The gaming landscape is awash with franchises having withstood the test of time. We have only look to seemingly perennial juggernauts such as Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto to confirm this. There’s even been a move to reinvigorate life into long-announced sequels such as Between Good & Evil 2 for example. But what of those franchises which not too long ago dominated the news cycle and were on every gamer’s lips?
Here are five gaming franchises that have faded into obscurity.
When Silent Hill was released, it marked the start of a new era for horror games and remains to this day one of the most influential titles for psychological horror because it steered away from the tired old tropes of thrift store jump scares. Four sequels continued this legacy thanks to the involvement of creator Keiichiro Toyama and Konami’s Team Silent, the group responsible for the original. However, development shifted to other studios of lesser renown, culminating in the disappointing Silent Hill: Downpour in 2012. From there, the franchise went silent, except for a brief time in 2014-15 when a playable trailer was released announcing a reboot collaboration between Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro. However, with Kojima’s departure from Konami, the project caved.
Infamous and Infamous 2 are among the better games to launch during the PlayStation 3 era, offering up a new take on the action-adventure genre with death defying stunts, superhero inspired powers which were a blast to play, and a compelling story where players had to make pivotal decisions between going down the paths of good or evil. Infamous Second Son released on PlayStation 4 to both critical and commercial success in 2014. Ever since, there hasn’t been a peep from developer Sucker Punch, who has preferred to direct their attention towards the upcoming Ghost of Tsushima. The lack of further Infamous games is probably a good thing. There’s no point in rinsing a concept when its legacy remains a positive one that gamers look back on with fondness.
Space survival horror franchise Dead Space and its three entries garnered considerable love from both critics and gamers for the immersive and polish feel attained. The last game, Dead Space 3, opted to concentrate on action rather than the franchise’s signature horror and implemented rather lacking narrative, something that was picked up by fans of Dead Space. Regardless, a sequel was expected, yet Visceral Games shut down in 2017, marking the rather sudden end to a great franchise.
Initially, the Skate series emerged as an alternative to the over-the-top and often times too easy Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, offering instead far more realism. Mastering the controls, let alone the game was a feat in itself drawing in many who appreciated the steep learning curve and the depiction of skateboarding as a difficult pursuit similar to the sport in real life. Though, two further games were released with the introduction of multiplayer among the new features, the series failed to progress and explore new territory, signaling its eventual demise.
Command & Conquer
After dominating the real-time strategy scene for the better part of two decades starting in the 1990s, the Command & Conquer franchise suddenly went quiet. Possibly due to the lackluster response to Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight in 2010 or nowhere new for the concept to go, EA chose to stop production. That is until this year’s E3, when it was announced that Command & Conquer would make its way to mobile. As you’d expect from many fans, the news was not well received at all, causing many to speculate whether the watered down mobile version would indeed ever see the light of day.