The video games industry is extremely competitive. It takes a lot of quality and innovation for a game to top sales. Almost all big guns in the gaming industry own video game franchises that generate continuous revenue. Most development studios are also trying to build successful video game franchises for the same reasons. For a long time, video game franchises have been and are still a major component of the video games industry. Franchises have many advantages that make every developer want to have one. Having a successful franchise is the easiest way for any video game developer to assure its existence in the industry. Many game developers today create games with the idea of a franchise in mind. Let’s look at some of the reasons why every video game developer would want to build a successful franchise.
Advantage of video game franchises
The first reason is obvious, the money. Successful video game franchises are real money making machines for their owners. Franchises have the potential to generate huge revenue especially when they are well received by the gaming community. Video game franchises are the best when it comes to generating revenue as well as derived products. Most have sold hundreds of millions of units worldwide. They have contributed in making their developers and publishers big guns in the industry. Franchises like Mario, Resident Evil, Pokemon and many others have made billions of dollars. So having a successful franchise is a dream come true for any video game developer.
Some video game franchises have been around for more than 20 years and are still going strong. Video game developers work hard to maintain such video game franchises with innovative ideas and creativity.
Having a successful video game franchise is the perfect for building brand recognition. There are places in the world where the original games in the Mario franchise are still very popular. These have contributed greatly to the image of Nintendo as a game company. Super Mario, for example, is extremely popular worldwide, so much so that it is the only reason some people know about Nintendo. To take full advantage of this, Nintendo made Mario’s main character its official mascot. The next Mario game –Super Mario Odyssey– is generating much interest and excitement. There are many such examples of brand recognition based on successful video games franchises. There is Activision with Call of Duty, Electronic Arts with its many very successful franchises and many others.
Video game franchises build a loyal fan base
Successful video game franchises have the ability to build and keep a loyal fan base for a long time. A good percentage of people who played the first Mario games are likely to play games from the franchise today or encourage others to play. Games like GTA, God of War, Call of Duty have been able to secure a large fan base for their developer and publishers over the years. Game developers can thus rely on an attentive and interested community each time they release a new product. If they release a new game which may not be a franchise game, they can count on a loyal fan base to welcome it.
For example, the huge success of the original Red Dead Redemption had something to do with Rockstar’s reputation with the GTA franchise. Thus having a successful franchise helps a great deal in marketing any new product from the same developers or publishers.
Team and talent retention
Most successful video game franchises have been around for a very long time. Most of them have been going for more than 20 years. In this lapse of time, the development of such games has become a privilege for engineers and designers in the industry. It must be awesome for any video game developer to be part of the development team of the next Mario, GTA or Call of Duty game. This is very important for game development companies to be able to keep the best talents. No game developer or designer would hesitate if offered a post in the development team of the next GTA or Call of Duty. Having a successful franchise also help to build up the company both in material and human resources. Video game franchises are perfect for implementing long term ideas.
Long term sales
Video game franchises keep on selling even when they are no longer under active marketing. They are generally the best selling games ever. This is especially true with story based game franchises. A good example is God of War, if a person decided to play God of War when the game was at God of War 3, he/she would probably start with God of War 1 so as to follow up. This is very important to game developers as a game can continue selling for years after its release. This is hardly possible with single games. So, any video game developer who builds a successful video game franchise is assured of continuous sales for a long time.
Video game franchises are thus very important for game developers as well as publishers. If you think of other reasons why game developers and publishers are so interested in game franchises, mention it in the comments section.