IP & Genre Loyalty

After watching the most recent trailer for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, which looks very impressive in my opinion, I found myself trying recall other IPs that have crossed genre lines. Halo Wars was the first game that popped into my head. Based on the incredibly popular Halo first person shooter series, Halo Wars failed to live up to expectations set by the original fps games. Other than Halo Wars I struggle to think of the last time an IP was explored in multiple genres. While I understand the inherent risk of upsetting loyal fans and preconceived expectations are factors in this, but I think there is untapped potential in some of our favorite game universes.

For example, the Mass Effect series provides some of the richest world building in gaming. The ability to fly throughout the universe and explore in any way you decide makes for an enormous and realized world. It seems unfortunate that within such a large setting there is only room for squad based RPGs. The idea of getting to explore the far flung planets in a more personal action game or the Citadel in a Deus Ex or Dishonored styled stealth game holds great appeal for me. While these are just off the cuff suggestions I believe that there are many incredible games just waiting to be made in some of our most beloved game worlds.

I believe at times the struggle game developers face is backlash from the communities surrounding their games. The internet allows for instant news and as a result instant reactions. Most times a fast reaction results in overreaction which can scare developers and publishers.

With that in mind, do players need to be more open minded when developers take risks with an IP? Or do developers need to prove that they are trying to make quality products rather than just cash in on fan loyalty?

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