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.
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.
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?