Every year we set aside a budget for games that we know will be released. FIFA, NBA, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, and others. These games are released every year around the same time, and actually, when I say the same time I really mean October – November.
But are these games really any good, do they deserve our cash, or are they a load of rubbish?
We know every year FIFA will come about, adding whatever they add into the annual title. I have no clue what they add in, because I am far too busy to even pay FIFA any attention, and because I have no idea what an off-side even is. Around rAge, FIFA gets released and I see hundreds of South Africans run and purchase the latest game, but not before BT Game’s Pre-Played shelf fills to the brim with the previous year’s entry. If last year’s game was so good that you just had to buy it, then why are you throwing it away? How does soccer change every year, it cannot move into a different time, feature a different protagonist, or have new weapons. Surely by now they have managed to perfect getting a ball into a net in different ways?
It was clear during the recent EA Games E3 press conference that people hate sports games. Twitter was filled to the brim with people making jokes about EA Game’s major focus on sport games. I really got the feeling that sport games suck and that nobody likes them. This led me to believe that these annual sports games are actually a waste of money and time.
We have FIFA, PES, NBA, NBA Live, NHL, NFL, WWE, PGA Tour, and MLB release every single year. That means within 12 months, they release the exact same game with the exact same concept and idea. But we keep complaining about DLC, is this not worse than buying DLC? Just because it has a new number on the end does not mean that is has changed. Do the new features feel like a patch, or a simple DLC pack? I think so.
The New Settings
Besides the green fields and the whole taking the ball to the other side of the field story, we also have our other annual titles. I’m talking about the Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed franchises. These games normally release around the same time and follow in a new direction every year. Both of these franchises come with an option to buy a Season Pass. These games are based on the same concept from their origin title. Assassin’s Creed is all about its historical references, stealth, and being an assassin. Call of Duty is set in a different war zone, sometimes futuristic, and has a big emphasis on multiplayer.
What is it about these games that warrants a repurchase every year? I personally purchase Assassin’s Creed because I am a huge fan of the Collector’s Editions. The game is not half bad either, but some may argue that the franchise needs to end now. Would it be a different story if Assassin’s Creed skipped a year before another one was released? And what makes Call of Duty so special that people don’t complain and say “hey, this is getting out of hand now”. Instead we just shut up and let Activision take R600 – R800 every year.
If one series is milking us by being an annual title, then all of them surely are. Do not be a hypocrite.
So now the question is: what do you think about annual titles? Should FIFA get the boot? Should Call of Duty just give us a break? Should Assassin’s Creed disappear into the shadows for a while? Sound off!