Gamers are a passionate people. We love our franchises, our favorite characters, games, and even technology.
And when we invest hours on end into one story, it would make sense that we might get a bit defensive when developers start to tinker with and try to change things up on us. Think about it; we’ve put so much time into a game, connected with the characters, and immersed ourselves enough in a game that we’ve become more than attached to it. That’s why, be it consoles or characters, we’ll stick by our beloved despite the calls of fanboyism we might have to endure.
But I’d like to contest something here and say that sometimes re-designing a character or world isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, sometimes it’s exactly what the series needs to give it a much-needed boost.
One of the biggest outcries heard this year are centered around the redesign and reboot of the Devil May Cry series. Ever since people got a good look at the new, dark-haried Dante, there’s been a loud cry of foul from DMC fans across the board. And again, who could blame them? They’re hardcore fans who have connected with this character, and changing him so drastically does remove that bit of connection that fans might have once had with the game.
Now, it should be noted that I’m not a huge DMC fan. I enjoyed the games, but by no means will you find posters on my wall of the game.
However, I can’t help but argue that the redesign could possibly be a good thing for the franchise.
A redesign does a few things that could really be significant to the game. First, it allows developers to branch outside of the conventions laid out from previous games and explore new parts to a character that we might not have experienced before. This could apply to anything, from aesthetics to characteristics and personality traits. The important thing here is, the changes could often mean that the game will reach out and connect with new players who might not have previously been interested in the franchise, or didn’t want to pick up the most recent installment and miss out on everything they might have missed.
Second, it opens the door for new possibilities moving forward. With a clean slate, you’re able to explore new personality traits, new characteristics, new story ideas, and maybe even branch out and expand on the lore of the universe where you might not have been able to before. Redesigning a game allows the developer to do some new and crazy things they might not have otherwise considered, because now that they’ve changed things up a bit, gamers are more willing to overlook drastic changes and might even be more open to embracing new facets of the world they have come to know and love so much.
Of course, it’s a knee-jerk reaction for us to shy away from any major changes in our favorite games, since we don’t want to see change and don’t want to witness any sort of alteration of the franchises we hold so dear. But with the freedom and possibilities it opens up to creators, it allows the franchise to evolve and avoid going stale in a constantly-changing industry.
Sure, it’s a risky gamble to go and redesign a game. But when it’s on the table, give it a chance. The reward may be greater than you think.