How does it feel to live long enough to see all your favourite franchises go down in flames?
It’s funny complaining about something as trivial as the entertainment industry, particularly in this era where world-changing events happen almost daily. But I feel like that’s what makes entertainment that much more important in our lives. We sometimes need a distraction from the depressing world around us.
It seems these days that almost all major franchises have turned out one disappointing result after another, particularly in the world of movies and games. For them, the bottom line isn’t to create a meaningful experience that would be remembered, it is overwhelmingly clear that the bottom line is to turn a quick and tidy profit. It’s definitely sad to see the franchises that I’ve loved for years go down the drain, being reduced to a shadow of what it once was.
In games, development is hugely rushed, the devs never have enough time or resources to make the game properly, they are forced to work insanely long hours to catch up with the higher-ups' demands. Instead of releasing a finished working product, the norm today is to release it in a broken state, and slowly patch things up as they go along.
Almost all good games that came out recently predominantly come from the indie developers, small teams of passionate people working together to make their vision come true, even with their limited resources and budget.
All the big-budget, triple A games always seem a bit corporate and soulless, particularly with their recent push towards microtransactions, a lot of new games seem to be designed around the real currency shop, the actual game itself seems more like an afterthought.
In movies, creativity and originality is discarded in favour of playing it safe. That’s why we have endless unnecessary remakes and disappointing sequels. They know that as long as there’s still people willing to watch and support anything they put out, it doesn’t have to be good. It only has to be marketable and appeal to the broadest possible audience, which detracts from the director’s vision, and it ends up being a mediocre product at best. It doesn’t matter if a movie is bad, as long as it keeps raking in money.
Franchises don’t die by being cancelled anymore, it’s now a form of multi-generational mental torture where everything good is destroyed bit by bit until no one can remember what was good about them in the first place.
There’s also a problem of monopoly, some companies became so massively huge that they started buying up smaller studios filled with potential. But they force these recently acquired studios to work on something that they are not passionate about, and when the product inevitably fails, the company blames the studio and dissolves it, destroying what was good about it in the first place.
I’m not saying that there’s nothing good being made anymore, but it is becoming the exception, not the norm. It is so rare to find projects being worked on by passionate people, with a genuine love for what they’re making, using their creative talents to produce great works of art. With the climate of today, the movie and game industry seems to be stacked against them, but I hope they can find a way to brave the odds, and give us something worth experiencing again.