Effiencies were defined as separate from simply making cheaper games in Flatline's post. In that light it seems as nebulous as political candidates promising to save tons of money by cutting wasteful spending. Cutting back high expectations was point B.
In the case of Resident Evil 6, and of Tomb Raider, I don't think it was the case that the games weren't profitable. In both instances these games failed to meet projections, and I don't think anyone said either one lost money. Tomb Raider in particular was derided since it set a record for the franchise but still didn't meet its goals.
Call of Duty is the poster child for the broken model. It's the blockbuster that's forcing all the other games to aim to be blockbusters too. Isn't it supposed to be one of the super-spendy titles, up there with GTA?
Ultimately I do agree about the overemphasis on expensive graphics, but I feel the way people go on about it is misguided. Usually people point at titles like FTL or Minecraft as indie games taking over the reins from big publishers, but those are kind of one-offs. I think a more realistic expectation from big publishers scaling back their insane expectations would be a stream of somewhat janky looking shooters, probably half of them with zombies.