Kid Icarus and Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai believes the games industry relies on past glories far more than other media.
“Is there any industry that relies so much on reusing and reusing their old titles as much as video games?” Sakurai wrote in a Famitsu column translated by Polygon.
“Compared to other media like movies, dramas, animation, novels and comics, the glut of franchises and remakes is at an unnatural level.”
Sakurai said part of the problem is that games, unlike other forms of media, require the player to learn how to play them; rehashes of existing formulae partially avoid this problem. That’s also why many games use similar control schemes, he added. But although games that reuse existing material can be very good, Sakurai emphasised the need for innovation in balance with recycling.
“Good games attract fans, and if you have fans, you have an advantage. You try to use that to make the title something bigger, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to give up on innovation. Popular, well-made games deserve praise, but titles that have some kind of unique creative spark to them also need to be praised in this way,” he said.