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Are video game remasters good — or just a waste of money?

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It’s been a bumper crop year for video game remasters. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve seen current-gen remasters of Demon’s Souls, Nioh, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Age of Empires III, SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom and Warcraft III – and that’s just for starters. Sci-fi fans are currently enjoying the Mass Effect Legendary Edition remasters, while The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD remaster is just a few months away.

Based on the aggressive release schedule, you’d be forgiven for thinking that gamers don’t want to play anything except remasters of old favorites. Indeed, there’s a very cynical school of thought that states remasters exist only to minimize developer effort while maximizing publisher profit. Why make something new and risky when you can make fans very happy (and willing to pony up cash) simply by porting an old game to a new console?

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