The power of novalty
There are almost always discussions about the latest hardship in any business. For the past year most of these discussions have focused on the gameplay vs. graphics battle that's happening in the marketplace. Do we really need to keep turning up the graphics? Or can we find a sweet spot and just stay complacent?
But I want to talk about another problem: In Hollywood action movies were for year dictated by showing novelty. It was basically what they did, if the audience had seen it before it wasn't good enough. This arms race of action finally lead to freaky movies like Total Recall where the main aim for the movie was to show weird stuff and kill a lot of people. Why or how didn't really enter into it. Fortunately Hollywood has matured since then and action movies are less about novelty today.
Why am I ranting about this? Action games are doing the same thing today.
We really need to learn from our (according to Microsoft) smaller brother, Hollywood, and stop doing the same mistakes. But to do that we need publishers to spend some cash on smaller games that might not sell well. They need to spend money on innovative products. Sony did a great job with Little Big Planet but when will we see Microsoft, EA and Acti-Blizz doing the same?
(I'm not going to mention Nintendo, their doing demos and still hindering third party developers. That's not innovation, that's arrogant Japanese.)
For a quick education about what I mean check out this clip of Postal, how often do you hunt strangers with a badger in a sling?