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10 Games That Killed a Franchise

These ten games put some great franchises into an early grave or acted as the series' final tombstone. See who made the cut!

Article by Mike Williams, .

Every major publisher wants to be working with a franchise. They want to have franchises on franchises, so they can show them off when other executives ask, "what do you do?" A successful franchise takes some of the risk out of throwing millions of dollars and hundreds of people at a single game idea. It's the easy money and every studio out there wants a few solid franchises under their belt.

Unfortunately, when you're making the next entry in a franchise, you're still making a game, so there's a nominal chance you can fail. And when the latest entry in a franchise fails hard, it can kill the franchise altogether. Fans flee the burning ship, spitting on that watery grave of the developers that went down with it. Particularly bad flops can even tank the publisher.

This article and the additional video cover a few of the games that have killed a franchise through poor sales, presentation, and gameplay. Some of them were horribly bad, while others were just the straw that broke the camel's back. We've kept the list in alphabetical order to preserve the feelings of those who still love one of these games.

1. Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight

EA | PC | 2010

The first Command & Conquer was one of the games that defined the real-time strategy genre when it was released back in 1995. In addition to awesome gameplay, the title had a great single-player campaign that kicked off the ongoing war between the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of Nod. Spreading across three mainstream titles, the Red Alert spin-offs, the first-person Renegade, and the alternate-Earth RTS Generals, fans enjoyed most of the series.

Enter Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight, which decided to ditch that single-player campaign focus to force you to play with your friends online. Most of us don't even like our friends, EA! The permanent base feature that had defined earlier entries? Gone. C&C4 also included always-online DRM, so if you got disconnected all of your progress up until that point was gone, winking out of existence like the last spent match in a snowy wasteland. EA Los Angeles tried to do something new with the franchise, but it lost the core that fans loved up until then.

EA's never been able to get the magic back. For a while, the publisher had internal startup Victory Games (or Bioware Victory for a single year) working on a free-to-play reboot of Command & Conquer. After the poor reception of the title in alpha, EA cancelled the game and shut down the studio. EA is still batting around the idea of a new Command & Conquer game, but it looks like Tiberian Twilight was the series' twilight.

2. Dino Crisis 3

Capcom | Xbox | 2003

The first two Dino Crisis games took the successful Resident Evil formula and replaced zombies with dinosaurs. Fans enjoyed both titles and were looking forward to the third entry, since Dino Crisis 2 seemed to suggest an ongoing story. Instead, the game dropped that premise like a dubstep beat and kicked player far into the future, fighting dinosaur-like mutants on a derelict spaceship.

Capcom Production Studio 4 tried to do something different with Dino Crisis 3, but their execution fell far below their hopes and dreams. Dino Crisis 3's gameplay hinged anti-gravity action using your high-speed jetpack. The problem is the controls weren't vastly redesigned to account for anti-gravity and the camera itself was still fixed depending on the scene. You'd be zipping around, cross an invisible barrier between scenes, and switch to a different camera view. Since the left analog stick would push your character in the direction you wanted to go based on the fixed camera, everything started to break down in areas where you'd switch between multiple cameras.

Most reviewers didn't like it and Dino Crisis fans didn't like the fact that the third entry didn't continue the story of the first two games. Capcom quietly shelved the series and never looked back. Like they do with a lot of titles.

3. Empire Earth III

Sierra Entertainment | PC | 2007

Empire Earth III was such a commercial and critical failure that developer Mad Doc Studios took the game off its website before it was bought out by Rockstar Games. Yeah, they were so embarrassed that they wouldn't admit to making it publicly.

Fans of Empire Earth and Empire Earth II were in for a rude awakening with the third game. Empire Earth III was buggy, with poor animation, framerate, AI, and combat. The complexity and depth that made the first two games great was stripped out of this game in an attempt to reach a larger audience. Diplomatic relations were taken down to two binary states, resource collecting lost any type of strategy, pathfinding was terrible, and the enemy AI frequently sat around wondering what to do against your crafty plan of "zerg everything".

Empire Earth III was Mad Doc Studios last game before it became Rockstar New England. Now it helps the larger Rockstar studios with ports and additional design. Sad state of affairs.

