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It's hard to spot creative game development in Sony's first party lineup when their recent string of hit games mainly consists of the same approach - third person open world game with RPG elements - packaged into different settings and themes. It is only somewhat brave to make something like Returnal, because it falls into a genre that has been highly popular in recent years; it doesn't take a genius to figure out that there's a market for roguelike/roguelite games, so taking the chance to throw money at it is not that risky. Its commercial failure is most likely the result of the miscalculation that gamers would be willing to pay the AAA price for randomly generated content rather than an unattractive female lead.

Game journalism has shown to possess an inherit bias against what Nintendo does over the course of the past 15 years where only few Nintendo IPs count as an exception, such as 3D Mario and 3D Zelda. When GotY awards are determined by such a group, then the result that many Nintendo IPs get regularly snubbed isn't surprising, but rather expected. That player's choice awards lean towards the same games as the journalists do isn't a surprise either, because the inherit bias curates a general stance among the readership of each individual outlet. That's why we commonly see such a disconnect between awards and overall game sales.

Probably the best way to judge bravery and risk in game development and publishing is to ask the question how many other publishers would devote as much money to the type in game in question. This does not only concern the investment in game development, but also the commitment to marketing dollars.

At some point of writing this post I am wondering why I bother. Might as well cut it short and say that Jim Ryan has a habit of saying things that are supposed to sound good, but commonly ends up with contradictions, either immediately or sometime in the future. The PS5 is deliberately designed to deliver the same old things, but of course people want to hear that it's a beacon of innovation.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments