There is an ideal time frame for a game to be remade, a new report from analyst IDG Consulting and Strategic Game Consulting suggests, as picked up by GamesIndustry.biz. There’s an ideal time for game remasters, too, which is different to the window for remakes. Here’s what the sales data suggests.

IDG’s white paper on the matter looked at the sales data for both remakes and remasters to identify the time period when they were most likely to be successful. It found that full remakes performed best on average when released between 11 and 15 years after the original game. Games released between 16 and 20 years after the original were a close second in performance. The numbers drop off dramatically after 21 years, suggesting remakes of older games aren’t as likely to see commercial success.

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When it comes to newer remakes, the report ran into limited data, as developers aren’t as likely to fully remake newer games. “Historically, developers have preferred to remake games over a decade old, with only 4% of remakes in our dataset having a time gap of 0-5 years between original and remake,” the report adds. Even expanding that window, only two titles released under ten years after the original managed to sell over two million units: The Last of Us Part 1 remake from 2022 and 2016’s Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir.

When it comes to remasters, the window is much smaller, with the report finding that by far the most successful remasters were released within five years of the original game. The report attributes a large part of this to games that are remastered for next-gen consoles, with a particular boom in successful titles when the PS4 and Xbox One were first released.

The numbers for remasters drop off dramatically after even 6 years, with the report suggesting that “the dated gameplay carried over in older remasters struggled to compete with more modern titles.”

Overall, the report suggests that between 10 and 20 years is the ideal time to remake a game, and advises developers to seriously consider the pros and cons of a remake if the game is under 10 years old, or over 20. “Factors to be considered include how well the original game holds up in current times, relevance of the genre, modern competitors, and new available technologies.”

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