4. Lunar: Dragon Song

Ubisoft | Nintendo DS | 2005

Realize that there have only been three actual Lunar titles. The first was 1992's Lunar: Silver Star Story followed by 1994's Lunar 2: Eternal Blue; both titles came out on the Sega CD and have been remade and re-released numerous times. So when Lunar: Dragon Song came out for Nintendo DS in 2005, hopes were high. Fans of the series hoisted their banners aloft for the first original Lunar game in a long time.

Those high hopes were subsequently dashed against the sharp rocks of disappointment. The in-battle graphics were poor to dire. In an attempt to be innovative, the developers added a system than took HP from the player when they were running around, even in the safety of town. Battles could play out in two different modes: one awarded experience points, while the other dropped items. That means you have to choose which one you want to gain prior to the battle. Your weapons broke, so you needed those items from the second combat mode to keep playing. And once in combat, you can't even choose which monster you want to attack! The previous Lunar games were 100 percent straightforward JRPG in the Final Fantasy style; I guess after the countless remakes developer Japan Art Media thought fans were tired of that simplicity.

In the end, Lunar: Dragon Song 's poor gameplay mechanics lead to poor reviews, which led to poor sales. And with that, the series was dead.

5. Master of Orion 3

Infogrames | PC | 2003

Like the Empire Earth series, Master of Orion and Master Of Orion 2 were absolute classics in the turn-based strategy genre. Master of Orion 3 took a look at all of that goodwill and decided that it didn't need things like "fans" and "consumers".

Master of Orion 3 introduced some new features to the series: a cumbersome user interface, atrocious combat AI, an a ton of software bugs that caused frequent crashes. Promised features like the colonization of moons and asteroids never materialized, and older features like genocide were gutted completely. Trading and diplomatic relations became borderline incomprehensible without significant study and even then, sometimes your allies would just abandon you at the drop of a hat. Was it meant to be a metaphor for what the developers were doing to MoO players?

The Master of Orion community stepped in with mods and patches to fix the game, but that shouldn't have been their job. The franchise is currently owned by World of Tanks operator Wargaming, Inc, but there's no indication they're going to do anything with the property anytime soon.

6. Medal of Honor: Warfighter

EA | PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC | 2012

Medal of Honor: Warfighter was EA's 2012 effort to dethrone Activision's cash-money franchise, Call of Duty. On paper and in screenshots, it looked good. It was powered by DICE's Frostbite 2 engine and featured real special forces military outfits from around the world.

Unfortunately, it was boring, lacking any drama, tension, or excitement. Developer Danger Close Studios put together a technically-competent game with no heart whatsoever. It did some things right, it did some things wrong. In the end players just looked at it and asked, "why should we care?" and no amount of high-priced commercials during sporting events could answer the question. Medal of Honor: Warfighter was a critical and commercial failure, killing the Medal of Honor franchise and Danger Close as well.

EA was so disappointed in the reception of MoH: Warfighter that it pulled the series out of its annual first-person shooter rotation with Battlefield. Danger Close was shut down in June of the following year.

7. Red Faction: Armageddon

THQ | Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC | 2011

This was the big one, bringing THQ's successful shooter franchise to a bigger audience. Red Faction Armageddon was preceded by twin-stick shooter called Red Faction: Battlegrounds and launched simultaneously with Red Faction: Origins, a SyFy TV movie. THQ was ready for Volition's science-fiction series to become a "transmedia" hit.

Instead, Armageddon was panned by fans and critics for taking the open-world destructible fun of Red Faction: Guerilla and throwing it out back in the trash pile. Armageddon was a linear, close-quarters, cover shooter in the style of Gears of War. No really, they thought they could tap into that market. It even included an online multiplayer mode patterned after Gears of War 2's Horde Mode.

Armageddon didn't hit THQ's numbers and the publishers dropped the franchise completely. Of course, then THQ declared bankruptcy in 2012 and dropped itself completely. The IP is owned by Nordic Games now, but so far all the publisher has done is release Red Faction Collection on Steam.

