Despite widespread game delays due to Covid-19, annual franchises like Call of Duty, Madden NFL, and NBA 2K don’t seem to have been quite as significantly affected as other titles. With other, non-annualized games seemingly being hampered by the global pandemic more so, annual franchises could be highlighted more to fill that void. There is a chance that annualized games could increase their market share due to the gap left by other anticipated releases. There are many highly anticipated games in development right now, but for some of them, there is little known about when they’ll release. God of War’s sequel is touted for a 2021 launch, but many gamers feel as though it will ultimately be delayed into 2022. Obsidian Entertainment is currently working on Avowed for Microsoft platforms, but there is no release date attached to the game yet. In the absence of plentiful and anticipated titles like these, annualized games could take the spotlight. Cross-Generational Annual Games
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Question Marks Surrounding Big Titles Both new consoles have several big-name upcoming titles. PlayStation 5 has some exclusives lined up, and Xbox Series X’s first-party titles should be bolstered with projects from Obsidian Entertainment and Bethesda. There are some promising games lined up, but they might not see release in the early part of this console generation. With delays looming for a significant number of developers, and other factors, the early portion of the new console cycle could be defined by tried and true franchises.
The likes of FIFA and CoD are immensely popular franchises, and are also annual features on the gaming calendar. For years, these games have proven to be sustainably popular throughout several console generations. These series always seem to transition well to the next generation, without losing any significant following. Under the usual circumstances, these titles would likely be popular anyway, but with the uncertainty surrounding other major games, popular annual games could be in the spotlight more so than they have in years. While the likes of the new God of War, Hogwarts Legacy, and Halo Infinite have experienced delays, the turnaround on popular annual games seems to be less affected by comparison. Annualized games could see a larger market share in the early stage of the new console generation due to other titles being delayed. While games like these have been popular for years, there could be a larger market share at stake for a while. The global pandemic is ongoing and affecting major game releases, meaning that this could be a time to shine for annualized franchises. Some Annualized Franchises Are Very Popular Anyway
This could mean, for example, that a gamer could buy Call of Duty on PlayStation 4 and later upgrade it to the Ps5 version. If there are fewer new generation-only games, a player might be more inclined to upgrade titles they already own. Cross-generation bundles from the likes of EA and 2K have been used in recent months, and with the potential absence of other AAA, new-generation games, this is a practice that could continue. Some annual franchises like Call of Duty delve into cross-generational launches. In the past, this meant that there would be two distinct versions of a game released, one for the past generation, and one for new generation consoles. With the transition to the ninth console generation, there are more paths than ever available for upgrading games bought for the previous generation. It’s common practice for developers to now release free or paid upgrades for certain titles, to bring them up to a certain standard for new consoles.
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