Publishers would love all games to work the same way - and they're trying to make it happen. That's why they look for franchises - not for good games.
The truth is that unless your last name is "Wright" or "Miyamoto," the odds of getting anything innovative published today are nonexistent. In fact, the only thing you can get funded is something that's based on a license or part of a franchise (can you
say "Coasters of Might and Magic?"), and incrementally innovative at best.
These are a few quotes from the first part of his article that you can read in The Escapist. It discusses how things have changed over the year, and what the current problems are.
The reason that's happening is simple: Many PC game styles that, in years past, got huge attention from the PC game zines and consumers now have a hard time getting distribution. Retailers don't even like stocking PC games - they take up too much space, and they don't sell as well as console - and have cut way back on the titles they'll stock. As a result, if you're a computer wargamer, a flight sim fan, a fan of 4X space conquest games or of graphic adventures, or even of turn-based fantasy - you're going to have a hard time finding product you like on the shelves. Those gamers are beginning to learn they can find what they want on the net.
These are a few quotes from the second part of his article that you can read in The Escapist. It discusses how we can solve the problems the industry faces.
You can also read the original postings of Greg as "Designer X" in The Scratchware Manifesto. He is currently trying to come up with a solution through ManifestoGames.com.
What are your thoughts on this subject? How important is independent games? (Indie games) Thanks to Gimli for pointing this out!