8. Turok: Evolution

Acclaim Entertainment | PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance | 2002

For a brief, shining moment Acclaim had a franchise that stood next to the big dogs. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter released for the Nintendo 64 in 1997 and it was well-received by fans. Acclaim continued the success of the first release with three other Turok games for N64: Turok 2: Seeds of Evil, Turok: Rage Wars, and Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion. The series graduated to the next-generation of consoles with Turok: Evolution for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube.

There were a lot of things wrong with Turok: Evolution, but everything can be summed up in a single character: Captain Tobias Bruckner. Bruckner was the game's villain, a racist cyborg cowboy riding an allosaurus. He was so bad that to this day, EGM's annual "Worst Of" awards are called the Tobias Bruckner Memorial Awards.

Turok: Evolution's poor reception was one of the two nails in Acclaim's coffin (BMX XXX was the other) and the publisher went bankrupt soon after. Disney last had the rights to the series and released an remarkable reboot in 2008 that was still tainted by how bad Turok: Evolution was.

9. Ultima IX: Ascension

EA | PC | 1999

Ultima VIII: Pagan was bad. The world was smaller, your party was gone, water killed the Avatar instantly, Origin included platforming in the title for some reason, and there were major plot holes introduced. But it was okay, because Origin promised that it had learned from its mistakes for Ultima IX, the last game in the franchise.

Damned, dirty lies.

Fans exploded. If you think having a bad ending after three Mass Effect games is a problem, imagine a bad final title after eight Ultima games. Ultima IX was a bag of shiny promises turned out to be filled with spiders.

Whereas Pagan ended with the Avatar returning to Britannia only to find it crushed under the iron fist of the Guardian, Ascension begins with the Avatar waking up in bed. Your recently-acquired godhood is gone and you're trapped in Texas on Earth. A Texas with giant rats and spiders. Huh?

Following the poor reception of Ultima VIII: Pagan, Ultima IX: Ascension killed the franchise dead. Anything "Ultima" that did not also involve the words "Online" was tanked at Electronic Arts. Ultima creator Richard Garriott left Origin after that, and EA killed Origin, only to revive the name for its online distribution service. Ah, how we honor the memories of our dead.

10. Unlimited Saga

Square Enix | PlayStation 2 | 2002

Unlimited Saga was the latest in Square Enix's quirky Saga series, which was known for playing around with RPG convention and finding something unique in the process. It was the kind of series that could survive in the Super Nintendo, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 days, but started to become scarce in the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 era.

Unlimited Saga was built to play out like an board game with the series' multi-character focus. It was a game designed in a specific direction that broke with RPG convention. Unlimited Saga did pretty well in Japan, selling nearly a half a million copies in the region, but Japan's star was beginning to fall. Square Enix and other publishers wanted games that could be hits worldwide, not in one single region.

And Unlimited Saga was savaged in Western markets. Reviewers absolutely hated it and many Western fans were inclined to agree with them. And without the West in the equation, Square Enix decided it wasn't interested. The company hasn't revisited the game since, outside of Emperors Saga, a mobile-only playing card game released in 2012. On the bright side, the 25th Anniversary of the franchise is this year, so Square Enix and series creator Akitoshi Kawazu have something on the horizon to announce. The dark cloud to that silver lining is it'll probably be a mobile game.

Honorable Mention: Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle

Sega | Sega Genesis | 1989

This is one of the cases where the game itself is not necessarily at fault. I mean, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle did flop, but that's not the whole reason Sega never revisited the franchise. Instead, fan-favorite Sonic the Hedgehog put a dagger into Alex Kidd's back.

During the mid-to-late 80's Alex Kidd was Sega's official mascot, so he had survived a few unremarkable platformers. Without a replacement, you probably would've seen Alex Kidd and the Black Knight or Alex Kidd: Lost World over the past few years. Instead, Sega decided it needed something better in the mascot department and Sonic the Hedgehog was released in 1991.

Sonic proved popular for Sega, so the company never revisited Alex Kidd again. You can catch the character making cameos in titles like Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, but even then he kneels to the hedgehog that took his place.

