Documentation: Franchise Development
This final document for the Franchise Development module was an interesting task. We had to work on it from the point of view that the first game in the franchise had been a success and now we were coming up with a plan to take the IP further and beyond.
Writing some sections was easy, areas like sequels were easy enough to come up with a basic roadmap to keep the franchise going. It was when I started to write the sections in what I term as Franchise Exploitation. With things like Player Incentives and Merchandising you can quickly end up hitting a massive grey area. I found myself questioning the implications of things like pre-order DLC and tied-in merchandising more than I had in the past. The DLC question is something that is growing as an issue in the games industry. At the start of the current console generation it was seen as a cool little additional extra to supplement your experience with a game. Now it is used in so many different ways to bring additional revenue to a publisher and as a wall to attempt to block out pirates. When designing a game or IP at this level you have to take it into account. If you choose to embrace DLC in a certain way you are sending a message to a large portion of gamers.
Other areas of concern was the plans for the expansion of the franchise. Before writing I was looking forward to writing those particular sections. During the writing though things changed. I laid out a basic plan for some sequels then a roadmap for spin-off games and finally plans for tie-in media. I then realised something, I had in the space of 2-3 days of writing diluted my franchise IP idea. With a mild panic I went through it again and tied things up a lot more and tried to make everything seem like it would stick to the core idea of the franchise. We have all seem franchise dilutement happen in game IPs and large media properties (Star Wars and Star Trek immediately spring to life) but to see it happen first hand showed how easily it can happen. This is with approaching things with the best of intentions too.