NovaCN wrote on 2022-11-27, 14:18:
Yeah that makes a lot of sense. It really does feel like the evolution of gaming has really "slowed down" significantly since around 2008 or so. Graphics get more polished, controls smoother, but not a whole lot else has really changed in the past decade and a half.
I've read multiple articles from 20ish years ago that interviewed developers and designers ( anyone else remember "The Game Gods" article in PC Gamer where they talked to Sid Meyer, John Carmack, Will Wright, and others? ). Several of them say the same thing: the people in charge of funding only care about risk loss and return on investment. Breaking even isn't enough. Small profit isn't enough. Investors expect everything to be hugely successful. Anything seen as even remotely risky is shot down.
A lot of people and teams can come up with brilliant stories and ideas. But ultimately, the idea has to be presented to a publisher, venture capitalist, or someone else footing the bill for development and distribution. Those people hardly ever have much creative spark or vision. All they know are spreadsheets, accounting, and what game characters they see plastered all over Walmart. And 9/10 times after hearing a pitch they'll say, "Yeah, that's nice. But you know that Lara Croft character sells a lot of games. Why don't you make something like that?" Very few dev studios have the financial means to pay their own development, or the clout to tell publishers "no." And in reality, most people aren't nearly as creative and skilled as they like to believe, so there are a lot of mediocre ideas too. But the financial wall makes it even harder for new, innovative ideas to actually get somewhere.
Same reason TV and movies are largely bland rehashes. It takes lots of effort to write a story that's in-depth, complex, and devoid of plot holes and problems. So a lot of stuff is just repeats and reboots designed not to offend anyone's sensibilities unless someone with a loud voice on the internet wants to launch a flame crusade against it. And if it doesn't make back all the money on opening weekend, it's a complete bomb and failure and we'll never try anything like that again.