Of course, this list doesn't cover games that killed a franchise for you personally, like Metal Gear Solid 2 did for me (long story). Is there a specific game that made you walk away from a franchise and never return? Or is there another title you know of that killed a thriving franchise dead? Either way, let us know in the comments!

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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #1 MHWilliams 4 years ago
    @nimzy Front Mission Evolved almost made the list actually! Unlimited Saga beat it out.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #2 DiscordInc 4 years ago
    Bionic Commando, the 3D one. I can't think of another game revival in recent memory that backfired so hard.

    Then again, they did make Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 afterward, so maybe this isn't the best exampleEdited April 2014 by DiscordInc
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  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #3 renatocosta90 4 years ago
    Does Megaman 10 already count?
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #4 jeremy.parish 4 years ago
    @DiscordInc Lords of Shadow 2?

    I was surprised not to see Shadow the Hedgehog on here. Pretty much every Sonic fan I know regarded that as the "abandon ship" moment for the series.
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  • Avatar for AxiomVerge #5 AxiomVerge 4 years ago
    I'd have to say EA killed C&C with Renegade. Not that Renegade is bad (I hear there is a badass fan version out there now), but from what my coworkers tell me, it was EA's disappointment in Renegade that made them close Westwood.
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  • Avatar for stevenbailey01 #6 stevenbailey01 4 years ago
  • Avatar for MetManMas #7 MetManMas 4 years ago
    @jeremy.parish I remember that some time before Shadow's stupid game existed, SEGA ran a survey asking fans what kinda Sonic game they would like. Which character it would star, what age range it should appeal to, what genre it should be, that sorta thing.

    If things had gone my way, we would've had The Misadventures of Dr. Eggman. Instead, we got Scowly Sonic Doppelganger Rival Guy with Guns and Angst and Poorly Thought Out Moral Choice Mechanics.

    Oh well, if Shadow's spinoff game hadn't killed Sonic for many fans, the 2006 game would do the job a year later. SEGA had a bad habit of rushing these games to market.

    They have improved in recent years though, especially since SEGA's not trying to rush a new Sonic game out the door every year now.Edited April 2014 by MetManMas
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  • Avatar for touchofkiel #8 touchofkiel 4 years ago
    Surprised not to see any number of modern FF games on here (or FFVII, from some surly old grump). FFXIII didn't quite kill my interest in my favorite series, but it didn't help much either. Though I currently play the hell out of XIV, I can't say I have any interest in XV. Square has killed its other series in more dramatic fashion (the disappearance of FF Tactics, the Mana series, Musashi, Valkyrie, etc. etc.).

    And on the subject of developers, Dragon Age 2/Mass Effect 2 took a big chunk out of my interest in Bioware RPGs.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #9 pdubb 4 years ago
    Bomberman:Act Zero has to be somewhere near honorable mention status right?
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  • Avatar for metalangel #10 metalangel 4 years ago
    I can think of a few. I'm going to scrape the barrel of history here.

    Number one for me has to be Quarantine 2: Road Warrior. Quarantine was one of the best of the flood of Doom clones in the mid-90s. Instead of being yet another marine fighting monsters, you were a taxi driver in a futuristic prison city half-filled with deranged killers. Take fares to their destinations to earn money to buy upgrades and weapons to let you complete missions to advance through the different districts of the city. Or just spend hours driving around playing music (as I did). The sequel did a Red Faction: Armageddon, and took away that freedom. You still had a big open world but it was now pointless: everything was a scripted, linear mission. A complete disgrace.

    Police Quest: Open Season. The previous games in the series had been the fun, educational and involving stories of a police department in a growing California city. Open Season took Sierra's long-running obsession with beating TV (now afforded them with digitized graphics and FMV) and gave us a boring, unpleasant tale set in real Los Angeles that was so realistic, accidentally clicking the hand icon on a female police officer would result in a game over for groping her without her consent. Did I mention they were so desperate for the CD-ROM to become mainstream that this came on 22 floppies? The next PQ game was one of those 'interactive movies' and their production of decent adventures ceased, but at least the SWAT series was spawned, and became good once they ditched the FMV.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #11 SatelliteOfLove 4 years ago
    "Front Mission Evolved almost made the list actually! Unlimited Saga beat it out."

