Why re-releasing games is a good thing, and how it benefits everyone

It's a now common practice for developers to re-release their games, from 'Game of the Year', to '5th Anniversary', to a 'Super' rendition, they come in many forms often including bonus content that was absent from the original. Many gamers dislike this tactic, but I disagree, and explain why multiple versions of essentially the same game benefits every one of us.

Fallout 3 Game of The Year Edition

It’s now become a common practice for developers to re-release their most successful games, often including new features, modes (see ‘Super’ version) or sometimes just previous downloadable extras (see ‘Game of the Year’ version). Among the online pass facade, this has become yet another ‘money grabbing’ technique, which many gamers love to hate. I am a fan, and big supporter of re-releases; not only do they offer more to the fans, but they also make the developers a nice profit. What could be wrong in supporting the industry, and getting that extra morsel of content for your favourite game, that otherwise wouldn’t have been created?

It all started in 1991 with Street Fighter II

Capcom’s original release of Street Fighter II was a huge success, so much so, that they decided to release an updated second version only a year later. This was known as: Street Fighter II: Championship Edition, adding only four more characters. Little did they know, this small update would pave the way for many games to come, and a tactic Capcom would adopt with almost all of their future games. Each year later until 1994, Capcom released a new even more updated version of SFII to the arcades: Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter, and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Those were just in the arcades. From 1994 onwards, Capcom began porting most of these games to as many home consoles as they could. Counting those as new re-releases, then Street Fighter II had been re-released over 15 times.

Street Fighter II

Super Street Fighter II

Capcom haven’t been quite so enthusiastic with more recent releases, but still continue the trend. 2009’s Street Fighter IV released seven times, in 3D, Super, and Arcade Edition formats. Now this isn’t just confined to fighting games either. Capcom’s most recent release this October is itself a re-release. Dead Rising 2: Off The Record is a reimagining of Dead Rising 2 featuring the much loved protagonist of the first game, as well as improving the game’s systems and adding more content.

It’s been over a year since Dead Rising 2 released, but Capcom aren’t always so keen to wait that long. The soon to be released Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 will be hitting shelves on the 18th of November, a mere nine months after the previous. ‘Fans’ were initially outraged by this decision, and many still are, but as the details of the extra content began to trickle through, more became content . I however was pleased with the decision at the start, my favourite fighting game being re-released with heaps of extra content at a budget price, what was there to be outraged with?

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

Well, the explanations ranged from: “It should’ve been DLC!” or “Only nine months later?!”. As many players of the original would know, the original rendition of MvC3 got two downloadable characters, priced at 400 Microsoft Points (£2.50) each. The Ultimate version of MvC3 is getting twelve more new characters, eight new stages, and a few new modes, all for an RRP of £25. If this addition was DLC, then the twelve characters alone would cost £30, already £5 more than the new release. Add the extra cost of stages and modes, and as a DLC package, it would’ve cost around £40, the same price as the game. So clearly, and “It should be DLC!” arguments are completely flawed, and these people seem to object to paying £25 for over £40 worth of content.

I can understand the views of the people thinking: “But people who didn’t buy the first get everything now at a lower price.”, and I can see their concerns. However, you must remember that adopters of the original got to play the game for nine months before the ‘update’ released. If I approached any self respecting gamer ten months ago and said: “Hey, would you like to buy Skyrim nine months early? But, when it actually releases, it will have a lot of content that you don’t” I could guarantee that no one would refuse. That is essentially the same situation as we are in now with UMvC3.

Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The benefits of all of this? Well, any game re-release benefits the customers, and the developers: Gamers and fans of the game get an updated version holding a lot of new content – that may not have been possible otherwise – all at nearly half the price of the original. Developers get to build upon an already successful game, maximising its profits and boosting the success of our industry as a whole.

And so I ask: what is the problem?