Over-serialization and lack of innovation are a deep-rooted problem in the video game industry. It seems that every year a new Call of Duty comes out with nearly minimal changes in each game. Many successful game titles go through so many spin offs and sequels, that fans eventually get tired of the same old game repeating itself year after year.
Resident Evil is another good example of over-serialization and gamer fatigue. The series started back in 1996 and was a massive hit. After initial success, the developer, Capcom started to release a Resident Evil game once to twice a year on average. 21 years after its original release and 26 games later, Resident Evil Umbrella Corps was a flop.
Some claim that the lack innovation and risk taking is what initially caused the rise of indie gaming. Many big studios preferred to avoid risk and therefore avoided experimental games or genres. It was left to indie game developers to take risks, innovate and push the envelope. This is why some indie games have become massively successful. Rather than regurgitating the same product with minor graphic updates year after year, indie developers have pushed game genres and creativity as far as they could.
Many successful indie games did not put an emphasis on cutting edge graphics but rather focused on fun gameplay and the “fun factor”. A few examples of such are: Minecraft, Cuphead, The Banner Saga and others. Not to say that many of those games were not visually stunning, they were brilliant in their own way but the approach they have taken was very different.
Big studios seem to have taken the approach that game graphics are key to a games success. They tend to pour millions in creating spotless 3D worlds with voice actors and facial motion technology. This all comes at a price tag that indie developers cannot afford. In order to compete, indie developers have put an emphasis on the fun factor and pushing game genres. This is evident in Minecraft. Other indie games have put an emphasis on gorgeous 2D art and animations which in my opinion are no less visually pleasing than the big budget 3D art big studios tend to prefer.
One of the few attempts by indie game developers in creating a big budget style 3D game is No Man’s Sky, which very few people remember favourably.
It appears that not much will change in the years to come in the world of video games. Big studios are still afraid of risk with experimental games and genres, so it looks like it will be up to smaller developers to innovate.
We at Game Protocol plan on fully supporting smaller developers and innovate ideas via our reward based crowd-funding venture. Our platform will also include a co-working space where talented game developers, artists and other specialists can be contracted via Game Protocol Tokens to assist in the completion of games.