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||Re: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Announced
||Dec 21, 2010, 04:32
Remember Psychonauts? Okami? Shadow of the Colossus? Little Big Planet? Brutal Legend? Penumbra? Bioshock?
I guess I should have been more specific when referring to the current industry. I'm talking about the industry since it went really mainstream with the X360 and PS3. So, anything within the past few years. The early 2000's were actually pretty good in terms of variety and innovation. The latter years... not so much.
Psychonauts - Great platformer and very unique style. Came out five years ago on last gen platforms so not really current.
Okami - Never played it but it seemed pretty unique. Came out four years ago on PS2 so too old to be considered current. Also a Japanese game and Japanese publishers tend to take more risks than western publishers, though even that is starting to change as they try to appeal to a more global audience.
Shadow of the Colossus - Nice style, not much substance, but unique nonetheless. Came out for PS2 in 2005 so it's a bit too old to be considered current.
Little Big Planet - Relatively low-budget, casual platformer with mainstream appeal due to its family-friendly style. Not risky.
Brutal Legend - Fairly unique. It was dumped by Activision because of its uniqueness and EA surprisingly picked it up. Sadly, it sold poorly so now Double Fine is relegated to making low-budget downloadable games.
Penumbra - Awesome games from an indie developer. As I mentioned earlier, indie developers continue to innovate. Not really relevant to the debate at hand which pertains to publishers taking less risk than they did in the 90's.
Bioshock - Dumbed down version of System Shock 2. Granted, it wasn't a military shooter so it gets risk points for that. Still, the risk was largely mitigated by the placement of unlimited use respawn chambers in every area. Sadly, 2K looks to be milking the series for all its worth since it has proven to not be risky anymore.
Look at the variety of games released by major publishers from 1995-2000:
Heavy Gear 1-2
Duke Nukem 3D
Baldur's Gate 1-2
The Longest Journey
System Shock 2
Note the amount of variety. Space sims, mech sims, vehicular combat, realistic tactical shooter, high-speed over-the-top shooter, zero-gravity shooters, RPG/shooter hybrid, party-based tactical stealth, pure stealth, adventure, hardcore CRPG, action/adventure, platformers, action/strategy, etc. Also note that all of those games were released by major publishers and received mid-to-high budgets for the time.
In the past five years, how often has a major publisher released an original adventure game? Mech sim? Space sim? High-speed, over-the-top shooter? Realistic tactical shooter? Party-based tactical stealth? Pure stealth? Hardcore CRPG? The answer: very rarely, if at all. Mostly the latter. Most of the games I listed would be considered hardcore. How many games released in the past five years would also qualify as such? Very few and almost none as hardcore (and thus risky).
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