Strange that Assassins Creed got criticized by having too many sequels. I have to agree 100% with Alex when he says that yearly sequels are ok, hell, I would even buy Assassins Creeds if they come every 6 months.
But what does make a sequel good for publishers? First it is a return of investment. If you got a blockbuster its easier and cheaper to develop the sequel as usually the tools and technology only needs upgrades - not a rewrite.
Also the risk is less as the sequel should sell nearly as well as the original right? Well from blockbuster data I have seen sequels actually outperform the originals - that happened to Call of Duty - Modern Warfare.
Speaking of CoD: they are milking the franchise even more by having alternativing teams on the IP. Not too bad either if they can deliver the experience and quality. I bought Black Ops and it was worse than the earlier ones. Did it hurt sales? Nope. So it seems that one title in a series with slightly less quality doesn't hurt your sequel plans - delivering multiple bad sequels does.
My question is wether a brand can be over saturated and destroyed. On this Gamescom Ubisoft anounced three Might & Magic titles at once. Customers might get confused but on the other hand each title adresses a different audience. While Might & Magic Heroes Online adresses the fans from the original the Champions card game is more casual (good for iPads?) and the dungeon runner adresses a slightly younger action RPG crowd. I am curious how those titles work out.
So: if you love a game series how much sequels would you manage to buy each year? One? Two? Or even more?
*Disclaimer: The above is Teut's personal opinion - none of this is official Ubisoft policy or statement