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Couldn't think up a topic, now I have.
Old Fans - The Worst kind?
We can see it in One Piece though, over the last decade its matured. There are some very serious issues that at the beginning would have never seemed to have been touched upon at that point. One Piece was a light hearted adventure. Ultimate Muscle (I forget the Japanese name of this series) moved books to the more mature magazine in its second series, because the mangaka realised its fandom had grown old.
Series are always torn between dealing with old fans, I'll demostrate this with the gaming industry:
- Sonic aged a little from kiddie to teen. However they are trying to please the older fans. These fans want the series to be like they remember as a kid, forgetting that the problem is their no longer a child anymore.
- In contrast, Mario remains as the same as it always has been, given the different formats over the years.Mario tries to appeal to all though, both old and new.
- Mortal Kombat is fortunate, being a mature rated game to begin with, it means their audience are adults. Their aduience grows old, so the series can get away with not changing. But MK is always updating itself to please modern gamers and be more modern and get new fans. This means the series has had a drastic overhaul in the last decade.
- Street Fighter is more retro driven, it pleases its fans but staying "classic" and tweaking only small things to keep things up to date. Overall the series has changed a lot gameplay style, but not look style. Yet its target audience has never changed, thus it stays "modern" but not changing its format.
- Megaman tried to please the retro fans by going back on itself all the time, referencing old things constantly. It found a foothold for all the various series and sub series and just stuck with it, regardless of changing times. So it pleases its fans by giving them familairity.
I used the argument "My favourite game of the 00s wasn't Pacman" a lot in regards to this whole issue. Look at what we've got now, old style games feel just so silly on a powerful console capable of much more. But on the other hand, a lot of more modern games are failing to please. Strickly speaking, the problem lies in copying, there is nothing "new" anymore, game companies are almost frightened to experiment because of the potential loss of investing in a game that could flop. So they stick to the things they know are "safe" and produce yet another First Person Shooter. Thing is, its precisely this thats the causing the throw back.
People turn to the older games for something they've lost. This is why the older fans have suddenly become a strong will to deal with. They know that this is not right, that once upon a time everything was so much more colourful to play with. But, they forget in the process they aren't todays gamers, their the gamers of yesturday now, even if their still playing games.
Its kinda of like another series I am into, Legion of Super Heroes, where the second group that ran was my favourite (V.2). Why? Because that was MY Legion, its the era that appeals to me, it was what was aimed at my age group. In contrast, I can't get into classic Legion (V.1) nor V.3, which was the 00s Legion. Yet suddenly DC comics has decided classic Legion is the only legion to invest in and thrown the other two into the "side story" void. So from now on I've got to watch blogs and notes to see when my Legion turns up, if ever. DC comics tried to get some sales back because comics sales are falling by going to please the 40+ age group. Trouble is, while pleasing THEM they aren't making any new fans.
And this is where I'm heading; new fans are the future of any series.
Eventually fans die, and when they die they need to be replaced. A series that cannot attract new fans is doomed to die eventually. So for all of the old fans bickering and whining, they won't be around forever to speak out about the matter and will need to be replaced. On top of that, old fans have life reasponisblities to deal with, their usually more busy then young and free fans. While the older fans have the experience, the younger fans have the potential.
So whatever approach a series has to older fans, they must take note these fans won't be around forever. Best to get new fans interested while a series is popular, then to suddenly realise there is no fandom and have to suddenly produce something from nothing. :-/
And on a Final Note
Project Needlemouse? Its downloadable only, theres me out of the picture! I don't have a console to play it on and wouldn't be allowed to download it if I did. So I won't be buying Sonic 4 at all. And younger kids will need to get older parents or siblings to download it for them...
Nice move SEGA! ^_-
Actaully I'm still mad at the whole issue because SEGA sucked up to the folks of my age after a decade of pretty much ignoring us. But the thing is, ZP sat the Escapist Magazine summed it up, "why does Sonic still exist", as many in the industry feel this way. Okay there are still folks out there who like him, but whatever Sonic does, if its not Mario it sucks. So at the end of the day, SEGA can produce the best game ever, if Sonic is the star they'll hate it for all they can.
Making the game arkward to access is not a great move... Most of the gamers who play him rent the game. They don't fork out the full deal if they hate the game that way. This way, if they fork out the money and hate it they'll feel cheated out of their points.