Gaming studios have been polishing and tweaking their games for the new platforms since the introduction of consoles, but it’s when developers started packing them as ‘HD Remasters’ that this trend solidified to almost becoming a genre on its own.
The world of gaming is always nudging forward, but the fast-moving technological advancements mean that some of the games can’t be played on the new consoles. At times absence increases demand, and developers know exactly how to take advantage of that nostalgia – remastering old games instead of making new ones. Unlike a reboot, remastered video games usually update the graphics, but don’t change gameplay, aside from improvements like developer commentary, achievements, and trophies.
Remastering Old Games From A Developers Perspective
Although there have been reports of different ways through which game developers manipulate gamers for the money. It’s important that such developers and publishers are taken to task for such policies. But when it comes to remastered video games, it’s important to look at such trends from the publisher’s perspective. Development costs for such games have significantly gone up with games such as the “Grand Theft Auto V” costing around £193.28 just to develop. By remastering old games, publishers can release games to the gamers with limited effort and time on their part, which meets the publisher’s development budget and also allow them to complete the new games we all crave. This is something that should be carefully considered and the next point further expounds on this issue.
Remasters As A Channel To A New Audience
‘Halo’ is one of the 6th generation games that have been remastered. Besides solving gameplay issues, the remasters made it easier for gamers to switch from old to new graphics. Also, the updates led to many gamers revisiting these titles in a way they wouldn’t have if only the original titles were available. Therefore, remasters are essential for rekindling the lost passion for old games. On the other hand, the remasters help new generations and new audiences to discover these older games. Still, we may have to believe that the developers are remastering the old games with noble intentions, but the lack of compatibility with the next generation consoles still raises some more issues.
Too Many Remasters
The recent upsurge of remasters, from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 and Xbox 360 to Xbox One, is somehow overkill. Reasonable gamers may disagree on the advantages of updating a game between various console generations, but do titles really need new updates after every few years. Was there a big technological and generational gap from 2010 to 2015 that a game such as the “God of War III” had to be updated from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4, publishers might say yes, there were many benefits, like the steady frame rate and the 1080p update? But it’s unbelievable that the 2013 edition of Tomb Raider was so low quality that they had to remaster it in 2014. Fortunately, many gamers can take solace from the fact that most of the remasters sell for a lower price. And some such as ‘Halo: Master Chief Collection’ that’s offers 4 updated games for the cost of one new game is a great deal any way you look at it.
Essentially, remastered titles are great if they deliver high-end graphics including the ability to switch between new and old animations, rectify the problems of the original version and allow gamers to enjoy their favorite games on the next-generation consoles. Nevertheless, updates aren’t always a bad thing if they aren’t just made to get some extra cash. Releasing the same game every time a new gaming console is released robs gamers of the viewpoint they enjoy from comparing old and new versions of these games.
With remakes and remasters, large studios and publishers usually work with specialist companies and outsourcing developers that exclusively deal in this area. For instance, Bluepoint Games has worked on more than 7 porting, remake and remastering projects.
These independent gaming studios can contribute to a particular development project based on what is needed. Moreover, since there is a predefined baseline for them to follow, the independent process for remastering old games is more cost-effective.
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Like old Hollywood movies, video games get a Polish for new audiences (Published 2020). (2020, August 3). The New York Times – Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/01/business/video-game-remake-remaster-nostalgia.html
Browne, R. (n.d.). Nintendo is bringing three classic Mario games to the switch, in a bid to boost holiday sales. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/04/nintendo-brings-classic-games-including-super-mario-64-to-the-switch.html