Mass Effect is another title that raises "unfinished trilogy" concerns. While Bioware is an accomplished company of developers and their games are high quality titles, they haven't successfully created a long running franchise yet. This isn't due to any deficiency in their titles, as gamers are still clamoring for a third Knights of the Old Republic game or even a sequel to Jade Empire. Their lack of long running franchises seems due to their own inclination towards creation, as they constantly seem to be involved in a new project without significant focus on continuing past successful franchises. Even Knight of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was helmed primarily by Obsidian, a company that took over development duties to free Bioware up to polish other new at the time games like Jade Empire. Hopefully they can buck this trend with Mass Effect, a game that looks gorgeous and hopefully plays as good as it looks, making it a frontrunner for one of the most anticipated titles of the 2007 holiday season.
While there are many games that have successfully released "trilogies" the majority of these titles were not intended to be trilogies from the beginning. The Super Mario series is a good example, as Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2, and Super Mario Bros 3 were all released on the Nintendo during its lifespan. However, these games were much simpler to develop and were not part of an epic, overarching storyline (especially considering Super Mario 2 was simply a character swap of Doku Doku Panic and didn't even have the same Mario villains).
There are genuine trilogies that defy the curse, and three of the best examples of this are the Jak series, the Ratchet and Clank series, and the Prince of Persia trilogy. All of these series tell an epic story that encompasses their games, all three are available on the same platform(s), and playing through the three titles gives the gamer a sense of closure. These series were able to complete development for each iteration relatively quickly without sacrificing gameplay development or design, which becomes essential to creating a successful videogame trilogy.
Ultimately, developers have to realistically evaluate their ability before announcing trilogies and encouraging gamers to invest time and interest in characters that may never see closure or resolution. There are numerous gamers that still pine for the opportunity to help Ryo avenge his father's death at the hands of Lan Di, but realistically, it is almost certain they will never have the chance. Hopefully, this trend will not be repeated so that we, as gamers, will have the opportunity to have closure on our favorite characters, from Ryo to Ratchet, and from Gideon to Jak.
CCC Co-Site Director