There was a time not too long ago in the gaming world that developers were very much like explorers. Searching for new things and creating some of the most beloved franchises to ever grace our screens. Over time a lot of those franchises flames have since burnt out, only to be resurrected of course in the form of a FPS. In this time the big gaming super giants were formed and though over the years we would tease about it, they really were the evil empires of the video game world. Now in order for these devs to stay in business they needed to produce numbers. This numbers world we currently live in is not only a slight to developers but to us gamers as well. Social integration, holding the players hand throughout the game as if we were all 5 years old, oh and my personal favorite raping franchises that once meant so much to me and my friends. These are all things we have to deal with today. A time I may add where our technology could greatly benefit from some of the previous eras explorers.
Now not all is bad and I will be the first person to admit this. You still have all the basics in place just as before. A console war between 3 very different platforms oh and that nifty little PC audience I have been almost exclusive to for the better part of a decade. You do have your rogue devs too that mostly exist in the indie gaming market. Are they the ones that will help see us through the dark times? I don't know honestly. The indie scene is still very small and without any triple A title integration it seems unlikely. Remember companies like EA spend more than most indie devs collect from game sales on ads alone. You know all those flashy Black Ops 2 commercials featuring celebrities and sports stars. In order to create a game like Black Ops 2 takes just over a year and 100 staffers. The result is not always bad but these annualized franchises almost always lack ingenuity and feel more like a rehash with a fresh coat of paint. The old adage if it ain't broke don't fix it. Anyone remember Mario? Almost every major release has been unique over these now nearly 30 years. 8 bit to 16 bit to 3D to motion controlled. I am not saying that is the only way you do things but it is a good example of where old school developers do things differently to the end users benefit and keep us wanting more.
I think my real disdain though has come from this past generation. For the exception of technological growth and some developers like Rockstar and Naughty Dog to name a couple. Everything else either died out or got bought up. Bioware will NEVER be Bioware again!!! Mark my words. Maybe there is hope in the next generation. Maybe there are some new franchises that will capture that warmth I remember from playing games like Battletoads and Zelda. Maybe not though. Maybe this is me growing out of it. I am 26 now and new first time dad. Maybe it is time to hang up the controller once and for all. I never could though really. I don't think I will ever be able to avoid all video games. I will always have the need to at least sample the new offerings. It seems that is what I do with most of the games I ever get though. I only complete about 25% of the games I play today. That would ludicrous to a younger me and absolutely unacceptable. I have a feeling that kid would hate me actually. I won't tie the noose just yet but if this next generation breeds anything as generally stagnant as the previous it will truly spell the death of a gamer.