them, so I'm gonna bail. I don't hold any emotional attachment to the story, so I feel I wouldn't miss much by not playing the other games. Even if I decided to play the ones I missed, by the time I've gotten to ACIII, I'd get so sick of Assassin's Creed that even uttering the name “Assassin's Creed” would give me flashbacks of 'nam. Italy in this case.
See, this is the problem I have with yearly sequels: Not everybody's gonna be with you on day one. There are people that cannot afford the $60 price, there are people with massive backlogs, there are people who might not have a system worthy to play it. So they wait, and the penalty for waiting is having to play catch up. Some people can do it, those who play about 2-3 games a year.
But for those who have massive backlogs like I do, I'd rather catch up on other games like Sleeping Dogs, Dishonored, F3AR, and Batman: Arkham City. I don't even have a job, I'd imagine it's even more of a nightmare for people who are busy with work, school or family.
It's sad that publishers like Ubisoft opt to milk the teats until they're bone dry, instead of spacing the games out every few years. That's what people used to do back in the day, you'd be waiting 2 years or more for the next game, rather than seeing Super Mario Bros. 1, 2 and 3 released back-to-back. It gave you time to play other games, and when it did get announced, you'd be legitimately excited for the newest game in the series, rather than a ho-hum “Oh boy, it's another Call of Duty game.” Now my response to anything Assassin's Creed will now be “Oh boy, it's another Assassin's Creed game, who didn't see that one coming?”
This wouldn't happen if didn't release a new game in the series every year. Had they staggered their releases to once every few years, I wouldn't even be writing this, and I'd be happily playing along and hyped like the rest of you. But instead, I'm punished for not being there with everyone else on day one. Well, I respond to that by not buying the games anymore. It's that simple. Voting with your wallet is a powerful thing, and I'm enforcing it. Not just on Ubisoft, but everybody. Because yearly sequels are terrible, and shouldn't be happening in video games. Imagine if movies had sequels every year. People would get tired of it pretty quick. If we don't tolerate yearly movie sequels, then we shouldn't tolerate yearly game sequels.