    FM:E one was #1 on my mind when I saw the article title; Tsuchida being the forgotten SE ex-pat maestro, of course. Damn dirty shame that game was, and right after the series' height, too.
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  • Avatar for Dogislander #12 Dogislander 4 years ago
    Unlimited Saga, you odd bastard, I love your bizarre mechanics.
    @jeremy.parish didn't Lords of Shadow 2 do fairly ok, numbers wise? I hope they return to the series, because the first game was fairly enjoyable.
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  • Avatar for boxofficepoison #13 boxofficepoison 4 years ago
    I was going to chime in with Front Mission Evolved, but was beaten to the punch. At least there is s pretty good fan translation for front mission 5.

    I'll add in Starfox Adventures for the Gamecube. That game was just awful.

    Perfect Dark Zero is another.
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  • Avatar for Chiarafan #14 Chiarafan 4 years ago
    I guess it is not dead, but of course Resident Evil 6 has seriously hurt the franchise.
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  • Avatar for cscaskie #15 cscaskie 4 years ago
    Romancing SaGa came out in 2005. 2 years after Unlimited. It was far more traditional, and quite good. Does it not count because it's a remake?
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #16 Funny_Colour_Blue 4 years ago
    @cscaskie I was thinking the same thing.
    There hasn't been any future instalments outside of Emperor Saga as Mike mentioned, so I think that's what he meant.

    Wait, I got one!

    Final Fight: Streetwise.
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  • Avatar for Critical_Hit #17 Critical_Hit 4 years ago
    What about that King's Quest game that wasn't a point-and-click adventure, but instead a Tomb Raider style early 3D action-adventure. King's Quest (number): Mask of the Something-something (I was not into PC games back then)? Looked like Deathtrap Dungeon or Die by the Blade or something. I know a lot of people hated it.

    Y'know what? There are probably a TON of games like this, so I'll forgive it. I'll just instead say, "Good job" and that you should probably return with a Top 50 or Top 100 list for this theme someday.

    When else will someone recognize Tony Hawk RIDE for anything? Or 3rd Birthday? Or Quake IV? Or 007 Blood Stone? Or Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts? Or Dawn of Mana/Heroes of Mana (take your pick)? Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers? I could literally keep going :)

    This is a fun topic!Edited April 2014 by Critical_Hit
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  • Avatar for Stealth20k #18 Stealth20k 4 years ago
    A big one was missed. Arc the Lad V
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  • Avatar for bullet656 #19 bullet656 4 years ago
    Although the changes to the game were probably more due to the franchise being almost dead already (along with all the other Sierra franchises) than the reason it died, but King's Quest 8 was a disaster. Practically everything about it was awful. They turned an adventure series into a horribly controlled action game that dropped basically all of the storytelling aspects of it.Edited April 2014 by bullet656
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  • Avatar for FanBoysSuck #20 FanBoysSuck 4 years ago
    There was me thinking I'd wiped Unlimited saga from my mind. This article has made the memories come flooding back. I think I need to be sick.

    I'd rank it as one of the worst games ever :(
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  • Avatar for Wellman #21 Wellman 4 years ago
    King of Fighter XII, releasing a obvious incomplete game and making folk pay for it at full price.

    Short of XIII having the most fighters in any game of the series or the return of XI's tag system as a form of optional play XIII was doomed to suffer regardless of the increased roster or actual storyline in the game. A true shame about as bad as Samurai Shodown: Edge of Destiny.
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  • Avatar for Fractalhedron #22 Fractalhedron 4 years ago
    Actually, Unlimited SaGa is DOUBLE only technically responsible for killing its franchise.

    Yes, Romancing SaGa is a remake.

    On the other hand, The Last Remnant has very similar mechanics to the SaGa series (arguably within the series' margin of error) and is made by the same people, so it's basically a SaGa game with the serials etched off.

