A new generation of gaming is almost upon us, which of course means better graphics, innovative technology and exciting new games, but the move to the next generation won't be without it's casualties. This generation (just like every generation before it) will be the death of several long-running franchises.
Here are five series that will either be dead (or at the very least drastically diminished) by the time this upcoming generation is through...
It seems like a strange thing to say considering it was the series' most acclaimed entry, but Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami royally screwed his series over when he made Resident Evil 4.
With Resident Evil 4 the series went from survival-horror to triple-A blockbuster, which was okay during the simpler times of the PS2-era, but as triple-A games become increasingly bloated Resident Evil has had to shed more and more of it's identity to keep up. Resident Evil 6, a game that was 95% bland blockbuster game-product and (maybe) 5% Resident Evil was the breaking point.
So now Resident Evil finds itself at an impossible crossroads. If the series wants to continue playing the with the big boys, the tattered remains of its soul will be lost, but is Capcom willing to scale way, way back in order to return Resident Evil to it's horror roots? Probably not. Resident Evil 7 will likely be another compromise -- a game that won't be up to next-gen triple-A standards, but probably won't thrill horror fans either. Resident Evil may continue to limp on, but it's status as a major, triple-A series ends this generation.
The Castlevania series was already staggering along on its last legs heading into this generation, but it received a bit of a reprieve when Hideo Kojima decided to take pity on the series with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Well, now the Lords of Shadow sub-series is coming to an end -- developer MercurySteam is moving on and Kojima has more important things to worry about. The old Castlevania team seems to have disbanded, so any new 2D Castlevanias are probably out of the question.
I'm sure another 3D Castlevania will be attempted, but well, this is Konami we're talking about. It won't be good. If they hadn't signed Kojima to a lifelong blood contract back in the 80s the company would be dead many times over by now.
If I had to pick a Nintendo franchise to not survive the upcoming console generation it'd be F-Zero. Shigeru Miyamoto has said he's not sure what the hell to do with the series and it seems like a lot of F-Zero's lifeblood is being siphoned off and injected into Mario Kart 8. It certainly seems like Nintendo is readying the series for the scrap heap.
Of course, Nintendo might still do another F-Zero just to fill out the Wii U's uh, roomy release calendar, but it probably won't be terribly inspired, and there's a good chance it will be the last.
While I freely admit to wasting a frankly obscene amount of my life playing WWE wrestling games over the years, let's be real -- the series make Madden look like a poster boy for innovation. Will long-time WWE developer Yuke's be able to pull their act together and actually come up with a new engine for the next generation? I have my doubts.
WWE's move to 2K Games probably won't help their fortunes either. No longer being tied to the hapless THQ may seem like a good thing, but at least WWE was the big fish in a small pond with THQ. Now they're being published by a company that also owns Grand Theft freakin' Auto. This is a company that lets its Major League Baseball games wilt on the vine because they have better things to pay attention to. A pro-graps sim is not going to be their top priority. I'm afraid s--tty phones games where a Rock made of five polygons fights zombies or whatever may be your only WWE gaming option by the time this upcoming generation is done.
I don't need to tell you Final Fantasy is in trouble. Final Fantasy XIV was a debacle and Final Fantasy XIII has needed two re-tries to (sort of) get things right. The upcoming Final Fantasy XV is just a renamed Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a game Square-Enix has been toiling away on since 2006. So yes, when it (optimistically) comes out in 2014 it will have been in the works for over eight years.
What the hell is Square-Enix going to do for Final Fantasy XVI? I don't think they have any other eight-year-old games sitting in the closet for them to rename. I honestly don't think they have any idea of what to do next -- I think the plan is to just to keep smiling until Final Fantasy XV comes out and then everyone in the company commits mass seppuku. Or the company just goes mobile-only. Same thing basically.
Okay, now it's your turn to get out the crystal ball -- what series do you see being done in by this upcoming generation?