WHY CONTINUE A SERIES?

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I've been thinking about this for quite some time now, but why continue a series. I don't really know how to sum up the question, so let me explain. I've notice that a lot of video game sequels( or sequels in any media) have little to do with the previous game's characters. A lot of the time, the story was finished in the first game. So why make a sequel? For some games, the story isn't the reason you make a sequel/series. Some games, such as the elder scrolls series and fallout series, aren't about the story. They are about exploring a new world with complete freedom. So why make a sequel to a game that is story driven? I'm not saying that I don't like sequels, but I really curios as to why they do such a thing.
I'm not sure, but there are some really good story-driven games with cliff hangers at the end, or just deserve a sequel.

I'M LOOKING AT YOU, IB.
If it's the same kind of game and it's well known, then using a similar name will give it instant recognition and appeal. Like Elder Scrolls. People know what to expect with an Elder Scrolls games.

Often times the menu/battle systems are very similar or flat out the same, that's one thing they are sequeling. Not the story.

Also, there are cases where the next game is set in the same game universe so it makes sense to use the same name for the game.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5958
I mean with games that reached a large audience and were popular, there's a legitimate reason: to get that same audience again.

But hahahaha let's be serious here. If you're a typical person releasing a "sequel" on rpgmaker.net, your RPG Maker game had maybe 600 downloads and got an average rating of 2.8 stars in its reviews. And you are doing no advertising, so 95% of the people who played the original will never know there's a sequel. Meanwhile, people who didn't play the first one will be much more likely to ignore your sequel than they would if it weren't a sequel. The only reason you are doing it is because you can't let go of your characters or your world. It has nothing to do with the audience - you're making the sequel for the same reason you made the first one, which is that you have a story you need to tell, and you can't bear to stop making games until 100% of that story's been properly squeezed out of you.
author=LockeZ
The only reason you are doing it is because you can't let go of your characters or your world. It has nothing to do with the audience - you're making the sequel for the same reason you made the first one, which is that you have a story you need to tell, and you can't bear to stop making games until 100% of that story's been properly squeezed out of you.
Or you want to try again to make a better game with the characters you love.

e: just to be clear, I mean that often times our games sucks and people tell us they suck and we take that feedback and improve our game while sticking with characters we feel deserve a second chance. Not just because we're attached to them, but we recognize that we screwed up the first time around.
Boy am I glad for sequels! Without them some of my favourite games would never have been made - Suikoden II, Breath of Fire II, Final Fantasy 6/7/9, Lufia II... just to name a couple.

Personally, if I've a game that has a new set of characters, but set in the same world, often it's because there's more to the world's story than has been told. The world itself becomes a character (or whatever the game is set around - a guild, a magic stone, a prophecy...) and their story needs to be told, but with a different group than the first.

Then there's the 'this could be improved on' shtick already mentioned. Suikoden II did this - Suikoden I was a great game but the developers clearly thought they could improve on a lot of things, so they created Suikoden II (regarded by the majority of fans to be the best in the series) and boy-howdy did they hit the ball out of the park with it. "But then they did the other sequels, and they were shit, right?"
No, well, okay IV was less than great, but III, while different, was still a great game and V is considered a great one too (despite many issues... well, all games have their problems). Sequel != inferior to the first. I doubt there are many people who think FF1 was better than some of the later games, after all. ;p
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9159
I mean with games that reached a large audience and were popular, there's a legitimate reason: to get that same audience again.


Yeah. This. $.$.$.

Some games, such as the elder scrolls series and fallout series, aren't about the story. They are about exploring a new world with complete freedom.


hell you say. that IS a story.
There are also games tied together by similar themes, battle system etc.
The Persona series for example deals with different facets of psychological concepts .. specifically persona (duh.). This is done in various ways.
(.. and then came PersonaQ. Well.)

So you can easily justify reusing assets while keeping your target audience - it also makes it easier to know what to expect of the games!

As for sequels on this site, LockeZ said it all.
Not true for everything, of course, but for the vast majority.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9159
Final Fantasy is probably the best example of a series that has no reason to be a series except $$$

Every game has a different setting, story, characters, and battle system.
author=Max McGee
Every game has a different setting, story, characters, and battle system.

And still I'm pretty sure if you removed Final Fantasy from the title you'd still be pretty knowing of the fact you're playing a Final Fantasy.

