Ask PSLS – Sequels or New IPs?

October 22, 2014 Written by Chandler Wood

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Ask PSLS is a feature that sources questions from our community of readers via TwitterFacebookthe forums, and even your emails. If you have a question for the staff to answer, contact us at any of those channels and you could be featured on the next Ask PSLS, with the possibility of winning a prize for being chosen!


While most of us can’t wait for sequels to our favorite games, franchises can get old and stale. New IPs on the other hand are risky and unproven, and we have seen many of them flop, even shutting developer’s doors in some cases. We asked the PSLS staff whether they’d rather see a sequel or a new IP and why. Here’s what everyone had to say. 

Chandler Wood (@FinchStrife)

For some reason I have a hard time getting hyped for new IPs, but then I think back to every great game and every sequel that I have ever loved, and realize it was a new IP at one point. Sequels are much easier to see the success in. Assassin’s Creed — we know generally what to expect when we see the two games coming soon. New IPs on the other hand remain unknowns. Seemingly great games could be complete failures, and games that go under the radar could find smash success. I love getting sequels and continuing to perfect on great things, but I love that it was once a new IP that gave us each of these great franchises that we know and love. 

D’yani Wood (@Dyani)

I think I prefer new IPs. I do love the good feeling of getting to come back to a world I already know I love from the first game, but all-in-all I like seeing what new ideas the world has to offer. And, sequels came from new IPs in the first place! 

Dan Oravasaari (@FoolsJoker)

New IPs offer developers the ability to create something new and what keeps the industry feeling fresh. But, sadly more often than not, we see new games that are more or less clones of popular and established franchises. Games that simply try to draft in behind successful games almost always fall short, and do nothing but hope to become a stop gap between the better designed and more seasoned sequels. So, I like both new and established IPs, just as long as the new games stay new, and the old games keep up the quality.

Heath Hindman (@TheHeathHindman)

Anything that’s not an HD port — I refer to the kind that up the graphics but have little or no new content.

Jason Dunning (@Jasonad21)

My biggest problem with most sequels is that they don’t feel much different from the previous title in the series. If they add in new ideas to make them feel fresh, I’m all for sequels. Otherwise, it’s new IPs all the way because they offer up more surprises and take more risks – for better or worse.

Paulmichael Contreras (@T3mpr1x)

They both have their place. Sequels are good for when you want a game you know will deliver more of what you liked in previous entries, though that isn’t guaranteed as developers like to play with various mechanics from time to time. See Bioshock and its sequels. One thing I hate to see is a new IP that has a great concept, but proceeds to screw up the execution and the result is a game you know you’ll never see a sequel to. Anyone remember Dark Void? That game had a wonderful idea, but its elements just didn’t click. I know a sequel would likely get things right, but because the first game didn’t do very well I doubt we’ll ever see it. That being said, I find more excitement in new IPs than sequels, usually.

Ryan (@Decimalator)

Ideally there would be a mix of both. I like new experiences, but I think a good sequel can be just as new as a new IP if it’s done right. You can (almost) never have too much of a good thing. I’m already ready for sequels of great games! If it’s a game I like, having a new version to play every year or every other year is pretty awesome. I know it’s not a popular feeling, but I love Call of Duty and I love being able to play a new Call of Duty every year. I love Assassin’s Creed, and this year I get two of them! I think if there is money to be made and demand for a sequel, developers and publishers are foolish not to. But until someone figures out how to clone people, and print money to pay for development, there is a tradeoff that must be made. Activision can do the yearly Call of Duty releases because they have multiple studios pumping them out. Not every title has that luxury. When a developer owns an IP, if they are busy working on a new IP then unless they contract someone else to make a sequel, it’s going to be years before they can work on it. Not every developer wants to spend all of their creative energy on the same IP year after year.

In my opinion, a new IP can be just as stale as a recycled sequel. A great sequel can be every bit as new and fresh as a new IP. A bad game is a bad game, regardless of whether it is a new IP or a sequel.

Zarmena Khan (@Zarmena)

I’m the kind of person that prefers new IPs alongside sequels that aren’t your typical yearly releases. But it’s a case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” for companies that don’t have room to experiment with ideas, especially because of financial implications. If something new doesn’t work out too well and they’re panned by critics and gamers alike, expect negative consequences.

Us gamers can be a funny bunch sometimes. We want something fresh, but people can have unrealistic demands. I sometimes hear comments like, “oh, that looks like so and so game, RIP-OFF.” But when you actually play the game in question, it’s far from being a rip-off. I don’t think it’s wrong to borrow a few things, really. If a new IP offers something new along with a little bit of the old, as opposed to a rehash, I don’t see a problem. I welcome that.

Do you prefer existing franchises or should developers be starting fresh? Remember to send us questions for Ask PSLS on TwitterFacebookthe forums, and email. Be sure to check back next Wednesday to see what question the PSLS staff will be answering!