HD Remakes: Cash Cow, or value for money?

Whilst remakes of video games isn’t a new thing – it’s been going on pretty much since video games began, we are starting to see a lot more ‘HD Remakes’ of games.

The Xbox 360 and PS3 generation started the trend for HD remakes, and remastered editions with various bundles. We are now seeing this trend spilling over to the new generation. We already know about the remake of Fable in to the anniversary edition, 4A Games have just announced a ‘Metro Redux’ with “next gen visuals, and last week we heard the grumblings of ‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection’ apparently consisting of Halos 1, 2, 3 & 4, all remastered for Xbox One. There are also rumours of a Call of Duty remake in the works, and I’m sure many more are hiding in the backgrounds.

Fable Ann

There is no doubt Fable is looking great now.

Are these collections just a quick cash cow? Or are they representing a bargain, and good value for money

If you look on the face of the Halo collection as an example, 4 games – one of them (Halo 4) being relatively new, coming out less than 2 years ago, all for the price of 1 game. Now when you put it like that, it sounds like a complete bargain. But when you consider that most people will have already stumped up £40+ for each iteration and add in the map packs and DLC people may have purchased you’re looking at well over £200 already spent on this franchise. Do people really want to then go out and spend another £40-£50 on games they’ve already played to death?

Maybe Halo isn’t the best example, because I’m sure that if this collection is real then it will sell bucket loads, and I’m pretty sure I would buy it too.  If the collection were to include all the DLC with it as well, then I think that would represent a good deal.

But what about Tomb Raider? Which wasn’t coming to next gen, but then all of a sudden, the “next gen super HD, much better than the first version” was coming along. Now, if had I known about the next gen version before, I would have probably not played it on 360. But since I have, I had no interest in the remake. But there are people who do get seduced by the ‘newer version’ and end up buying it just to see how different it is.

For me, this kind of remake is just wrong, it’s clearly a cash cow. They maximised sales for the 360, PS3 etc.. by saying it wasn’t coming to next gen, but then quickly turned it around for XB1 and PS4 to boost a few extra sales. From a business perspective I can understand it. Remaking compared to building a new game would be comparatively cheaper and quicker to do, therefore meaning profits would potentially be higher. But as a customer you can’t help but feel a little cheated sometimes.

TombRaiderPS4

Did we really need the definitive edition?

Gaming isn’t cheap, and often people have to pick and choose quite specifically what games they want to buy, and when you do buy a game you don’t want to hear a week or two later that a ‘better’ version is coming out.

With the lack of backwards compatibility it’s looking likely that this trend of remakes is going to continue, and I’m ok with that as long as the product is worthwhile, and as long as it delivers something more than just a brush up on graphics. I can understand remade collections coming out, as its good to revisit classic games that have a new lease of life. However, if we start seeing HD remakes for any old game, and all that’s been done is a ‘HD touch up’ then it’s going to become very tiresome.

I also wonder if this trend will impact on the development of new games and new ideas. If sales of remakes do well, then other publishers will start to take notice, there is no denying that. Think about it, if you’re Activision and a remake of Call of Duty 4 costs 50% less to make than a new game, and it then sells 3 million copies+, you can guarantee remakes of all the sequels wouldn’t be far behind. I’m worried that this could then lead to a shift in priorities, and potentially stunt the development in other areas. Lets just hope that any money made from these remakes gets put back in to development for new games.

We all know that the first 6 months of a new console can be pretty quiet for new games, so let’s not fill up the next 6 months to a year with games we’ve already played. I want to see new and exciting projects coming on my new and exciting consoles. I don’t want to see ‘Generic shooter from last gen: HD Version!’ 

What do you guys think? Do you like HD remakes? Will you end up buying any?

– Will

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3 thoughts on “HD Remakes: Cash Cow, or value for money?

  1. I’m definitely going to be picking up The Last of Us PS4 version, But fortunately I haven’t played or owned the PS3 version, so i’ll seem like a new game to me all together.

    That said the moment they announce GTA5 PS4 version I’ll be a confirmed buyer of it, I loved it so much on last generation consoles, and wouldn’t need any excuse to complete it for a 4th time.

    I guess I’m just a sucker for them, as I also picked up the WInd Waker HD remake for Wii U (but also having a kick ass collectors edition swayed me)

    It’s all very dependent on the game and if I’ve previously played / owned it. I’ve got Wind Waker on Cube, but had no hesitation buying it for Wii U, and if the rumours of Mario Galaxy being ported to Wii U are true I’ll definitely pick them up as they were superb games on the Wii, so to see them touched up in HD will be a joy for me. However the likes of Call of Duty remasters doesn’t fly with me.

    Let us not forget that Resident Evil Remake on the Gamecube is without a doubt one of the best games that have graced a Nintendo console, and even none Nintendo fans surely have to admit that, that was one stunning looking remake and one incredibly fun game to play.

  2. Pretty much agree that it really depends on how long after the original the HD remake comes out, and how much it costs

    Strategies like the Tomb Raider one described are pretty low IMO. As a huge fan of the Tomb Raider franchise played mainly on consoles over the years, I would much rather have played the latest one on the PS4, even though it was great on the PC, but there’s no way I’d shell out full price to buy it again. I think the only way to justify this shifty kind of publisher behaviour is to allow a heavily discounted offer for owners of the title on other platforms.

    On the other hand, remaking old classics in HD for a reasonable price is a great idea. I recently purchased the FFX/X2 HD Remake and am thoroughly enjoying playing through it again and would happily splash the cash on quality remakes of great titles like Fable.

    If you’re reading Square Enix, I will remortgage my house for an HD remake of Final Fantasy 7.

    • I agree with you on the discount offer. Similar to what happened with games like Battlefield and Fifa, they were offering ‘upgrades’ to the latest gen if you bought a last gen version. That was a really good idea.
      I never got in to FF, maybe if they did HD versions I would give them a go.

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