(ex. Bravely Default)
author=Max McGee
Final Fantasy is probably the best example of a series that has no reason to be a series except $$$

Every game has a different setting, story, characters, and battle system.


Final Fantasy was a series because the name is relevant to Hironobu's personal struggles until he messed up Spirits Within and had to sell the brand. That's where it became a cashgrab I guess.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9159
I'm not so sure about that, I'd say that the name was relevant to Hironobu's personal struggles only until the first "Final" Fantasy sold actually really well. Everything since then has been a cash grab.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
LouisCyphre
can't make a bad game if you don't finish any games
4523
Final Fantasy <insert number or subtitle> is about a group of unlikely young heroes unlearning everything they thought they knew about the dying world they set out in order to save.

edit: basic grammar
Sequels are a business decision, unless it's simply a matter of a work being too big for a single installment in a given medium. For example, a 1,000 page fantasy novel is broken up into three volumes. However, this fragmentation of a single work may be more of a consequence of poor editing than convenience. (How many of those 1,000 pages really matter?)
author=LouisCyphre
Final Fantasy <insert number or subtitle> is about a group of unlikely young heroes unlearning everything they thought they knew about the dying world they set out in order to save.

edit: basic grammar

X-2 would like to talk to you about character assassination...

FF has a lot to tie them together as a series - Character names, monsters, critters, spells, items, etc.

Come to think of it, it's almost like an RPG Maker game where the creator just used the default database stuff (and made some edits but basically kept the same theme/ideas). Only, you know, done well more often than not.


Oh, and sequels are not just about business. They are also about passion. A lot of games that are great sequels would not exist if the team creating them didn't have the passion to do so. So, you know, it's not all about fucking money. :/
author=Liberty
X-2 would like to talk to you about character assassination...

That game was horrible from a plot and character standpoint. It's a guilty pleasure of mine, because the gameplay is pretty great. It's a 'turn my brain off and skip all the cutscenes' game.

Oh, and sequels are not just about business. They are also about passion. A lot of games that are great sequels would not exist if the team creating them didn't have the passion to do so. So, you know, it's not all about fucking money. :/

Fallout 2 comes to mind.
author=Kiana
author=Liberty
X-2 would like to talk to you about character assassination...
That game was horrible from a plot and character standpoint. It's a guilty pleasure of mine, because the gameplay is pretty great. It's a 'turn my brain off and skip all the cutscenes' game.

I rather enjoyed not having to do the same 'save the world' shit over and again. It was deliberately light hearted and set in a world that was building itself back from the ashes of destruction. The girls were all liberated 'ladies of beating the crap out of you' and I liked that a lot. I prefer it over X any day. ;p

More sequels would do well to follow in it's footsteps when it comes to continuity in a world, instead of jumping forward another 500000 years til the next destruction plot hook, I think. (I mean, sure it had it's issues, but all games do. Even the best ones.)
LouisCyphre
can't make a bad game if you don't finish any games
4523
author=Liberty
author=LouisCyphre
Final Fantasy <insert number or subtitle> is about a group of unlikely young heroes unlearning everything they thought they knew about the dying world they set out in order to save.

edit: basic grammar
X-2 would like to talk to you about character assassination...

X-2's a fantastic example because Yuna also has so much to unlearn about herself. The entire basis of her character as a demure, holy, and invincible public figure (summoner) is built on top of a millenia-old sham by a powerful few to hold power. It's no surprise she throws out everything she associates with that role! (Including all of her mega potions!)

She then spends the rest of the game struggling to say no to helping people because, well, she's not their savior. She has her own things to do, like finding phat lewt and poking her head in ruins it doesn't belong in. Eventually, she begins to realize that she can't turn down a plea for help and she hates it--that's exactly the trait that was preyed upon over and over during her pilgrimage! But wait, when she sees the people she helps getting along with their lives, she starts to realize that she genuinely enjoys helping people! This fucks her up, because she's starting to be peoples' pawn again. Why can't she mind her own business? After some hijinks and some word-smacking from R and P, she gets it together. She is choosing to help people herself. She's not caving in, being weak-willed, or being manipulated. Having an urge to step in when others are in need is who she is, and she learns to do it with pride.

X-2 would like to talk to you about character development. Q.E.D.

edit: if anyone responds with "but fanservice" friendly reminder that FF9 is the first FF with named party members where every female in the party covers their thighs
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9159
am i the only one here who thought X-2 was too "girly" to consider playing it?

i mean shit is fucking dress up, right?
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