It is something we see far more often than many of us would like: A game hits it big and the publisher responsible for it proceeds to annualize it or, at the very least, provide each subsequent release with little breathing room before yet another follow-up is released. The short-term rewards for doing so promote a temptation to exploit series in a way that can be harmful to the quality of the games in question and the series as a whole. Not only that, the interest in backing games with this sort of potential can make it more difficult for certain games to be released — just look at the way Activision dumped games like Brutal Legend and Ghostbusters because they didn’t “have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $ 100 million dollar franchises.”
Ignoring sports games, the franchises that likely come to mind first when thinking of this sort of thing include Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed. The last time we went a year without a Call of Duty game was 2004, and the last year we didn’t see a new Assassin’s Creed game on consoles was 2008. (It’s no coincidence that, in both cases, that year was the gap in between the first and second entries of the series.) Although it probably doesn’t jump to the top of your list, Prince of Persia is another series to fall victim to this sort of treatment. Though not as extreme an example as CoD or AC, the Sands of Time reboot for Prince of Persia began a six-and-a-half-year stretch that saw five games released, not counting those released for handhelds or the remake of the original. No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of games for one series to see in a relatively short span of time.