This started as a reply but it got a bit long so let's make it into a blog.
This is mostly in reply to Jim's article regarding Square blaming the console market for less profits, here's the thing though, what's happening in consoles is a problem that's been plaguing the industry as a whole for years, the market gets flooded with copycats of the big thing, but I'm getting ahead of myself let's hop in our time machines a bit.
Remember arcades? Those glorious places filled with some of our favorite games, but do you also remember the sheer amount of beat em ups that existed in the 90's? A few with popular franchises came out suddenly everyone made one, we had good one like knights of the round and armored warriors, but we also had crap like Vendetta featuring not Hulk Hogan and totally not Mr. T, the same thing happened when Street Fighter exploded into the scene, sure we got Tekken and MK, but does anyone remember Time Killer? I sure do and boy was it shit.
Platformers where big but they didn't explode till this baby right here, DKC, one of the greatest games on the Super Nintendo, suddenly we had a huge mascot war, croc, bubsy, zool, all these characters designed for mass market appeal appeared accompanied by a platformer, this war would later continue on the PS2 with characters such as Ty The Tasmanian Tiger and Vexx I think it was.
Holy shitballs its Resident Evil, fear, tension ZAMBIES, the term Survival Horror is coined and a genre is born, once again we got loads of survival horror titles with clunky ass controls, stuff like Carrion, in one of the first examples of converting a game to mimic something it isn't Parasite Eve goes from an RPG to having Survival Horror controls and mechanics.
We move forward a bit more, WoW comes out and the MMO is flipped upside down, it becomes the single most popular MMO in history, 9 years later and companies are STILL trying to copy WoW in the hopes to get the big bucks, isn't it funny how Guild Wars 2, one of the few recent MMO's to try its own thing has enjoyed success, could it be because WoW players will play WoW and not a copycat?
Again another example of changing a game into what its not, Star Wars Galaxies, after WoW, SWG released a patch that turned it into WoW lite, it had the opposite effect, people left in droves because it turned the game into what it wasn't the worse thing is that SWG was one of the most unique MMO's of all time, it was EVE before Eve existed, everything was player run, bars, entertainers, weapon makers, doctors, they where all players, you could level entirely without lifting a finger against an enemy, Jedi's had to train in isolation and where strong as hell, so much so that the game had a class dedicated to Jedi's down if one revealed itself.
I loved SWG and I missed it so.
Which brings me to my current point.
Whenever the subject of a series being dumbed and such it seems CoD always pops up, but that's wrong, you're blaming the wrong thing, its like blaming the gun instead of the person that pulled the trigger.
Its unfortunate but the industry continues to play copycat much to the annoyance of the consumer, CoD was huge, it makes billions in a month, not millions, BILLIONS, who wouldn't want a piece of that delicious pie.
Here's one of the more egregious examples of doing it wrong, Capcom tried to appease everyone with this game, in the end it appeased no one and is quite possibly the most polarizing RE game in years, despite this it sold almost 5 milion, that's still quite good, not good enough for Capcom but still good and therein lies the issue.
Who the hell look at 5 million sold and calls that a failure? The industry is far to obsessed with huge numbers, I'm sure there's thousands of small devs who would kill for those kinds of numbers.
There's so much more than this to, the disaster that Ninja Gaiden 3 ended up being, all in the name of big numbers, all in the name the Call of Duty crowd.
For years and industry merely copies the big thing and quite frankly none of them have ever gotten it right, its a good thing that despite this we've gotten the amazing titles that we all remember over the years, things like Journey, anything by Clover when it was still around, Atlus RPG's and many, many more.
The games industry really just needs to sit down and focus, it needs to tone things down a bit, not everything needs gigantic billion dollar budgets, it needs to try to be a more creative in its endeavors, sequel mania needs to stop and more importantly, if you want to evolve your game then go right ahead but stick to your roots. 3D Mario games is how you do it right. Things like RE6, DmC, Medal of Honor, EA's policy of no single player games ever, that's how you do it wrong.
I love games, I don't wanna see the market crash again.
Anyway, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane.