In every console generation, we see both gaming companies and video game franchises give up the ghost. With the eighth generation of video game consoles well underway, here are the top 10 video game franchises we saw die during the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One era.
Top 10 Video Game Franchises We Saw Die This Generation
Our number 10 slot is taken by the Mass Effect series, a once beloved series that has been reduced to ash. Put simply, Mass Effect Andromeda was so bad that it killed the series. Before the game could even launch, people were turned off by both the faces and the animations of the game. After it launched, people wondered how anyone would have the gall to slap the Mass Effect title on this monstrosity. To add insult to injury, Bioware’s next project Anthem was released to even more criticism. It is safe to say that Bioware is now on the chopping block.
For number nine, we have to nominate Guerrilla Games’ Killzone series. I’ll be honest; I am surprised Killzone lasted as long as it did. The last game in the series came out when the PlayStation 4 was released, and garnered average reviews. Killzone: Shadowfall’s biggest problem was just how forgettable it was. It looked pretty and showed off what the console could do graphics-wise, but it was boring. Sony has since moved on to more narrative-focused single player experiences, which can be seen with the release of such titles as God of War, Days Gone, and The Last Of Us. There just isn’t a place for Killzone anymore.
Crackdown takes the number eight spot, and we probably don’t even need to explain why. The series had its place in a world before open world games were everywhere, but it’s 2019 and it just feels old. It doesn’t play well, it isn’t fun, and the multiplayer is already dead just two months later. We first saw the game in 2014, and five years later we had to ask why it took so long. If you played Crackdown 2, then you played Crackdown 3, and that is simply unacceptable.
Our number seven pick has to go to the Mafia series, which has run into some of the same problems Crackdown has. Mafia 2 was a great story with an incredibly empty open world. On the other hand, Mafia 3 has a decent story with an incredibly dull open world. While 2K Games reported that the game was successful sales-wise, the studio that made the game has been gutted. Now, 2K is focused on online play and microtransactions in their games, and Mafia doesn’t fit that MO. There are reports of some of the team working on a new Bioshock game though, which is certainly better than nothing.
Deus Ex is our number six pick, and there are a few things that killed this series. First and foremost are the ridiculous sales targets set by Square-Enix, which Deus Ex: Mankind Divided failed to hit. Second is all the bad press for the microtransactions in a single player game, along with the whole pre-order debacle. Finally, the team is now working on the Avengers Project. All that math adds up to the Deus Ex series going away for a very long time.
For number five, we have Capcom’s zombie-based series Dead Rising. This is another example of games that just couldn’t evolve. What started with Frank West killing zombies in a mall ended with Frank West killing zombies in a mall. After decent success with the first two games, Dead Rising 3 launched exclusively on the Xbox One when the console launched. Due to the low sales of the console, the game’s sales suffered as well. Fast Forward to Dead Rising 4 being exclusive to Xbox One again for a year, and yet again you have poor sales. Capcom shut the studio down shortly after, and killed Dead Rising along with it.
Infamous comes in at number four, and it is probably better to say that this series is retired, rather than dead. After the launch of the PlayStation 4, we got Infamous: Second Son, with the DLC First Light later on. Both of which helped to show off the PlayStation 4’s power with lighting and color. Suck Punch would then go quiet until 2017, when they would finally reveal Ghost Of Tsushima. After sinking this much time into the game, you can believe it will be getting a sequel as well. The result of this is that Infamous will remain in limbo for who knows how long.
Dead Space takes the number three spot on the list. You can argue that the series died in the last generation, after the abysmal Dead Space 3. I believe, however, that until Visceral was shut down in 2017, we had a shot with a Dead Space reboot. With the recent success of the Resident Evil 2 remake and Resident Evil 7, the market is clearly hungry for more survival horror games. EA instead put them on a Star Wars project that was shuttered, and the death of the company shortly followed. EA probably would have overloaded the game with microtransactions anyways; RIP Dead Space.
Back to back with the horror genre, our number two pick goes to Silent HIll. The story of PT is one most people in the video game industry know well. PT was a demo released to shadow drop that Konami was working on a new Silent Hill game. We saw Konami, but more importantly Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus working together on the game. The demo itself was almost universally praised, and we could all look forward to a proper Silent Hill reboot. Then Kojima was fired from Konami, PT was pulled from game stores, and Silent Hill was sentenced to a fate worse than death: Pachinko Machines.
Metal Gear Solid
The number one pick should be obvious, and that is Metal Gear Solid. After Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain released, it was revealed that Konami and Kojima didn’t see eye to eye on game development. Konami wanted cheaper games, and Kojima wanted bigger games. As we just talked about, Konami and Kojima split, and the Metal Gear series died a slow and painful death. Without Kojima, titles like Metal Gear Survive proved that you can’t just slap a Metal Gear title on something and rush it out for quick sales.
Which loss hits you the hardest? Leave us a comment below and let us know.