The video game market is a bit unusual when you really consider it. A small core of consumers has the loudest voice, the same people who would read a column like this, while a gigantic market of casual players ensures that industry profits continue to grow each year.
The core group demands original efforts and fresh takes on beloved franchises while the mass of casual consumers prefers the known, sequels to games they already own with familiar concepts. Because of this publishers are faced with a difficult decision about which way to go with a new project. Should they push the boundaries and garner critical praise from the core gamer, or is it better to churn out another sequel to a workhorse series that has sustained the company's bottom line for years? Every entertainment sector relies on a mix of new and old to survive; maintaining that healthy balance is the key to growth.
In recent years gamers have been concerned about "sequelitis" afflicting their hobby, but a new wave has come that may change the way publishers view the topic entirely.