    Then again, the game was very poorly received on the 360 because SaGa (and also its engine and graphics were a disaster) and the PC version, while critically hailed (after its patches and therefore the reviews) remained unpopular, so... uh... that might be what actually killed the SaGa franchise.Edited 2 times. Last edited April 2014 by Fractalhedron
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  • Avatar for TernBird #23 TernBird 4 years ago
    I'd like to submit Mega Man Star Force 2 for approval. A game with three versions and an overly-convoluted form-change/form-mix system involving ALL THREE GAMES, this series took the flawed-but-promising premise and system put forth by Star Force 1 and murdered it. Star Force 3 improved upon many of SF2's mistakes, but it was too little, too late: Star Force was so bad, it dragged the third Star Force game down to the grave with it.

    Alas, poor Star Force: your Brother Bond system would have been phenomenal on the 3DS.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #24 MHWilliams 4 years ago
    Got a lot of good ones flooding in! Arc the Lad V, King's Quest: Mask of Eternity, and Final Fight: Streetwise. As I said before, Front Mission: Evolved almost made the list this time around, so it'd be a shoe-in on another. I may have to do a second article at some point.
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  • Avatar for docexe #25 docexe 4 years ago
    Final Fight Streetwise… ugh… the horror!

    The NARC reboot (or rather, attempt at reboot) was also abominable.
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  • Avatar for boxofficepoison #26 boxofficepoison 4 years ago
    @docexe I think Final Fight was killed by Final Fight Revenge on the Saturn, streetwise is the nail in the coffin.
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  • Avatar for Kalarix #27 Kalarix 4 years ago
    There's no such thing as Master of Orion 3, you take that back!
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #28 MetManMas 4 years ago
    @Critical_Hit I don't think Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was a bad game. Building custom vehicles with physics is a pretty great core mechanic (I mean c'mon, you can build an all-terrain Dickmobile among other kinds of crazy Wacky Races-esque vehicles if you want), and even though the platforming leaves a lot to be desired the game kept the absurd B&K humor intact.

    With that said, I can see why it was a series killer. Besides fans being disappointed that it wasn't a standard platformer like the previous games, the combination of the unpredictability of physics and having to MacGuyver up solutions to challenges doesn't exactly make it accessible to younger audiences.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #29 DiscordInc 4 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Oh god Lords of Shadow. I think I just blocked that game from my mind.

    As for Sonic, I think that game that should have killed the franchise is actually Sonic '06. That was supposed to be returning the series to classic form after Shadow, celebrating the series anniversary. Instead, it was a buggy, unplayable mess. Didn't help that they followed it up with Sonic Unleashed. It's a miracle they're still making Sonic games after all that.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #30 Funny_Colour_Blue 4 years ago
    There's something incredibly fascinating about these games that kill off beloved game franchises. They're almost artistic in their awfulness. Something grandiose in their failure.

    So for instance, I'm assuming Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness and Driv3r wouldn't count because these franchises later received instalments that have been moderately successful.

    and I'm assuming games like Musashi: Samurai Legend wouldn't count either because it needs to be an established franchise that has had more than two instalments.

    But,

    Alone in the Dark: Inferno - might be one
    Golden Axe Beast Rider - might be one
    Silent Hill: Book of Memories - might be one
    Bionic Commando (2009) - might be one

    Though, some of these are way too recent to tell and opinions will vary.

    But Dawn of Mana would most definitely be one, if squareenix hadn't announced the latest instalment for mobile phones.

    There are some really great ones we're missing though.

    @Critical_Hit I think Tony Hawk RIDE is a great one because it's the complete opposite of what made the first game so initially appealing - to actually ride a skate board, even though it was more inline with what rock band did with plastic instruments. Like, how could it fail?...But then how could it not fail?

    It's just so weird to think about!Edited 3 times. Last edited April 2014 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for EuroDarlan #31 EuroDarlan 4 years ago
    Metal Gear Solid 4 was a solid game, but the way it bent over backwards to close out all of the outlying plot points really makes it hard to get excited about Metal Gear Solid V...that story's done, you know? It's *way* past time to reboot the series or move on.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #32 MetManMas 4 years ago
    @DiscordInc Sonic Unleashed is an odd game. It has some steps in the right direction (more lighthearted story, smaller cast, way less glitches, the realization that 2D can do some things better than 3D), but also some major missteps (QTEs, the homing attack button switch, Sonic moves too friggin' fast, some really cheap deaths, requirements to collect medals to unlock arbitrary level locks that exist for no reason other than to pad game time more).

