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EA Hasn't Forgotten about Old Franchises

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EA has released multiple new IPs, perhaps signaling a dying love for their old school franchises. Army Of Two, Dead Space, Dragon Age, and Mirror's Edge have all commanded EA's attention over the past few years, with older IPs such as Desert Strike and Road Rash scooted off the EA's modern award mantle.

But EA Games President Frank Gibeau is adamant that EA hasn't left the old guys in the dark. "Absolutely not," he told CVG in an interview. "I worked on Desert Strike and Road Rash back in the day on Sega Genesis so trust me I'm familiar with the IP history." The EA boss concedes that gaming has changed with time, and direct ports or re-releases wouldn't bode well with either hardcore or casual fans.

"The key thing for us is, if we do bring [any of those] back, the game has got to be good," he said.

Let's run the scenario of a Road Rash remake. Given the massive amount of glorified randomness that resides in practically every game released today, would constant XP bonuses such as "double knock some punk off their bike" tarnish the old school feel? Road Rash is not the most marketable game, but I'd bet that a good number of people would jump at the chance of playing a stripped (and HD) remake of the classic.

Bringing back old franchises has seen success for EA. Though Medal of Honor slides into what's now known as the "Call of Duty" genre of games, giving it an extra boost with sales, the latest edition sold over five million units despite a near four-year hiatus. Review scores were unfavorable, however, and we at GameZone said that while the game's Tier 1 mode and online multiplayer are the main stand-out features, they are "ultimately on a suicide mission against the current opposition."

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Stuart Macdonald
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