There were many franchises that, during the eighth console generation, were in the absolute best shape of their lives, but at the same time, there were others that fared far worse. Franchises that have no shortage of fans, that have a certain history and legacy, and yet for some reason or the other, simply failed to replicate during the previous console generation. Here, we’re going to talk about those franchises.
After nearly a decade of slumbering, Deus Ex returned in 2011 with the incredible Human Revolution, and it returned with such confidence that to many, it seemed like the franchise was going to stick around for a long, long time. Well, that didn’t turn out will. Five years later, we got Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, a game that succeeded on so many fronts- but one that ended up being a commercial disappointment. A campaign that ended ended to quickly and ill-advised marketing, among other things, came together to ensure less-than-stellar sales for the game, and since then, Deus Ex has sadly been back on the ice.
This one still hurts, and probably always will. Silent Hill was on the verge of its glorious and bombastic comeback in the eighth console generation. It took the industry by storm with P.T., and we were all waiting with bated breath to see what Hideo Kojima could do with a full-fledged game in the series. But all our dreams crashed and burned- Kojima left Konami, Silent Hills was cancelled, and P.T. was nuked off the face of the earth, leaving us all in the lurch. Leaks keep on insisting that the horror series is gearing up for a comeback in the not-too-distant future, but even so, we’ll never stop wondering what could have been if Kojima had been allowed to fulfil his vision.
While other franchises in this list at least got some time under the spotlight during the PS4/Xbox One generation, Splinter Cell didn’t even get that. After the disappointing commercial performance of the excellent Blacklist, Ubisoft became convinced that the series just doing as well as they had hoped- and it remains clear to them to this day. Sam Fisher keeps showing up in crossovers in other franchises here and there, and we’re glad to see him every time he does- but each of those appearances is also a stark reminder that he hasn’t has his own game in nearly a decade, and probably won’t for a long time to come.
METAL GEAR SOLID
A decade ago, no one could have predicted that Metal Gear Solid would ever make it into a list such as this one, but here we are. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was an excellent game in more ways than one, and its sandbox emergent stealth gameplay is the industry standard even now, but behind-the-scenes controversies, a troubled development cycle, and a game that itself suffered in several ways because of that all meant that it also turned out to be the series’ sendoff. Sure, leaks say that a Metal Gear Solid revival is on the table- but even if it does come back, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see Kojima make another one of these.
Nintendo has a whole host of major, beloved franchises that are gathering dust in the garage, and Star Fox is probably the flag-bearer of that group. Once a mighty titan that enjoyed solid critical and commercial success, Star Fox has been floundering for a long time now, and it seems like they just can’t figure out what to do with the series. To their credit, Nintendo tried to bring Star Fox back in 2016… but then again, perhaps they don’t deserve too much credit, because they tried it with the not-too-spectacular Star Fox Zero.
Killzone was such a huge and important IP for Sony not too long ago, and with the success that Killzone 2 in particular brought them, it’s strange to think that the series is, for all practical purposes, dead at this point. Shadow Fall sold well enough, but got middling reception from critics and audiences alike, while the PS Vita’s Mercenaries just sort of disappeared barely days after launch (even though it was a pretty good game). Now, with Guerrilla Games fully focused on Horizon, clearly they have bigger fish to fry… but we’re hoping that they’re not completely done with Killzone just yet anyway.
Media Molecule made it big with the charming and adorable LittleBigPlanet in the PS3 era, a game that revolutionized and popularized the “play, create, share” philosophy, and considering how well it did for them and for Sony, you’d think it would become a vital part of PlayStation going forward. And it did- for a while. As the PS4 generation began though, LittleBigPlanet had clearly lost its important, and while Media Molecule turned their full attention to Dreams, LBP started floundering. We recently got Sackboy: A Big Adventure, so it’s not like the series has completely disappeared, but fans are still wondering when (or if) we’ll ever get a new major mainline LittleBigPlanet game.
Not only was Titanfall born during the PS4 and Xbox One generation, it also died during the PS4 and Xbox One generation- which is an absolute shame. The first game laid down a solid foundation that was then built upon with an incredible sequel. Titanfall 2 had a stellar single player campaign, and its multiplayer offerings were equally compelling, to the extent that people play it in droves to this day. But it also turned out to sell far less than what it should have, which meant that the series had to recede into the background- where it remains to this day. Apex Legends is moving from strength to strength, of course, but as millions of Titanfall fans would tell you, we’d much rather have a Titanfall 3.
Another Sony franchise, which makes sense, considering that until not too long ago, their way of handling IP and first parties was very different from what it is now. Sucker Punch’s inFamous games were an important part of the PS3’s library, and the series started out with a really good couple of games on the PS4. But once they were out of the way, the developer decided it was time for something new. Given the fact that that led to Ghost of Tsushima, it’s safe to say that that was a smart decision, but many inFamous fans would still tell you that they’re hopeful about a series revival some time down the line.
Dead Rising was on top of the world in the early years of the seventh console generation. Capcom’s zombie slaying series shocked and awed the masses and became one of the Xbox 360’s biggest names in its early years. It’s safe to say, however, that the series kept on losing relevance as it grew older. In the Xbox One era, it kept on coming out with disappointment after disappointment, until the time that Capcom decided to just put it outs of its misery and retire it altogether. And it was an understandable decision, sure- but a sad one nonetheless. Who in their right minds wouldn’t want to play another excellent Dead Rising game?