At what point is a game too much the same as its past incarnations?

This is a question that comes up every year during annual-release gaming season with franchises like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and Mario pushing out the current year’s installment. They don’t ever get released to complete fanfare and pageantry as there’s always criticism about the games being glorified map-packs and rarely ever justifying the cost of a full-fledged title, but to be fair most games change slowly overtime and it’s where the developers choose to focus that change where new innovative gameplay spawns for long-standing franchises. There are ways around this by pairing leaping-innovative ideas with old characters or jump-starting a new franchise altogether where these ideas can be explored and tested to see if they have any footing, but franchises are easier sells and less risky.

A different way to phrase this question then is this: Where is the innovative divide between DLC and Standalone justification?

Continue reading “Game Design – Crossing the Innovative Line”