The Constant Flow of HD Remasters on Games and it’s Effects on Eliminating Originality

This week, a long time favorite classic game of many people’s childhood was re-released in a new remastered format. Day of the Tentacle was originally released in 1993 by LucasArts and Double Fine Productions, one of the first games helmed by Tim Schafer, who would go on to produce Psychonauts and Broken Age, among many others. When game producers and publishers say “remastered”, what it usually means is an upscaling of the resolution and generally “cleaning up” the game by adding various Anti-aliasing and bloom effects. For games like Day of the Tentacle, a remaster is almost necessary to play the game on any modern day console or PC, since it originally ran on Windows ’98. However, many games have recently been remastered when the game is barely even one generation old. This is a blatant tactic of attempting to re-sell or remarket your game to people who have either already bought your game, or never wanted to buy it when it first came out.

Take, for Example, God of War III, originally released on the Playstation 3 in 2010, and was re-released for the Playstation 4 in 2015. While 5 years may seem like a lot, in terms of console generations, it is not. The so-called “remaster” hardly even improved the fidelity of the graphics, simply transitioning from 1080i to 1080p. Saints Row IV is another perfect example of this, re-relasing not even one full generation after it’s original incarnation, and providing nothing more than a claim of “60 FPS”. These constant remakes and remasters of still recent games is hurting the games industry – after all, why bother thinking of new ideas and original IP’s when, instead, you can just re-release a game you’ve already made with minimal changes to the graphics and resolution settings?

For older games, like the Majoras Mask Remaster, this practice may be a bit more acceptable, as these games can be difficult to play on today’s modern hardware. However, releasing a game twice in under a 3-5 year span simply seems unacceptable to me and, frankly, just plain lazy.

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