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Our popular game magazines and websites focus mostly on reviews and previews, but less so on retrospectives or critiques.
I agree with you that this is a real shame; it often seems like, in the games industry, the only game that matters is the next one. People are rarely interested in talking about games that are even only a couple of years old, and this is a serious problem, in my opinion, for the growth of the medium, because its past is not preserved. Every other medium makes the effort to preserve its past: books get reprinted, films get released on Blu-ray, etc. The games industry doesn't do this.
Not only that, but it seems like game developers actively go out of their way to prevent their older games from standing the test of time, which is another casualty of the technological dependence of the medium: as technology advances, old classics become unplayable. Unfortunately, since so many developers care only about the latest technology, this leads to a lot of games being consigned to the history books and impossible to play without emulators. It's for reasons like this that I think websites like Good Old Games should be applauded, and why it puzzles me that publishers seem reluctant to put their back catalogues on them. They have literally nothing to lose, since you can't buy many of the games on GOG at retail for modern operating systems, they stand to make more money in the process, and gamers have the opportunity of playing classics that may have passed them by.
In response to "Evolution, Not Deviation" from The Escapist forums:
You know what I would like to see? More developers that do something with their older games to tie them to the newer games. I would like previous games in a series updated with the newer mechanics they introduce in a sequel. I would like things thrown in the new game where if you have their past game(s), you will be given (x) character or mechanic as an unlockable.
This would do a couple of things. People would be more inclined to go out and purchase an unplayed previous version of a game if it were "closer" to the game they just played, mechanics-wise. And people would also re-visit old games for a new play-through, keeping the game fresh in peoples' minds. People would hang onto their games just for an updated version to come along, rather than trade them in for a quick buck for the next big thing. It would make the online communities of multiplayer games more robust as well, rather than becoming a ghost town as soon as the newest game comes out; games that sell themselves on multiplayer play are more limited in lifespan right now. You have to play them here and now before they become irrelevant.
I want games to be more forward-compatable within a series. It's why I preferred Rock Band to the Guitar Hero series. I knew that my songs in each game would play in the next version with the new mechanics, so they were never "wasted" purchases. There are still licensing issues keeping me from playing some of the songs through the titles (it still irks me that I can't play "Enter Sandman" by Metallica or "Any Way You Want It" by Journey in the latest titles....). It was also the reason why I never wanted Rock Band Beatles...it wasn't cross compatable.
Imagine being able to play the oldest versions of Armored Core with the newest engine/mechanics. How about Grand Theft Auto 3? Diablo? Final Fantasy? Resident Evil in the above example? There are so many games that could be "strengthened" by doing this. Would it cost money? Sure it would. But not only would you get money from renewed sales (provided you still offered a way to purchase the game), it would tie more people to following developers throughout their career in a series (or across series...).