The Simpsons and Video Games: What could we see in the future?

It has been 11 years since we last had our hands on a console-based game featuring the popular American cartoon family quite fittingly called ‘The Simpsons Game’. Looking back at the catalogue of titles, it wasn’t very often in the 90’s and early 00’s that we were without a new Simpsons game of some variety, and I feel it has been too long. What could they do next and why has it been so long?

It was announced that The Simpsons writers will feature on a panel at this year’s biggest gaming event ‘E3’ and the main reason any entertainment company would do such a thing is usually related to a video game. The Simpsons has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and I thought I would list out some video game ideas for future Simpsons games that could be possible. Not every Simpsons game has been great, some far from such a description and even the ones we nostalgically love have their flaws, but there is potential for great titles. A lot of previous Simpsons games in the early 90’s were based around Bart as he was the poster boy at the time and certainly a comparison to hip game mascots like Sonic The Hedgehog.

One important thing to point out is the licensing of Simpsons video games. The Simpsons: Hit & Run is quite possibly remembered as the most popular and loved title in their gaming history with many asking for a remake or a sequel. The ownership for publishing the game is owned by Activision, which would be a problem due to them not having the exclusive rights to the franchise which is what EA have and vice versa, as EA don’t have the rights to publish a Hit & Run game. Due to EA’s ownership, any announcement of a video game would most likely come from their EA Play event which tends to be on the opening day of E3 (June 11).

If by chance the wonderful news of a Hit & Run sequel or remake did happen, I would love to see an improvement on the missions in the game and remove the repetition it had. A HD makeover and expansion of the levels would open up the world more which is plenty capable on modern consoles, as well as the addition of DLC to add new Simpsons areas from later seasons.

One downside to Hit & Run is the Apu situation where due to online complaints the character has been dropped from appearing in episodes in Season 30. As well as the main Simpsons family, a whole level of the game had you playing as Apu so would they remove him and replace him with another character such as Krusty, Barney or Moe? Or they could simply continue as forth. That’s why a sequel would seem a more likely scenario, yet there would have to be a strong story and new challenges to make the game worth it.

hitandrun
Many have made their own HD remakes of Hit & Run. There is a lot of love for this game.

In recent years, The Simpsons have had a minor feature in LEGO Dimensions which saw the family and other characters as one of the level packs that are spin off games and can see the characters in other franchises. The voice acting and audio was not traditional Simpsons and this must be due to FOX’s rights on the show. This however has definitely got me thinking that a Simpsons LEGO game is a perfect step for the future of both LEGO games and Simpsons games.

LEGO and The Simpsons have collaborated in the toy market by releasing two blind bag series’ and two Simpsons sets of the family house and the Kwik-E-Mart so there is a history of designing the Simpsons world with LEGO. To take a previous LEGO example like Star Wars, the games have been split up by movies and then have around six levels inside them. This could work if you had six different areas of The Simpsons world such as the different areas of Springfield seen in Road Rage.

Another concept would be to have some of the most popular episodes from the show as levels which could include: Itchy & Scratchy Land, Marge vs. The Monorail, Cape Feare, Mr. Plow and Bart Sells His Soul. One of the major highlights of a LEGO game is unlocking characters and The Simpsons has many so the episodes would have to benefit that factor, or you could take the concept of the episode and mix it up to benefit a longer LEGO story. Obviously DLC would be able to add episodes (a fan vote would be great), further increasing the popularity of the game.

simpsons lego
LEGO has the models set for the Simpson family so surely it can happen right?

The Simpsons last game of any sort was the 2012 mobile game Tapped Out which was a free world building game featuring popular Simpsons characters and allows users to build their own Springfield. The game has generated over $130 million since its release and due to its popularity and the trend of pop culture games, I wouldn’t be surprised if a new Simpsons mobile game was announced. I would not put my money on another Tapped Out but it could easily be a Hearthstone knock off, or even a racing title. The market may be saturated with mobile video games now and big names such as Nintendo have finally been involved in recent years, but if The Simpsons did release a mobile game I would expect it to be of high quality.

The Simpsons Arcade game is another well loved and respected title from the franchise and it is also the second Simpsons game. The only other iteration we have seen of the title is from a time it was playable on the XBOX 360 before being taken down. I would love to see a remaster or another arcade style beat em’ up with the Simpsons cast and with the resurgence of beat em’ ups in recent years such as Double Dragon IV and Streets of Rage 4 I can definitely see a market.

simpsonsarcade
The Simpsons Arcade game definitely needs a HD makeover

Finally, I would love to see a Simpsons game of any variety because the show, or at least the original 1-10 series, are still as popular as ever with the sea of memes we’ve had over the last two years. Furthermore I feel the nostalgia of the show would definitely aid in a new game, but unsurprisingly a lot of fans would definitely be looking to the original content of the show and not the last 20 seasons which might not be how the creators are wanting the show to be remembered by. In the end we could always get another Road Rage and I would be more than satisfied. Let alone that, from the array of cars the show has had, it’s surprising to see they’ve never had a full blown racing game back in the day.

Are there are any remakes or video game genres you’d like to see from The Simpsons? Let us know in the comments!

2 Comments

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