8 Failing Video Game Franchises That JUST WON'T DIE

These franchises just won't stay down for the count.

Alone in the Dark
THQ Nordic

As recent times have made depressingly clear, the video game industry is an incredibly volatile business, where developers spend potentially over five years working on a game that may or may not end up connecting with players.

This of course is why publishers are so afraid of new IP and will instead keenly return to the bread and butter of tried-and-tested successful franchises, because if there’s already an existing fanbase thirsting for more, why not cater to that need?

Yet it’s tough to keep a franchise feeling fresh and relevant in a medium as fast-evolving as video games, and so it’s sadly incredibly common for franchises to end up going stale and declining in popularity.

Now, nobody’s saying that these franchises need to be taken out to the wood-shed and put down, but given how they’ve been in the critical and perhaps also commercial doldrums for so long, it’s shocking that they’re still registering a pulse at all.

To say that these video game series have flopped and left most fans disinterested is quite the understatement, and yet each continues to clamber on towards the next instalment. As cooked as these franchises might seem, they’re still hanging in there, steadfastly refusing to evaporate into the cultural ether…

8. Need For Speed

Alone in the Dark

There's no denying that Need for Speed is one of the most statuesque racing game franchises of all time, and though it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, it's tough to deny that the series has been running on empty for about a decade.

The last truly high quality Need for Speed game was 2013's Rivals, after which we saw the microtransaction-fuelled mobile game Need for Speed: No Limits, 2015's utterly forgettable franchise reboot, middling follow-ups Need for Speed Payback and Need for Speed Heat, and most recently the dead-OK Need for Speed Unbound.

Need for Speed is a franchise that just doesn't have anything fresh or interesting left to offer. Unbound even opted for a more heightened, cartoonish art style in what felt like a desperate attempt to help it stand out from the pack.

Though the series seemingly continues to perform well enough for EA to keep pumping sequels out - likely due to modest production budgets - Need for Speed has near-zero relevance in the current gaming sphere, feeling like a mere dusty, moldy relic.

It'd be unwise to bet against the franchise's survival at this point, but if it did go away, would most people even notice?

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.