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Do Franchises That Have Lost Their Way Deserve Remasters?

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Yesterday, a fellow astoundingly handsome gaming journalist and Digital Editor of Game Informer Magazine Brian Shea posed the question to Twitter: what announcements are you looking forward most from E3?

He got a bunch of responses that ranged from the obvious to the obscure, but one reply stuck out at me in particular:

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 11.05.53 AMI made pretty clear in my response why this jumped out at me, but my mind also went immediately back to an interview from 2016, where EA Exec Peter Moore told GameSpot about EA’s position on HD remasters:

“Can we make an easy buck on remastering Mass Effect? Yes. Have a thousand people asked me that? Yes, they have,” he added. “We just feel like we want to go forward. There’s a little thing called Mass Effect: Andromeda that we’re totally focused on at BioWare and it’s gonna be magnificent.”

Morgan Freeman narrator voice: “It wasn’t.”

If you know me, you know I love Mass Effect. I’ll always love Mass Effect, it’s one of my favorite trilogies in the history of video games, and nothing will ever change that. I’ve tried, lord knows I’ve tried to give Mass Effect: Andromeda every chance I could muster, but it’s a mess, and everyone knows it. EA abandoning the game and not immediately pulling up a stool and a bucket to milk it was a telltale sign that the final seal of the apocalypse for the franchise had been broken, and my heart along with it.

We’ve had a lot of HD remasters, reboots, and re-releases of cult-classic games over the last few years, the most recently of which was a Spyro HD collection. Those familiar with Spyro know that it was sold many moons ago to Vivendi Universal along with Spyro, who cranked out tons and tons of cash-in sequels that did nothing to advance either franchise in any way. Fast forward to this year, and we’ve got a Crash remaster and the Spyro Reignited trilogy on the way, which will both combined probably make lots (and lots) of money.

My question to you, the reader, is this: do the studios remastering these games (regardless of if they’re every bit as fun as we remember) deserve the money we’re about to throw at them if they were the ones who led the franchises so far astray in the first place? I mean, how many god-awful Crash and Spyro sequels did we endure before Activision struck actual RFID-enabled gold with Skylanders? How many times are we going to let a AAA publisher give us a half-assed title, issue an apology or sob story, and then purchase the sequel or remaster anyway?

I’ll tell you right now – I won’t be buying a Mass Effect: Remastered trilogy if it does indeed get announced. The wound is still raw for me, and I would hope that EA and Bioware know better than to try and cash in on fan nostalgia (if it’s even old enough to call it that) after abandoning Andromeda not so long ago.

Does that make me crazy? What do you think? Are HD remasters or reboots enough to satisfy you for “new” entries into your favorite franchises, or would you rather see developers go back to the drawing board entirely and dish out something new?

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