    And there's the werehog thing, which IMO is kinda a half and half. On the one hand, it's arguably one of the best and most developed alternate play modes in a Sonic game (well, in the HD version where you have combos anyway, much less so in SD), but on the other hand, I doubt most fans were playing a Sonic game to have a monsterman to pound neon lizards God of War style.

    The werehog stuff would make a decent base for a 3D Ristar sequel, though.
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  • Avatar for eodx9000 #33 eodx9000 4 years ago
    I agree with Dino Crisis 3 & Masters of Orion 3 for sure, and it's rare for me to agree with these kinds of lists.

    The only game that's made me walk away from a franchise is Dark Souls 2. I loved Demon's Souls & Dark Souls, but DkS2 is just disappointing (the fact Atlus decided to stop enemies from spawning just to force one to move onwards and their continued focus towards online interaction makes me wary of playing any future game with From Software's name on it).

    (Edited: From Software, not Atlus.)Edited 2 times. Last edited April 2014 by eodx9000
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #34 MetManMas 4 years ago
    @eodx9000 Dude, Demon's Souls and the Dark Souls games were developed by From Software. Atlus didn't have jack to do with the series except for publishing/localizing Demon's Souls for the US market.

    What I'm saying is to be wary of games by From Software if you didn't like Dark Souls 2.
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  • Avatar for eodx9000 #35 eodx9000 4 years ago
    @MetManMas Oh right, that was From Software. Thank you for the correction. d(^.^)b
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  • Avatar for CK20XX #36 CK20XX 4 years ago
    Shadow the Hedgehog probably doesn't count even though by all rights it should have killed its franchise. Instead, Sonic Rush Adventure ended the 100% original portable games, Sonic and the Black Knight ended the storybook sub-series, and Sonic 4 Episode 2 cut short what was supposed to be a trilogy at least.

    The original Xbox served as a graveyard for a lot of other Sega franchises too, like Crazy Taxi, Toejam and Earl, Panzer Dragoon, and Jet Set Radio.

    Bomberman: Act Zero could count as an honorable mention; Bomberman continued to live on until Hudson itself was eaten alive by Konami, but I don't think the little master blaster ever had another single player game after that, did he?

    Mega Man 10 was critically acclaimed and sold well according to what we know, so it doesn't count either. You may be able to make a case for Mega Man 8 being a franchise killer though since it took 12 years after that for the next proper installment to appear.

    I personally mourn the death of Klonoa, who should have had a revival with the remake of Door to Phantomile on the Wii, but it sold abysmally.

    Has enough time passed that we might be able to add Metroid: Other M to this list?
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #37 MetManMas 4 years ago
    @CK20XX Up until Episode 2 was announced out of the blue, I'd expect many of us had figured that Episode 1 of Sonic 4 would be the last episode. I felt Ep.2 was better than Ep.1 in almost every way, but the first episode didn't make a very good first impression.
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  • Avatar for DiscordInc #38 DiscordInc 4 years ago
    @MetManMas I'll take your word for it, but man would I love a Ristar sequel.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #39 LBD_Nytetrayn 4 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Considering we got Sonic Colors and Generations after Shadow, I wouldn't consider it a series killer. Besides which, it would be more like a spin-off, anyway; seems like including Super Princess Peach as a Super Mario Bros. title to me.

    I think Mega Man X5-7 more or less killed X, at least enough that I don't think people cared enough when X8, which (save for the vehicle stages) was a really good game with a lot of unique ideas.

    Not counting Maverick Hunter X there, because that was on PSP only, and I'm pretty sure that's what did that one in.

    Capcom also decided to release Mega Man Legends 2 the same week as the PlayStation 2, and figured that since people were more interested in the shiny new next-gen console with enormous hype behind it instead of their last-gen game, no one wanted it.

    Star Fox Command: "Hey, let's bring back the gameplay people wanted, but sabotage it with unwieldy touchscreen controls!"

    Donkey Kong 64 gets an honorable mention for the gap between it and DKC Returns... which went back to 2D gameplay.

