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"Broadening" a franchise's audience - there have been a lot of failures lately

#1CyricsServantPosted 2/17/2013 11:56:37 AM
A lot of high profile franchises have been straying from their roots recently in an attempt to "broaden their audience." In the past publishers have had some measure of success (e.g. RE4, ME2, etc). Recently though . . . not so much.

Just look at Resident Evil 6, Dead Space 3, DmC: Devil May Cry, and (a few years back) Dragon Age 2. While none of those games are necessarily bad, they do have one thing in common. They've sold less than their immediate predecessors. That's exact opposite of what their publishers were aiming for.

So do you think there's a lesson to be learned here? That maybe a game shouldn't try to have something for everyone? That combat doesn't necessarily need to be streamlined and simplified to make a game more accessible, or that certain elements (e.g. role-playing mechanics, pacing in a horror game, etc.) don't need to be sacrificed to appeal to a larger demographic? Or do you think that Publishers have the right idea, and that maybe other factors caused these games to have weaker sales?

Kind of curious to see what people think about this, and what they think big publishers are going to do with some of their "niche" multimillion seller IPs going forward.

I seriously doubt EA, for instance, is going to kill off Dead Space just because it won't sell 5 million copies . . . but at the same time I'm wondering what they're going to do moving forward. Are they going to have Visceral make DS4's atmosphere similar to 1 and 2's, or if are they going to make even more substantive changes to the DS formula?
#2darkharePosted 2/17/2013 12:07:57 PM
i dont agree with, or like the trend that one game should try to have something for everyone. all this does is make the game play like evey other game, which is exactly what were seeing in the vast majority of tripleA titles.
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#3Killah PriestPosted 2/17/2013 12:12:13 PM(edited)
know your audience and have realistic sales goals.

marketing always does this, they capture one audience then target another figuring anyone they alienate from the previous audience will be made up for by the new audience.
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#4JKSonicPosted 2/17/2013 12:15:43 PM
From: Killah Priest | #003
marketing always does this, they capture one audience then target another figuring anyone they alienate from the previous audience will be made up for by the new audience.


I wouldn't say "always". Seems like through history when they've tried it at all they scrapped it and went back to basics, only more recently have companies really stuck to their guns. Look at Mario 1, 2 being drastically different in the US (yes I know it's story), then 3 going right back to the formula and improving it. Same with Zelda, 1, then two extremely different, then LttP back to the original formula.
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#5darkharePosted 2/17/2013 12:16:06 PM
Killah Priest posted...
marketing always does this, they capture one audience then target another figuring anyone they alienate from the previous audience will be made up for by the new audience.


The Gears series in a nutshell.
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sarcasm in this forum has gotten too deep, cant tell if everyones drowning in it or just over-reacting.
#6Killah PriestPosted 2/17/2013 12:16:37 PM
I didn't mean always in the literal term, more like "frequently"
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Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone.
The armory of god is guarding me but all you can see is holographic artistry.
#7nonexistingheroPosted 2/17/2013 12:56:24 PM
Part of the reason why sales of those games are so bad is because fans don't like to be stabbed in the back. Sacrificing your existing audience in favour of a potential new audience is the worst move you can make as a developer. And no, they can't keep fans happy by slapping in a few references to other games, the most important part is that the main games have to retain the same kind of feel when playing it.

You expand your audience by keeping the original audience satisfied first. then see what you can do to attract new players.
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#8bladegash666Posted 2/17/2013 10:17:37 PM
nonexistinghero posted...
Part of the reason why sales of those games are so bad is because fans don't like to be stabbed in the back. Sacrificing your existing audience in favour of a potential new audience is the worst move you can make as a developer. And no, they can't keep fans happy by slapping in a few references to other games, the most important part is that the main games have to retain the same kind of feel when playing it.

You expand your audience by keeping the original audience satisfied first. then see what you can do to attract new players.

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#9vigorm0rtisPosted 2/17/2013 10:20:38 PM
darkhare posted...


The Gears series in a nutshell.


I thought Gears was the least guilty of attempting to 'broaden' it's audience of the big shooters this gen.
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#10uthoria205Posted 2/17/2013 10:23:53 PM
Meanwhile, gamers complain when a franchise offers the same old thing...