Just admit it, we love game sequels

Originally published June 18, 2017

By Ian Sherr

It was around the time I was looking at the 19th Assassin’s Creed adventure game that it struck me: There sure are a lot of sequels.

I don’t mean just a few. It isn’t like there are merely a handful of standout franchises worthy of a follow-up, like Sony‘s zombie apocalypse drama The Last of Us 2. Or even industry-defining standbys, like Nintendo‘s Super Mario Odyssey action game, the 32nd major title for that particular character.

This year, during the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles, we saw Star Wars Battlefront 2, Destiny 2, FarCry 5, Call of Duty: WWII and Kingdom Hearts 3.

Capcom, which has made more than three dozen fighting games for its Street Fighter franchise over the last three decades, almost seemed to wink at its prolific catalog with the name for its newest installment, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

Of course, it’s easy to believe all those sequels are from lazy companies just trying to cash in on successful games for easy money. But the truth is that these games, which typically sell for around $60 apiece, exist for the same reason superhero movies continue to punch their way into the box office and the same reason neon is back in style: We’re buying the goods.

“It’s a bit a sign of the times,” said Joost van Dreunen, head of market watcher SuperData Research. “People want to play a game they already know is great.”

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