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10 Video Games That Tried To Exploit Nostalgia (And Failed)

Play with nostalgia and you have to get it JUST right.

EA

Nostalgia is a powerful motivator when trying to sell products. People often gravitate towards the familiar; the comforting, and the games industry is no exception.

Publishers seek to capitalise on this, utilising existing franchises or creating spiritual successors. Sometimes they turn out brilliantly - like the recent Spyro and Crash Bandicoot remakes - but this doesn’t always succeed, with the rebooted Star Wars Battlefront games both coming under strong criticism.

Mobile gaming is another key offender, and many existing franchises have seen new entries where gameplay deviates significantly from the main games, often favouring free-to-play or freemium mechanics.

Crowdfunding has also contributed to this amongst indie developers, allowing a nostalgic public to pledge money towards the development of spiritual successors but these campaigns have gained a reputation for overpromising and underachieving.

It’s clear when publishers are looking to make lazy cash-ins but sometimes well-meaning titles end up guilty of this too. We’ve seen a number of examples of this in the last decade and here are some attempts that simply fell flat.

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Contributor
Contributor

Long-time fan of games, counting Virtual Reality and platformers amongst my main interests but we could easily spend hours discussing comics or Doctor Who. Graduated in Computing so sometimes has an opinion on technology, can be found on Twitter at @Terranauts93