This week's Variety Friday talks about the currently state of RPGs in the industry and what may happen in the future.
Decent points throughout, but something else to consider: The size and scope of RPGs is generally expected to be somewhat larger and less linear than your average Call of Duty clone. Free-roaming (or the illusion of it) playstyle and a variety of landscapes and environments might make the game pretty and deep, but it also very likely gets expensive to produce the sheer amount of content. Simply having more locations, more NPCs, more side-quests, more items, more music, sound effects, lighting, shading, dungeons, and a thousand other things makes development (and *shudder* debugging) inherently longer and more difficult. It's one of the reasons (excuses) Square-Enix provided when people complained that FF13 was CGI on rails, and also why they keep insisting a remake of FF7 is nigh impossible. Or maybe a portion of the RPG market is being filled/stolen by MMO's. Why take the time to create a massive world with a jillion quests when you only get the initial 60 bucks (plus DLC)? Why not add other players and charge a monthly? Heck, most MMO people expect repetition and grinding, so the dev is certain to be able to reuse various elements.
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