2023 is among the best years for the gaming industry. I can hardly recall a year with such an endless amount of games, but the theme of remasters and remakes has been consistent across the last few years and is still prevalent in 2023.
With incredible technological leaps, the industry has found a reason to revisit iconic classics, breathing new life into these games. However, I believe studios are becoming too reliant on this strategy.
Best Rated Games of 2023
Each remaster presents a promising opportunity for developers and publishers. Looking at the best games on Metacritic in 2023, 3 of the top 10 games are remasters or remakes of older games.
This includes The Witcher 3, Resident Evil 4, and Metroid Prime Remastered. Only a few games have been able to keep up with such releases, even in a stacked year like 2023.
Going down Metacritic’s list, games like Persona 4, Quake 2, and Dead Space Remake further highlight the industry’s current reliance on re-releasing iconic games.
A Safe Attempt At Success
One major reason for the popularity of re-releases is the time and effort required to create such games.
While ambitious releases like Starfield have taken nearly a decade to produce, a remake does not require nearly as much effort. In the case of a remaster, the effort needed is further reduced.
Games like The Last of Us Part 2 required as much as $220 million to produce, but this is another area where remakes can pull ahead. With much of the work already done, production costs are significantly reduced. Such benefits have also allowed studios like Bluepoint Games to gain fame as a studio that revitalizes older titles.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach. I believe remasters provide an excellent middle ground for an industry struggling with long development times and tight deadlines.
However, it seems developers are becoming too reliant on a tried-and-true formula. While the gaming industry was known to deliver fresh and innovative releases constantly in the past, new IPs are rarely seen today.
Reflecting over the last few years, new franchises have not been as influential as games like Resident Evil, which pioneered their respective genres.
A Future Full of Remakes & Remasters
I believe nothing highlights the overuse of re-releases better than a look at many of the upcoming games.
If this trend is the way forward, studios should look at Capcom for inspiration. The Japanese publisher’s latest remake is one of the highest-rated games of the year, and rightfully so.
However, Capcom is not reliant on remakes exclusively. A franchise like Resident Evil has balanced its modern entries and classic remakes, catering to different audiences through varied offerings.
As a fan of the medium, I want to see it grow and avoid stagnation. While I fear remakes and older games are pushing the industry in this direction, a balance may be the ideal solution.
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Abiyan is on track to complete his Computer Science bachelor’s degree. His enthusiasm for writing and gaming motivates him to keep readers and gamers updated with the latest information from the industry. In his free time, Abiyan enjoys playing Dota 2 and Rocket League. Abiyan has also been cited in reputed websites such as Kitguru, Comicbook, GamingBible, Eurogamer and Gamingbolt.