All good things must come to an end eventually. Many great video game franchises have come and gone throughout the years. Half-Life, Final Fantasy Tactics, Dino Crisis, and more are only some classics that may never see the light of day ever again. Be it poor sales, studio departures, or general misdirection, the following series are at risk to follow in the footsteps of the lost franchises before them. Each may not see a sequel or spin-off release during the next generation of console hardware. Only time will tell for sure, but here’s hoping there’s still a future for these entries.
Video game franchises that may disappear – Metal Gear
With Hideo Kojima no longer being a part of the Metal Gear franchise and publisher Konami’s recent attitude toward video games, it’s hard to imagine where the series will go from here. Last year saw the release of Metal Gear Survive, a zombie spin-off title set in an alternate universe. In first week U.K. sales figures, it sold 85 percent fewer copies than Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and barely sold five percent of Metal Gear Solid 5‘s sales numbers.
Konami itself has supposedly expressed interest in moving away from AAA game development, instead focusing its efforts on mobile gaming and pachinko machines. The Metal Gear franchise may live on iPhones and tablet devices, but the chance of diehard fans seeing it return to consoles is slim, especially given the latest game’s performance.
Video game franchises that may disappear – Dead Rising
The original Dead Rising was a breath of fresh air when it released over a decade ago. It gave video game fans a chance to mow down hordes of zombies while wearing outrageous costumes and looking for creative new ways to chop up body parts. Every entry in the franchise so far has iterated upon the formula, going so far as to introduce vehicles that players can customize to help them with their extermination.
Unfortunately, Dead Rising has begun to lose its luster. Perhaps due to zombie fatigue, the latest title in the franchise, Dead Rising 4, sold less than 1 million units nearly a year after its launch. For the record, the first title sold nearly 2 million units, the second sold around 3 million units, and the third sold just above 1 million. Capcom has little reason to fund development of another Dead Rising game soon, as the company may not see the series as profitable anymore.
Video game franchises that may disappear – Deus Ex
Back in January 2017, reports surfaced that Square Enix had put its Deus Ex franchise on hold, presumably after poor sales of Mankind Divided. CEO Yosuke Matsuda went on to state in November that same year that the series is still “very important” to the company and that it hasn’t been forgotten. While he avoided saying Deus Ex was put on hiatus, he did indicate that there’s still a future for the brand.
Matsuda’s comments don’t necessarily indicate that a new console game for the franchise is on the horizon. It’s nice to hear that it’s still of interest to Square, but the company may be looking into manufacturing mobile titles set in the same universe to lessen the financial risk. At least Square didn’t dump the series like it did with Hitman.
Video game franchises that may disappear – Dishonored
Dishonored developer Arkane Studios told VG247 last year that the popular first-person assassination franchise is “resting for now.” It’s a bit of a surprise, considering how the first game in the series was well-received by critics and has sold roughly 4 million copies. Dishonored 2 also performed well, though it did sell 38 percent fewer copies than its predecessor.
Though it looks like Arkane is looking into creating an entirely new IP for the next generation of consoles, it seems like Dishonored fans will have to wait quite a while to see a third main entry in the series arrive.
Video game franchises that may disappear – Marvel vs. Capcom
The latest iteration in the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, didn’t have a lot going for it by the time it released in September 2017. Poor character design choices and the strange absence of X-Men fighters were among the many complaints longtime fans of the series had prior to launch. Capcom did introduce compelling DLC additions like Venom after release, but a lot of people had already abandoned the game by then.
To top it off, the title hasn’t been featured nearly as often as its peers in competitive fighting events and it only sold 1 million copies as of the end of 2017, which is much less than the 2 million Capcom had projected. Hopefully the upcoming merger between Fox and Disney will spell good news for the franchise going forward. Until then, at least we can all still play Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Video game franchises that may disappear – Mass Effect
Many Mass Effect fans agree that the latest entry in the franchise, Mass Effect Andromeda, left a lot to be desired. Despite this, the game did manage to be a success for publisher EA, as it helped drive the company’s financials during the 2017 quarter it launched in. Apparently profitability doesn’t translate into a definite continuation for the series, as reports that surfaced two years ago indicate that Mass Effect is now put on hold.
The fan outcry over the game’s bugs, performance issues, and lackluster story were perhaps enough to convince EA to restructure BioWare Montreal and shift some of the studio’s staff to work on other titles under the publisher’s belt. Andromeda‘s failure in the eyes of the community may see that it doesn’t reappear for quite some time to come, if ever.
Building a great video game franchise today is no easy feat. Titles have to stand out from their competition in order to earn the right to be in a fan’s software library. At the same time, they have to adapt to popular consumer taste without falling short of publisher expectations. Though the franchises above have had their missteps, here’s hoping that they continue once Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo’s newest generation of console hardware hits store shelves. If there’s anything the medium has taught us throughout the decades it’s existed, it’s that there’s always hope for redemption.