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A Spiritual successor, sometimes called a Spiritual sequel or a Companion piece, is a sequel to a work of fiction which does not have the same storyline made in the first. Spiritual successors still have the same elements, themes, and styles as the first.
Reasons for making a spiritual successor
The nature of the publisher/maker system are basic in almost all computer games. As well as the purchase and takeovers by many companies. These are reasons why creative teams often lose to keep the copyright and trademark rights of what they made. This often makes attempts to make sequels for a product not possible for many reasons. One of the reasons it the "core" of the studio being fired or taken over after finishing a project while the parent company keeps control of the copyrights and trademarks. A good example of this strategy is Electronic Arts. They have closed many studios while keeping their copyrights and trademarks, such as Bullfrog Productions, Origin Systems, and Westwood Studios.
To get around this, creative teams will make a product that is kind of like the first game in some way, without copying the first directly. For example, the video games TimeSplitters and, Perfect Dark are often thought to be the spiritual successors to the hit video game GoldenEye 007.
Other times, a spiritual successor is made when the first products were either poor commercial sellers and/or forgotten by the people that would purchase the product. By leaving the first product's name and maybe its baggage as a forgotten product, the spiritual sequel can be loved by fresh eyes. An example of this would be BioShock, which has been named to by its makers as the spiritual successor to System Shock 2. System Shock and System Shock 2 both got good reviews, but both failed to get the expected commercial success. Unlike BioShock, which was both a reviewer and commercial success.
Further examples of spiritual successors
- Ikaruga is the spiritual successor to Treasure's Radiant Silvergun.
- Supreme Commander is thought bo be the spiritual successor to Total Annihilation.
- Shadow of the Colossus is a spiritual successor to Ico  and later explained also as a prequel, taking place in the same world at an unspecified time before Ico.
- Hellgate: London has been called by its maker Flagship Studios as the spiritual successor to Diablo II.
- Valve's Portal was made by the makers of the DigiPen project Narbacular Drop and has been said as its spiritual successor.
- Red Dead Redemption is a spiritual successor to Red Dead Revolver.
- The movie MirrorMask (2005) was thought to be the spiritual successor to the company's other fantasy movies The Dark Crystal (1982) and Labyrinth (1986).
- Fierce Creatures (1997) is a follow up to the comedy movie A Fish Called Wanda (1988).
- The movie Pan's Labyrinth (2006) is thought to be a spiritual successor to The Devil's Backbone (2001).
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- GameSpot site staff, ed. (2005). "The Long-Awaited Spiritual Successor to ICO Arrives Mid-February in Europe". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/adventure/wandaandthecolossus/news.html?sid=6141938. Retrieved July 1, 2006.
- McNamara, Andy & Berghammer, Billy (2006). "Colossal Creation: The Kenji Kaido and Fumito Ueda Interview". Game Informer. http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Story/200602/N06.0216.1853.30213.htm. Retrieved July 9, 2006.
- "Hellgate is 'spiritual successor to Diablo II' - Roper". Eurogamer. 2007-09-01. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=71581. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- "Independent Games Summit: Valve's Kim Swift - 'From Narbacular Drop To Portal'". Gamasutra staff. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16042.
- Neil Gaiman, author of Anansi Boys
- NEWS 1997_02_12 - Fierce Creatures - New Film Brings the Stars of 'A Fish Called Wanda' Together. Daily Llama