Whether you like to accept it or not, the biggest reason that companies make great games and movies is so that they can rake in the big bucks. No matter how great their products are, it’s all about the money. And in the development world, they follow a big rule: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of cash to be made in a successor to a popular film or title, no matter how bad it ends up being. Sometimes, the sequels make enough money for companies to just keep outing them year after year.
Throughout the ages, we’ve seen this happen time and time again. However, there are events where the constant sequels and spin-offs have actually paid off leading to some epic crossovers, award-winning games, and countless hours of fun. At some point though, somebody is going to get sick of it all.
When a company has found a franchise that brings in the cash, nine times out of 10, they don’t care what it’s like or how well received it is. They just capitalize on it. What results are long-lasting franchises that are still going strong today. In the long run, their ends are nowhere near in sight, and they could arguably never meet it.
Here are 11 franchises that will never die out. Keep in mind, the success of the franchise doesn’t matter, we’re looking solely at the number of products they’ve released and whether or not they’re still surviving now.
11. Assassin’s Creed
This is one where people are beginning to wise up. The first Assassin’s Creed was revolutionary and opened people up to a world of stealth, parkour, and so much more. The game sold so well that it spawned opportunities for sequels, and sequels, and more sequels. The sad part about it now is that Ubisoft is beginning to get a little sloppy with how they make Assassin’s Creed (i.e. Assassin’s Creed Unity) and it’s nowhere near the juggernaut it used to be. However, they’re telling that story about Abstergo, and it’s predicted they’ll have around thirty games to finish it.
When the first Terminator film dropped with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular time-traveling robot himself, audiences were amazed. James Cameron didn’t have any good films under his belt, but he knocked it out of the park with that one. Naturally, its success gave way for two more sequels before Cameron stepped out of the director’s chair in favor of giant blue people. However, the franchise has still continued on today and released Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys. Naturally, they were both pretty terrible films, but the franchise has no intention of going anywhere.
9. Call of Duty
What started out as a simple war simulator has now evolved into a futuristic compilation of stuff that I still don’t get today. It’s easily the franchise that gets the most hate, but you can’t deny the numbers it gets every year when a new entry is released. The games aren’t terrible – they’re actually built pretty well. The problem is that most people feel as if it’s the same game with new weapons and maps every single year. However, Treyarch and Infinity Ward aren’t taking notice, because as long as they’re making sales, the Call of Duty train will not stop coming.
This franchise should’ve died out a long time ago, well, the movies that is. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Transformers, they’ve just been severely mishandled in the past few years. I do believe that the films will eventually, if not soon, stop being made. That being said, games, toys, and TV shows will still be going strong. After all, who doesn’t love a sweet vehicle that can turn into a giant, fighting robot? Even if it becomes only for kids someday, the Transformers aren’t going anywhere.
7. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic 1 through 3 were some of the best games to have ever existed. They’re platforming and focus on speed was so great that it rivaled even the likes of Mario. Since then, SEGA has been hit or miss with the blue blur. That hasn’t stopped them though. Over forty titles have been released starring Sonic, and SEGA is still pumping those games out. No doubt, they’re beginning to learn from their mistakes, because there’s no way on this Earth that SEGA will abandon their beloved mascot. I just hope they drop the Sonic Boom garbage though. Games and TV show alike.
6. Lego Games
Ever since we got that first Lego Star Wars all those years ago, the Lego game formula has proved to be an endearing one. We’ve seen them give recreations of beloved characters from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and even Jurassic Park. While the games are all incredibly similar, there’s a certain charm to them putting their own spin on beloved franchises that keeps people coming year after year. Not to mention their ingenious idea with Lego Dimensions. The NFC characters also function as real Lego minifigures. If that doesn’t make your inner child giggle, I don’t know what will.
When Pokemon Red and Blue came out for the Gameboy, it was a revolutionary title. Being able to capture, train, and even trade your precious animalistic soldiers was something that had never been fully accomplished by that time. The games proved to be so popular, that we’ve attained numerous sequels and spin-offs so that we’re never without a new venture into the Pokemon world. Over 700 of these little creatures exist, and due to the success of Pokemon X and Y, not to mention an entire trading card game and TV show, Pokemon is here to stay whether you like it or not.
They’ve got a release schedule planned for 2020 and beyond. Marvel is a behemoth when it comes to their films. What started out as a measly Iron Man movie back in 2008 has become the wide-spreading MCU, including characters like Spider-Man, Captain America, and even Doctor Strange. Because of their ever-increasing cast of heroes and villains, Marvel could lose all of the current Avengers roster and still be able to keep making movies; and they intend to. With a large movie like the Inhumans on the way, there’s no doubt that there is still going to be life after Infinity War.
3. Super Mario Bros.
Nintendo’s golden goose, Mario has been the face of the beloved video game company for decades. The first iteration of the franchise, Super Mario Bros. for the NES even went as far as to save the gaming industry as a whole. The addictive platforming style has continued to be Nintendo’s flagship franchise, giving us kart racers, party games, sports titles, and so much more. The day that Mario dies will be the day that Nintendo decides to stop making games, and that, my friends, will be a very cold day in Hell.
I was tempted to put DC Comics in this spot, but all of the characters in that universe are nowhere near as popular as the Caped Crusader. The only reason we can get merchandise from all of these different superheroes now is due to shows like Arrow, Supergirl, and The Flash, as well as the DC films. But Batman has always been around. Played by eight different actors, and voiced for years on the small screen and video games alike, Batman is a cultural icon. Everyone who sees that symbol knows exactly what it is. He’s one of the most recognizable superheroes of all time, and his movies, merchandise, and games definitely reflect that.
1. Star Wars
After the prequel trilogy, fans of the Star Wars saga were worried that this would be the end of the franchise. We didn’t even get another film for 10 years. However, the space epic was still going strong. The characters, atmosphere, and stories have proven to be immortal. Popular games like the Battlefront series and The Force Unleashed continued to throw fans into the Star Wars universe. The product line is also never ending. You will always be able to go to Wal-Mart and pick up a Darth Vader t-shirt. It’ll take a lot more than a Death Star to get rid of this massive franchise.