In the modern gaming industry, video game remakes are ubiquitous and have many benefits. They’re popular among gamers and an all-but-guaranteed way for developers to reignite interest in an IP. The AAA gaming space, in particular, is increasingly focusing on remaking classic titles, and the practice has carved out its niche within the industry.
Video game remakes are beneficial for developers, publishers, and gamers from multiple standpoints. Though it can be easy to decry them as lazy or uninspired development projects, remakes require the same thorough planning and peerless execution as any full-cycle game development project.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of modern video game remakes is the technology available. Magic Media is no stranger to using the likes of Unity and Unreal Engine 5 and their vast toolsets to create games, along with other modern creative tools like the Adobe Creative Suite, Blender, 3ds Max, and countless others. Applications such as these can help remakes look more visually stunning than the original game versions.
Updated visuals mean far more than just aesthetic appeal and are critical to immersion and game-to-player communication. The 2020 remake of Demon’s Souls for PlayStation 5 is a prime example of an immersive remake. Throughout many of the dark, intimidating levels, the developer, Bluepoint Games, made use of modern lighting and rendering techniques to enhance the oppressive and sometimes claustrophobic atmosphere of the original game.
In combination with its much improved audio quality and overall visual quality, it’s a masterclass in retaining the atmosphere of the original game while improving on several aspects of it.
Just like how new technologies can help improve upon older games, newer platforms have a lot of offer for video game remakes. As is often the case, classic games can become trapped on older unsupported platforms, and video game remakes are a practical way of delivering them to new platforms and audiences.
Developing video game remakes for modern platforms comes with many benefits. Each major console comes with its own set of advantages. PlayStation 5 and its DualSense controller feature adaptive triggers and rumble features to enhance immersion. Xbox consoles and PC can avail of Game Pass, a subscription-based service that can help expose the remake to new audiences at no additional cost for gamers. Nintendo Switch has the convenience of being a hybrid portable and home game console.
Remakes are built from the ground up as full-cycle development projects. They’re time-consuming projects, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Not only will the game have modern graphical fidelity, audio, enhanced control schemes, and more, audiences have a greater breadth of choice in the present-day gaming industry. Whether gamers want to play your remake on a console or up-to-date PC builds, the choice is often firmly in their hands as to how they want to play.
Many games come with established fanbases who are eager to engage with a franchise’s new releases. System Shock, a cult classic from 1994 that inspired the BioShock series and countless others, is a perfect example of this. The series had laid dormant for some time until this year when a full remake of System Shock was released to critical acclaim on PC. The series boasts a die-hard following and the new remake undoubtedly saw many fans of the original return to the franchise and play the remake.
Video game remakes are a fantastic tool for engaging with new audiences, but equally, re-engaging existing fanbases. If a remake is successful, naturally there will be discussion around sequels and rebooting the franchise as a whole. 2023’s Dead Space remake is a recent example of this, where the remake was lavished with praise and there has been subsequent discussion about sequel remakes. The success of a remake hinges on audiences both new and old, but when received well, they can reignite a whole IP and bring it to new heights.
At Magic Media, we’re experienced veterans of game development and video game remakes. We offer dozens of services for gaming, entertainment, and tech projects, including full-cycle game development, real-time VFX, and more. For a services partner you can trust, get in touch today, and let’s create magic!