Remastered games are becoming more and more prevalent within the gaming industry. Though they’ve been present for decades, game remasters appear to be released more frequently than ever before. Though on the surface level game remasters might seem to be simple re-releases of existing games, their purpose is far deeper.

At Starloop Studios and the wider Magic Media group, we deeply understand what makes high-quality remastered games, when they should be released, and how they can elevate games and expand their appeal.

What’s the Purpose of Remastered Games?

Game remasters fulfill a variety of purposes. They’re widely used to introduce games to new audiences on different gaming platforms. This is often done with the introduction of a new console generation, where games from a previous generation would be updated to take advantage of the new possibilities afforded by new hardware.

When remastered games launch on new platforms, including more technologically advanced consoles and modern PC hardware, they’re generally released with enhanced resolutions and frame rates. This is a fantastic way of showcasing a new console and what players can expect from the hardware in the future. A prominent example is Naughty Dog’s Last of Us Remastered released on PlayStation 4.

Overall, game remasters are an effective way to extend the lifespan of contemporary and older games and bring them to new platforms and audiences while enhancing the original experience.

Process of Creating Game Remasters

Though game remasters aren’t quite as technically demanding as full-blown game remakes, they require extensive game development expertize to produce high-quality games, not unlike game ports. The primary goal for many game developers is to enhance the remastered game’s visual quality. Typically, this involves an extensive process of updating in-game assets such as models, textures, and animations. Development studios will often increase the game’s resolution, as well, to provide a crisper overall presentation.

Remastered games are also routinely subject to improved game mechanics. Though this rarely entails overhauled mechanics, development studios commonly refine existing mechanics to make them more responsive or improve the player input required to engage with the mechanics. It’s important to bear in mind the audience which the game remaster is being created for concerning its game mechanics. If it’s an older title, the game might require rebalancing to align with modern expectations without losing the essence of the original.

The Best Time to Produce Game Remasters

The timing of releasing game remasters is critical. If it’s released too soon after the original game’s launch, there is a real risk of not connecting with the target audience due to a lack of perceived added value. Development studios should wait until there are sufficient technological advances since the original game’s release to work on remastered versions. This enables the developer to refine the original game with improved visuals and game mechanics, providing remastered games with value.

Development studios and publishers should keep an eye on the gaming market to help them determine when to release game remasters. Though game remasters tend to not go out of fashion, it’s their release relative to the original game’s release that helps determine their success. Studies suggest that remastered games released up to five years after the original’s launch have the strongest potential for success, whereas anything released after this five-year window has diminished chances. This five-year window grants the greatest chance of success because it’s a long enough period for the original game to be improved upon with advances in tech, but not long enough so that the original is outdated, making both versions of the game viable in the audience’s eyes.

This is in stark contrast to the optimal release window for game remakes, which is generally between ten and 20 years after a game’s initial launch so that development studios can fully leverage technological advancements and avoid being perceived overly as a niche, nostalgia release.

Starloop Studios is an expert provider of gaming industry services. We specialize in full–cycle game development, game porting, Unreal Engine game development, and much more. As part of Magic Media, our services extend to entertainment and tech projects. Get in contact with Starloop Studios today to bring your games to the next level!


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