    Those are what I can think of, off the top of my head.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #40 LBD_Nytetrayn 4 years ago
    @MetManMas Loved Ep 2's stages, hated the boss fights, for the most part. Incidentally, if you're prone to motion-sickness, the last level is pretty bad.
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  • Avatar for CK20XX #41 CK20XX 4 years ago
    @MetManMas I agree, actually. I'm one of those people who grew up on Sonic 3 and Knuckles, to the point where I memorized it down to a science. It and the rest of the original 16-bit trilogy is still the gold standard for the series to this day, which is kinda sad when you think about it. I was sucked into the hype for Sonic 4 at first, then when it came out and I played it, I was like, "You had one job, Sega! How could you have blown it this badly?!"

    I've pretty much moved on from the Sonic franchise since then. I would like to try Lost World if I can ever afford a Wii-U, but I won't be expecting great things from it or any other Sonic game ever again. In the meantime, I'll be playing games like Freedom Planet, which are reincarnations of what the original Sonic games were all about.
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  • Avatar for mganai #42 mganai 4 years ago
    Surprised Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter wasn't mentioned. Too different for its own good, sadly.
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #43 MetManMas 4 years ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn Moreso X6 and X7, both of which were very rushed and had some poorly implemented design choices to boot.

    X5 wasn't great (ditching the navigator interruptions, time limit, and random elements would've helped make it a little better), but it did at least try to bring the Mega Man X series to a definitive conclusion so it could segue into the Mega Man Zero series.Edited April 2014 by MetManMas
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  • Avatar for secularsage #44 secularsage 4 years ago
    A nice list of some dubiously notable games.

    A fun follow-up to this (aside from 10 MORE games that killed their franchise) might be games that tried and failed to bring back a franchise... like Turok (2008), Pool of Radiance (2001), Shadowrun (2007), Syndicate (2012) and Alone in the Dark (rebooted unsuccessfully in 2001 AND 2008... and with a Uwe Boll move to boot).

    Or, how about a list of spiritual successors that overshadowed their original inspiration? Bioshock (from System Shock), Galactic Civilizations II (from Master of Orion II) and Call of Duty (from Medal of Honor) would all be a a great start.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #45 LBD_Nytetrayn 4 years ago
    @MetManMas Agreed; I just figure X5 more or less marks the beginning of the decline, as while it wasn't bad, nor was it quite as good as X4, voice acting aside.
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  • Avatar for secularsage #46 secularsage 4 years ago
    @nimzy I'm not sure I agree that Valkyria Chronicles II killed the franchise, given that the series never did that well in the US to start with (Wikipedia says the original only sold 33,000 copies at launch in the US, while it was a top-seller in Japan. It's a shame, because it's one of the PS3's most unique and interesting games.)

    VKII was actually well-received by fans and critics and remains one of the PSP's best games (and, if you sideload it, one of the Vita's, too!). But so few people played it in the US that VKIII never had a prayer of an official release here, despite being a great game itself and outselling the first two games in Japan.Edited 2 times. Last edited April 2014 by secularsage
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  • Avatar for docexe #47 docexe 4 years ago
    While they probably deserve honorable mention, I’m not entirely sure if games like Star Fox Command, F-Zero GP Legend or Metroid: Other M count. Sure, they had poor critical/fan reception and meager sales, and Nintendo has not released a new game in any of those series outside of the Star Fox 64 remake and a few re-releases on the VC.

    But Nintendo also has this weird habit of putting their second and third tier franchises (i.e. anything that’s not named or related to Mario, Pokémon or Zelda) on extended hiatus, only to suddenly resurrect them years if not decades later (consider the gap between Super Punch Out!! and Punch Out!! for the Wii, or between Kid Icarus: Myths and Monsters and Kid Icarus Uprising, or between Pikmin 2 and Pikmin 3, or heck, just the gap between Super Metroid and Metroid Prime and Fusion). Given that, I wouldn’t say those franchises are necessarily gone for good.
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  • Avatar for headshotjustin #48 headshotjustin 2 years ago
    Halo 5 ?

    If not Halo 4 ?
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