In a world of nostalgia, what’s old often becomes what’s new again. That’s as true in gaming as it could be in any entertainment space, where successful video game franchises of the past are routinely trudged back up with the promise of combining old fans with new ones.
Not every big gaming comeback can be successful, but those that do stand strong enough to incentivize publishers to chase that potential success again and again. Here are a few such franchises that are aiming to make a comeback, with fans eagerly awaiting each.
STALKER comes back with a new look
The STALKER series of games made a big impression when they debuted in 2007 with STALER: Shadow of Chernobyl. The franchise blended deftly its rough survival mechanics with high-intensity FPS gameplay, delivering what was then a novel experience to players. With three releases in three years between 2007-2009, fans became accustomed to regularly getting more of the series they loved.
But no STALKER game was released from 2010-2023. That will finally change in 2024, as we have now seen with a STALKER 2 leak, set for a 2024 release date.
The new game in the series will look very different compared to the games that came before it, as leaked footage shows a build based on Unreal Engine 5. It’s a far cry for a series that was first announced in 2001, more than two decades prior.
Final Fantasy 7 continues its own comeback
The original Final Fantasy 7 was one of the defining games of the 90s. It helped solidify the PlayStation as a premier gaming console, and Sony as a console developer on the level of Nintendo. The game’s comeback is already underway, and it’s showing no signs of slowing any time soon.
That comeback got formally underway with the release of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, a hugely successful re-debut that reshaped the game into a trilogy. Remake was the first part, and the upcoming Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth is the second.
A third installment will then follow to complete the trilogy, and other games may spin out along the way. We’ve already seen the accompanying release of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion, which remade the 2008 Crisis Core release to better fit it into the revamped plans around Final Fantasy 7.
Can Dragon’s Dogma make it big?
Developer Capcom has big hopes for Dragon’s Dogma 2, but its success is far from assured, even with all of the resources being funneled into the new game.
The original Dragon’s Dogma was a hybrid role-playing game published by Capcom in 2012. The game took seeming inspiration from a variety of sources, including Dragon Age, Dark Souls, and the Elder Scrolls series. But it failed to reach the heights of those acclaimed franchises.
More than a decade later, Capcom is hoping that its second attempt at the fantasy series will be more successful than the first. The game will again feature a large open-world waiting to explore, and its publisher is promising more in the way of dynamic events that play out in real-time and demand improvisation from players.
Even with the many millions of dollars being channeled into all of these combined remakes and revamps, there’s no guarantee that any of these games will be successful. Publishers are betting that a combination of warm feelings for the past and exciting new developments will bring players in droves. But it’s the quality of each game, and perhaps the strength of its marketing, that will determine which of these bets pay off.