by Blake Chapman The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of Byte and Byte's editorial board. It seems Hollywood has really done a number in recent years on the image of sequels and continuations of long established series. The stink of greed and unoriginality have began to really overstay their welcome in the eye of the general public. With Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Aladdin, Dumbo, The Twilight Zone and possibly more revivals on the horizon releasing in 2019, it could be inferred that that section of the entertainment industry is drying up when it comes to “original ideas.” This outlook has not reached the same capacity when it comes to the video game industry. Fans of long dead franchises are kept salivating for another official main series title, often to no avail. For enthusiasts of Gearbox Software’s action role-playing game series Borderlands, it seems a conclusive third installment is just around the corner. Borderlands 3 is not the only sequel that should come out of limbo. Here's a list of famous franchises still waiting for a much desired sequel.
Borderlands 3It seems the hours of fun spent bumbling around Pandora with up to four friends collecting loot, killing psychos, and listening to the sly humor of your robo-pal Claptrap have not kept Borderlands fans completely satisfied. GearBox has tried to keep their army of followers content with multiple spin-off titles released over the last seven years since Borderlands 2 in 2012. These include a real-time strategy mobile game, a prequel taking place between the first and second installment, and an episodic adventure title from the now-defunct Telltale Games. Luckily, the gears started turning on the rumor mill again once Gearbox shared a post on Twitter teasing an important announcement for PAX East in Boston done in a particular art style that enthusiasts recognized almost immediately. Fast forward to March 28, the first official announcement took place which included a developer trailer. For fans, Gearbox has stated that more information will be revealed on April 3. Possibly a release date?
F-ZeroWith the success of Mario Kart, Forza, and Gran Turismo, there does not seem to be much space left for another exclusive racing title in the console market. Enter stage right, F-Zero. Originally released as a launch title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1990, F-Zero can be best described as driving a shopping cart at over a 1,000 miles per hour. It is all about speed and survival in this title with a steep difficulty curve, which has spawned stars like Captain Falcon. After its debut, the series became a Nintendo console mainstay with F-Zero X on the Nintendo 64 and F-Zero GX on the GameCube, which was considered to be the best and most difficult in the series. The tight controls and ultimate twists each track offered made for a truly unique experience that you could not find on any other platform. Then, it just disappeared. After an arcade experience and two Game Boy Advance titles, the latest of which never made it to the West, and a Nintendo Land mini-game, Captain Falcon and friends have not gotten the opportunity to step back into the cockpit for another bout in Mute City. Nintendo’s reaction to fan requests has been lackluster with veteran and video game legend Shigeru Miyamoto questioning what more the series could offer. All hope is not lost for fanatics though. In 2015, it was confirmed by Nintendo Life that Burnout studio, Criterion, was originally set to develop and launch a new iteration of the series for the Wii U. More recently, trademarks for F-Zero have been filed by Nintendo, according to Game Revolution. As the Japanese juggernaut begins to pad their release calendar with revisits to older franchises like Metroid Prime and Luigi’s Mansion, one last ride on Big Blue may be just what the captain ordered.
Silent HillsHave you ever been so petty towards someone who happens to be your only source of income that you decide to exterminate them from existence, against the better judgement of the remainder of your industry? No? Well, let me introduce you to the wonderful little game publishing company Konami, once-famed studio behind Castlevania, Metal Gear Solid, and most importantly: Silent Hills. Silent Hills was set to be a new iteration in the amazing psychological horror franchise of Silent Hill. It had some big names on board including Guillermo del Toro, director of Pan’s Labyrinth, Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead fame, and, of course, Hideo Kojima, the visionary behind the incredible Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The stage was all set to welcome one of the most terrifying iterations in the genre into the world after the P.T. teaser was released on the PlayStation Store, which terrified players across the world. What eventually ended up taking place was Konami’s refusal to go with Kojima’s creative decisions and newly founded Kojima Productions team. This meant restricting access to corporate internet, phone calls, and even allowing Kojima himself limited time to promote his current Metal Gear project. This lack of dedication and respect on Konami’s part lead to the eventual departure of Kojima and the dissolution of Silent Hills. Fans of this influential psychological horror title have not seen a main release in almost seven years, but that has not stopped them from bringing their love for the title into the spotlight. In January, Unreal P.T., a remake of the original playable teaser, was made available to download for free on Itch.io. The title uses the Unreal Engine to recreate the eerie feelings that stark hallway elicited back in 2015. Though Konami has not hopped on the DMCA, they seem to be too invested in making pachinko machines and mobile titles to care.
Valve: Anything with the #3If you got to the end of this article and expected anything else, you need to take a long look in the mirror. Valve Corporation, the company behind Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and the largest PC gaming marketplace, Steam, has a humongous reach across multiple gaming platforms. Not only that, but they are run by Gabe Newell, one of the most influential game developers in the business and the fuel for millions of meme forums across the internet. You would think with this great infrastructure of game sharing and existing franchises, Valve would have built up a large library of successful sequels by now. You, my friend, would be wrong. Since the release of Dota 2 in July of 2013, no formal sequels to any of their successful titles have been released worldwide. Portal 2, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Half-Life 2: Episode Two are the last we have heard from the industry giant turned video game peddler. “Three” just seems to be one number that Newell and his friends cannot count to, as many fans online have pointed out time and time again. As of right now, Valve has been focused on continuing support for their HTC Vive with titles like The Lab, as well as Artifact, a digital collectable card game based on the universe of Dota 2. As for future I.P.s, In the Valley of Gods still has a proposed release window of 2019, but no other possible continuations have been revealed for foreseeable future. If Borderlands 3 can lead by example, then maybe these additional franchises and their respective developers will take a hint and excite millions of fans with the news they have been waiting to hear for years.
Sources: PCGamer, Kotaku, Nintendo Life, VentureBeat, GameRevolution, GameSpot, KnowYourMeme, Twitter, YouTube, Digital Trends Images: SlashGear, Medium, Venture Beat, The Verge Featured Image: Malia Hutton