I'll admit it: I love zombie games. I wouldn't say that I'm obsessed with them, but if there's a zombie on the cover, I'm definitely more likely to buy the game. So, the month of April was something that I've been looking forward to for a very long time.
Activision's second expansion for Black Ops 2 dropped yesterday, and it was chock-full of delicious zombie morsels. But that's not the only zombie-related title that's arriving this month; Deep Silver's sequel/spinoff to Dead Island, subtitled Riptide, will land in our laps next week, and my nipples are pointy with excitement.
But, let's face facts, there's no way that the industry can continue to support the number of zombie titles that are saturating the market, which means that games like Dead Island: Riptide and Black Ops 2 might be among the last generation of high quality zombie titles. Sure, if Valve ever releases Left 4 Dead 3, the industry will probably see another surge, but very few companies can afford to churn out triple A titles, and fewer can match Activision's release rate.
So, it's starting to feel like Activision is actually killing the zombie genre. Now, let me be clear, I'm not complaining about Black Ops 2. I love Treyarch's take on the zombie apocalypse, and even after I'm done with BO2's multiplayer, I'll probably revisit Tranzit from time to time. However, like I said, most studios can't possibly match Activision's production timelines and quality, so consumer expectations are set impossibly high. And considering that the entire industry is practically teetering on brink of bankruptcy, consumer expectations make it hard for fledgling development companies to try out new ideas.
The zombie genre is one that I hope continues to thrive, and it probably will for several years. But don't let Activision fool you; very few companies can release a new zombie title that's as polished as Black Ops 2 and follow it with multiple DLC releases without charging hundreds of dollars.
So, give some other titles a chance, and be kind if they don't live up to your expectations.
Date: April 17, 2013