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id: sequels "unfairly criticised"

"We do not see Rage as a one-off."

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Rage developer id Software has defended the game industry's obsession with sequels, saying they're "unfairly criticised".

E3 2011 went big on sequels: Modern Warfare 3, Mass Effect 3, Saints Row 3, Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3, Resistance 3, Far Cry 3, Just Dance 3, Ninja Gaiden 3, Serious Sam 3, Arma3...

Some have complained of sequel fatigue, but according to id CEO Todd Hollenshead, sequels are good for game developers and good for gamers.

"Sequels are unfairly criticised," he said. "One regard is they're not original. You can do a lot of original things in a sequel as long as you're consistent and true to the universe that game comes up in.

"One of the great benefits of sequels is if enough people like the games you've been making and the universe they inhabit, they want to buy the next one. They weren't satisfying enough by it and wanted more of it. That means you've done something right.

"Why throw it all away and have to start all over every single time?"

Hollenshead guessed that criticism of sequels stems from the memory of a single, bad entry in a series that outweighs other entries.

"I'm not sure I can comment expertly on the psychology of all of it, but it's probably related to the fact that somebody always remembers the sequel of some movie that was the worst.

"Like, Road House 2 was really awful, or whatever series of whatever movie or whatever series from whatever game, where it took a nosedive.

"But all the other games that are done within that serialisation of it can be awesome."

One company whose sequels seem immune to criticism is Nintendo.

"Everything Mario started Donkey Kong," Hollenshead said. "How many sequels would that even be? You're getting into high Roman numerals, like Ms or Us.

"Mario Kart, just because you're not calling it Donkey Kong 17, doesn't mean it still doesn't have Mario in it, right?

"The reason why Nintendo has been to a great extent inoculated from criticism along those regards is they execute very well in the games they make."

And that's exactly what id is attempting to do with upcoming first-person shooter Rage – its first new IP in years.

If Rage is a success, sequels will happen. "We do not see Rage as a one-off," Hollenshead said. "We certainly hope we're going to have an enthusiastic response when the game comes out in October. That will drive us to make a next game and a game after that."

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