I do not really know how to properly name the thread here because I believe that this subject encompasses a lot in the gaming industry. So I do apologize if anybody is confused here.
Today a lot of games are recycled. I don't really mean in the sense of a single gameplay mechanic but in a sense that there is a certain pattern. 5-7 hour single player campaign, shoehorned multiplayer, short and rushed development times, mediocre gameplay, shoddy ports, day1 DLC, needless DRM and so forth. You can argue that there are good, properly made games released but it's too few in my opinion to matter in the grand scheme of the game industry. In other words a lot of games lack soul. Games made with the ambition and heart will live on, either they fail or succeed. They will always be remembered because the developers tried to do something significant and something that matters.
You see a few developers try and advance some major aspect of their games either developing for a single platform first and then try to branch out on other gaming platforms (CD Projekt RED, Remedy Entertainment, From Software) or try and make a unique and interesting gameplay mechanic (Frictional Games, Quantic Dream, Remedy Entertainment, Team Bondi). But most just try to cash in and people will buy those mediocre products.
I think the problem lies with the heads of the gaming industry and old and the new customer generation. Former's standards have lowered and latter doesn't have any standards whatsoever, at least that theory makes sense to me. The thing with the gaming industry is that they don't realize that they do not sell products that are 10-20 dollars a piece when actually the product costs 3-4 times as much. The thing with the movie industry is that you can make a technically bad movie but it will sell if it has lets say good action scenes or CGI because a movie ticket costs around 4-5 dollars. So the customer doesn't really lose that much and is more lenient considering the film sold to him/her. Main problem here is that the major publishers of the gaming industry seem to apply the same logic to games when it doesn't apply considering the cost of an average game. It's very much a luxury and a sensible customer might shun the company, have distrust towards them whenever their latest model fails on being a genuinely good and instead just pirating it to try it out and not buying it. On the other side of that coin are the newcomers to gaming, doesn't matter if console or pc but they will probably buy anything because they don't have a relevant point of reference considering the quality. I know this sounds really elitist but I do believe it to be the truth. I apologize if I have insulted anybody with that but that's my opinion on the matter.
So in the end you have a big supply of clients who will fund your average products and on a business aspect that's good. But on the creative aspect that's bad. You have a lot of game series that are massively simplified and made shorter for the sake of so to speak awesomeness and streamlining (Splinter Cell: Conviction, Rainbow Six: Vegas 1/2, Battlefield 3, Fable 3). Even the smallest hint of complexity and challenge is more or less lost in games. Most recent game on PC that tries to be interesting and imaginative is Alan Wake and that is technically a 2 year old game. Remedy brought that thing to PC with porting it right and pricing it only 20 euros. In 2 days they made a profit on it. I mean the math is not hard on that one, imagination + solid gameplay + right pricing = profit. Appealing to everyone is the grave the industry is digging for itself.
I love all forms of entertainment, films and video games especially. What happened to the the developers to go to the way of greediness? What happened with the rights of a regular customer? What happened with the imagination and soul of the games we play? It saddens me to see less and less of imagination used in game development for the sake of appealing to everyone. I hope I didn't forget anything.