On the latest issue of the Escapist there’s a letter from Brother None, administrator at No Mutants Allowed:
As for “the industry has moved on,” it has and it hasn’t. It’s not that much different. For instance, Cain once said about Fallout’s combat: “It also showed how popular and fun turn-based combat could be, when everyone else was going with real-time or pause-based combat.” That’s no different now, everyone else is going with real-time or pause-based, only this time so is Fallout.
So if anything has changed it’s that the unique situation behind Fallout can’t be reproduced. Not because the people aren’t there, but because the companies have closed ranks, and even a proclaimed independent like Bethesda joins those ranks. Only Blizzard remains, I guess, with their hearty sod off to the, as CVG put it, “‘big new feature’ kind of showmanship.” … I’m sure Bethesda’s Fallout 3 has the potential to outsell the Fallout 3 BIS was working on, but BIS didn’t need to sell a million copies just to break even.
The base investment cost of the license and ludicrous expenses like their PR department (including a community manager who doesn’t really do anything, from what I can tell) or hiring Liam Neeson are choices Bethesda made, and only because of those choices do they have to compete in three markets to so much as break even. That’s not inherent of today’s gaming market, but I’ll admit it’s predominant, and it will have to collapse in on itself someday. These high-risk high-profit ventures are a way to instable base for an industry. Heck, you don’t see any other industry doing it.
– Brother None
Controversial as ever, if you agree or disagree with him you can tell him that on the NMA forum.