I love hidden gems. Small projects out of the public eye you feel happy that you were able to find. But when time goes on and you find out a lot of other people have found this hidden game, you’re ecstatic! A game that only a few people put so much time and effort into is finally getting the recognition that it deserves. However, when does it spiral out of control?
It’s a lot like hearing a song from a band you’ve never heard from on the radio. The first time you really like it. It turns out it suddenly becomes big on the Billboard top 100 and you always try to catch it on any station. But times passes and the song is played again and again and AGAIN. At this point, you’re wishing the song was never made. That’s how I feel with a few indie games that have come out so far.
Take for instance Slender. It was a creepy and minimalist game that relied on jump-scares and the players’ own fears of being followed to be scary. While it is by no means warranting fifty spin-offs, I believe it still did very well with very little. But then more copies of it were made, more fan-films, and oh GOD the fanart and fanfiction.
But I’m not going to knock anyone’s interpretation of a source. Thats one of the great opportunities of the internet, to share with everyone your view of the material. That being said however, it can still become a bit much.
I’m sure a lot of people are sick to death of hearing about Five Nights at Freddy’s, the indie horror game that has spawned so many sequels, a novelization, an rpg, an upcoming feature movie, and merchandise in almost any GameStop. The original game caught on fire with Youtube for its originality and atmosphere. But soon the novelty wore off and a lot of people became sick of it. Yet, at the same time, it still had a fanbase that was always itching to see what was to come next. One group is happy and another is fed up.
So what determines when one group’s want means more than the others?
It’s a hard question to answer, but when there is a large dedicated fanbase, it’s hard to ignore. However, it’s easy to see that as time goes on those dedicated fans grow fewer and fewer. They oftentimes get sick what could be seen as the same thing over and over again. I think this can be seen as the FNAF series has gone on. Around the time of the second or third sequel, it was possibly one of the most popular things on the internet. Now? Another game was announced but a lot less is being talked about it. The fans have whittled down considerably.
When the game is distancing more people than its pleasing, then its time to stop. At that point, whats being made isn’t being made for quality, but only to pander. And with that, the fans need to convince themselves more and more that its worth their time and money. That series should stop where it is, and the creators, who were creative enough to make the original, should divert their attention into something new.
In the beginning it may be hard for die-hard fans to accept the finality of a game series, but soon they can see what it helped to do: help other creators think even more outside the box. Keep looking, and you may be able to find something that got you just as excited as the old series.