It’s a safe bet to assume that if a new game sells in big numbers it will get a sequel and potentially build into an established franchise. While it may not be very original, it is a route that publishers go down to almost guarantee more revenue and satisfy fan demand. The new IPs pose more of a risk factor, but it is good to see them, and of course, a successful series such as Call of Duty has to start somewhere.
2012 has struck up sequels such as Darksiders II and Borderlands 2, as well as instalments in the Hitman and Ghost Recon series, continuing the trend previously mentioned. We’ve also witnessed another factor popping up this year and that’s the number 3. Yes, the magic number as someone once said. I could have turned this post into a FIVE big 3’s of the year, but I wanted to give each game a nice mention, plus you’ll see my point with 3 being a significant number in 2012.
Commander Shepard and company launched into battle in Mass Effect 3, as the successful series from Bioware came to an eventual end. The fastest selling PC game of all time in its first 24 hours of release, Diablo III continued the action role-playing series in 2012 with its May-time launch. Rockstar Games came out all guns blazing as a certain Max Payne returned in Max Payne 3, providing a new storyline with the third instalment in the series.
Ubisoft has put players into the American Revolution with Assassin’s Creed 3 (and yes, technically it is the 5th major instalment, but it’s still using the 3). Whilst insanity reigns on a tropical island in first-person shooter Far Cry 3. Staying with a tropical location, the strategic Port Royale 3 is set in the Caribbean and sees players striving to make their fortune, albeit in the 17th Century, whilst trying to avoid pirates and scurvy.
There will be players out there for this next one, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the game based on the 2012 movie, and yes, game and movie tie-ins are part of the trade. The deadly fighting trade of mixed-martial arts is the centre of UFC Undisputed 3, whilst despite one delay already, the military shooter title ArmA 3 should make its appearance in the final quarter of this year.
With that lot out in 2012 the number 3 is certainly playing its part. Despite what some may say, providing more instalments in a series does give the developer a chance to improve upon each game released and build up a series and fan base. Others argue it doesn’t let the fresher ideas and new IPs come through. Crysis 3 and Dead Space 3 anyone? Oh wait, that’s 2013 so doesn’t count – in this list anyway.
Where do you stand? Is the third instalment in a series always that much better than the previous titles?