We Need More Independent Franchise Games Like The Rogue Prince Of Persia

Triple-A companies seldom entrust their highly valued franchises to independent developers. However, they should consider doing so. Games like The Rogue Prince of Persia are few and far between.

The upcoming roguelike from Evil Empire and Ubisoft, set to launch next month in Early Access, presents something rare: an indie interpretation of a Triple-A series. While Triple-A publishers typically guard their major franchises closely, when they do team up with indie developers, the results often exceed expectations. Sonic Mania and Cadence of Hyrule, both produced by small external teams, received widespread acclaim, showcasing the potential of smaller teams handling big IPs.

It’s unfortunate that these collaborations are so infrequent, given that in the film industry, working with well-known IPs has proven to be a successful strategy for directors to elevate their careers, as evidenced by Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig’s experiences. For indie developers, breaking through in the competitive video game market is challenging. However, working with an established brand offers a reliable way to capture attention, if not necessarily critical acclaim.

While major breakout hits like Stardew Valley are rare, securing a Triple-A license can significantly boost a developer’s visibility. Moreover, the risk for the publisher is relatively low when collaborating with indie devs. Games like The Rogue Prince of Persia, Cadence of Hyrule, and Sonic Mania present an opportunity to revitalize aging series and reinvigorate fan interest.

These successful examples have demonstrated that external developers often have a deep understanding of what fans want, leading to well-received iterations of established franchises. On the flip side, it is evident that established studios can also innovate within their own franchises. Recent examples such as Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Pokemon: Legends Arceus, and Fallout 3 have showcased how Triple-A studios can bring fresh perspectives and transformations to long-standing series.

A diverse range of perspectives, including those from indie teams, can contribute to reimagining and evolving iconic franchises. In conclusion, the collaboration between Triple-A companies and indie developers has the potential to breathe new life into established franchises. By allowing indie devs to work with their prized brands, Triple-A publishers can benefit from increased visibility and success while also tapping into fresh perspectives for their well-known IPs.

The Rogue Prince of Persia, along with other successful collaborations, exemplifies the potential of this approach and the possibilities it holds for the future of gaming.

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