Reminds me of a quote by Yahtzee Croshaw (emphasis mine):
Originally Posted by Kadayi
"Why does every 'rpg' nowadays need a dog?"
That's a good point. RPGs do seem to be getting increasingly big on pets. Best guess, it's because World of Warcraft has pets and World of Warcraft goes to work every day on a private jet staffed entirely by hot elf chicks. Perhaps gamers are such manchildren these days that they have difficulty coping with the adversity of RPG dungeons without having a little snuffly friend to give them comfort and unconditional love. Or perhaps it's an offshoot of the co-op gameplay trend reflected in such games as Gears of War, Resident Evil 5 and Borderlands, but catering to people who don't like other human beings (i.e. RPG players).