During Sony’s awkward transition from the PlayStation 2 era into the PlayStation 3 era, the Insomniac-developed Resistance: Fall of Man series was a lonely bright spot in the company’s line up of HD games. The World War II-era alien invasion first-person shooter wasn’t a pillar of the genre—it lacked that iconography of Halo and the populist precision of Call of Duty—but it garnered a strong following that justified the series’ transformation into a franchise. The franchise may be finished though as Sony says that it has no plans to continue it.
Speaking with the UK’s Official PlayStation Magazine (via IGN), Sony’s Daniel Brooke said that, “[The] Resistance franchise has been exciting to work on, but as for the future we have no definitive plans.”
This isn’t terribly surprising in light of the series’ successes since that first excellent game in 2006. The 2008 sequel Resistance 2 was widely reviled for its mediocre campaign and its changes to the varied weapon play of the original, though it received some praise for its forward thinking co-operative multiplayer. 2011’s Resistance 3 was warmly received by critics, including by our own Ryan Fleming, but the game sold miserably, just 180,000 copies in its first month on shelves.
The most recent entry, Resistance: Burning Skies for PlayStation Vita, has been panned by critics, citing it as a poor showcase for Sony’s handheld and a dud in the broader series. Its Metacritic score is just 59, and while an aggregator like Metacritic is a poor measure of any game, criticisms of Burning Skies in the actual text of reviews have been too many to ignore.
It’s also unsurprising that Sony will let the series rest for a while since its creators at Insomniac have said they’re done with the series. Insomnia CEO Ted Price told VG247 in January, “We won’t be making any more Resistances.” Fan outcry was so intense that Price recorded a video message explaining that Insomniac did all they could with the series and explained that his team left plenty of room for another developer to continue Resistance should Sony choose to do so.
While Sony’s comments that it has no plans to continue the series could mean that it simply has nothing to announce at this time, it would be best for Sony to give the franchise a long break. Sony has never been able to break into the AAA shooter market in the way that it’s wanted to. Killzone and Resistance have performed okay but never at the level of a Gears of War or even a Battlefield. The company would do better to continue investing in more adventure-heavy games that have shooting elements like Uncharted. That is of course exactly what it’s doing with new series like The Last of Us.