Awhile back, in Do We Want Something Different?, I asked whether the majority of gamers really want new and innovative games. My answer to that question was “no, not really”.

Now The Escapist has an article up by Shannon Drake on the same subject. Clover Studios, a division of Capcom, was formed to create innovative products for consoles. They did. The games won awards all over the place. They didn’t sell very many.

Oh yes, there were sales, of course, but nowhere near what was expected. Despite good reviews and critical acclaim, only a small subset of the gaming community was interested.

The mass market passed them by. I don’t find that surprising, and so I’m a bit worried by upcoming games like Eschalon: Book 1 and Broken Hourglass.

The emphasis today is on graphics and physics. How pretty is the world? How realistic are the visuals? How close to “real world” are the physics of the game? And, of course, how fast is the combat?

A lot of that is basically trivial detail. “Look ma, I can pick up the hammer! Or anything else! Wooee!”. “Gosh, that looks like a real tank!”.

Everything else remains pretty much the same by genre as before. The majority just doesn’t want to stray too far from the “comfort zone”, from what is familiar across many games already played.

Repetition breeds conservatism, and a desire for more of the same. We see this in many MMOGs, such as World Of Warcraft, for example. There really isn’t much to it beyond fighting, leveling up, and treasure grabbing.

As far as “A” titles go, I don’t have a lot of hope for anything really new and exciting to show up. These games have to make money – a great deal of it – and that means, as always, sticking with the tried and true.

Independents are really the hope here. They can be successful selling relatively fewer copies of fresh games, and building their own markets. Being small in this case does have an advantage.

Whether that will happen, of course, remains to be seen. In the meantime, check out the article and see what you think.

Vision Doesn’t Sell Games on The Escapist