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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Are licensed games making a comeback?

Full disclosure that any of the games I talk about in here are just my opinions and i'm not trying to speak for anyone else or claim my opinion on them is the consensus, so if you think differently then that's just as valid.

Licensed games used to be much more common and well known, for reasons both good & bad. They produced some of the best games of all time such as GoldenEye 007 and more. However, movie and tv tie-in games in particular grew a reputation for usually being poor quality as a result of rushed development to meet a deadline to release alongside the film or series to maximize profits while the hype was fresh, to the point where some would just assume licensed = 99.9% of the time bad, or developed without care. Especially when the bad ones would end up getting the most attention usually. Despite the jank there was always a certain charm to these games regardless tho imo, they were bad but also still fun in their own way. So as time went on it seemed like licensed games had very heavily vanished for the most part, with the only major ones being based on IP that were almost guaranteed to bring money back or were already proven such as Batman: Arkham, Injustice, Spider-Man, Dragon Ball Z, etc. Even some of the biggest franchises such as James Bond and Star Wars went a while without any games. Anything else was either quickly forgotten or didn't live up to the quality people had hoped for such as Jump Force, Blair Witch, Predator: Hunting Grounds, and Square Enix's Avengers. Then some of the ones that were actually great such as Alien: Isolation didn't sell too well. The days of getting games based on things such as The Simpsons, Chronicles of Riddick, and more seemed gone outside of very rare circumstances.

However, this seems to have changed quite a bit, especially these past few years where not only are many licensed games returning, whether in the form of remasters, re-releases, or new games, but are also actually pretty good or at bare minimum decent. Games such as: Spongebob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, Scott Pilgrim vs The World The Game, Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Terminator Resistance, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, Disney Classic Games: Aladdin & The Lion King, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time, and more. And that's just the start because there are many more to come including some very high profile ones such as:

We're finally getting a new GoldenEye game after ages and from IO Interactive of all people:

And then when you take today's news of a new Indiana Jones game after SO LONG from Bethesda & Machine Games:

We're even getting a game based on Gollum from Lord of the Rings:

It seems now more than ever we're getting a lot more licensed games again, and from franchises that haven't seen them in a long while, so I pose these questions to you: Are licensed games making a comeback? Do you think they never left? Am I just a dumbass for spending 20 minutes writing this? What games would you like to see come back or franchise you would like to see get a game? 

I'd personally like to see this bad boi come back next because this game was legitimately incredible for the time:

Last edited by FloatingWaffles - 3 days ago

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I think they're making a comeback. Heard good things about Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time, Star Trek: Jedi Fallen Order sure surprised people, and most recently there was the smash hit that was Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

I didn't know IO Interactive was making a new James Bond game. What's it gonna come out for and when? :)



I hope to. Honestly miss those games. I mean yeah we got a lot of garbage, but we got so many nice games too.



Switch Friend Code: SW - 1286-0025-9138

I just want a AAA budget game series set in the world that Narnia exists in. Could be one of the book eras or something between. Open world RPG that has nothing sexual, or graphic, it's just about defeating evil and has great character development.



I hope so personally. While a good many licensed games tend to be bad, people often forget about the good ones.



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CaptainExplosion said:

I think they're making a comeback. Heard good things about Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time, Star Trek: Jedi Fallen Order sure surprised people, and most recently there was the smash hit that was Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

I didn't know IO Interactive was making a new James Bond game. What's it gonna come out for and when? :)

they haven't said yet, only that it's just in development :/

but I would assume the usual PS5/Xbox/PC and maybe Switch via Cloud like Hitman 3 or if the Switch Pro/Switch 2 is out by then

and damn I forgot about the samurai jack game, that's another good one 



Dulfite said:

I just want a AAA budget game series set in the world that Narnia exists in. Could be one of the book eras or something between. Open world RPG that has nothing sexual, or graphic, it's just about defeating evil and has great character development.

When you say one of the book eras do you mean you would want it to follow the plot of one of the books or be its entirely own thing just in that universe? Cause I remember playing the first game they made for the first movie which I have pretty fond memories of, so that's probably the closest you could get atm 

perhaps if the netflix reboot they're apparently making for it finally takes off it could get that chance 



FloatingWaffles said:
Dulfite said:

I just want a AAA budget game series set in the world that Narnia exists in. Could be one of the book eras or something between. Open world RPG that has nothing sexual, or graphic, it's just about defeating evil and has great character development.

When you say one of the book eras do you mean you would want it to follow the plot of one of the books or be its entirely own thing just in that universe? Cause I remember playing the first game they made for the first movie which I have pretty fond memories of, so that's probably the closest you could get atm 

perhaps if the netflix reboot they're apparently making for it finally takes off it could get that chance 

Era as in not the main characters but you playing a small potato character during that part of the timeline. I don't want the game to be any of the books, but rather something on the side.



I don't think they ever went anywhere. Most of them were always bad to terrible, I think most of them still are. We are seeing a rise of licensed content in non-licensed games thanks to the GaaS model. Terminator in Gears 5, Leatherface in Dead by Daylight, Joker in Fortnite, Hot Wheels in Forza, etc etc. That stuff is usually pretty cool.



Maybe. I was going to say that publishers finally started learning that you can't pump out just any lazy garbage and expect it to sell well, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that all that shovelware just migrated to mobile platforms where the standards are lower, they're cheaper to make, and the monetization is even more predatory. I'm hopeful for games like 007, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter, but am fully aware we could end up with many more cynical disappointments like the recent Avengers game.