Niche: Finally, the genre dies in the mainstream market. AAA teams actively avoid the genre and the existing audience for the genres must rely on re-releases or independent games made for love, not money.
Large teams are assembled with the goal of creating products that have a shot at becoming first or second in an established genre. In light of this business strategy, it makes sense that companies tend to value craftsmen designers and developers who are passionate about building incremental improvements within proven genres.
Ultimately every game developer must ask “Who is my game’s audience, what are their needs, and how does my game compete?”
The history of CRPGs. This historical article gives a blow-by-blow account of how the computer role playing game genre evolved and fragmented over time. Note the numerous mentions of fan betrayal when the developers change the core mechanics of their titles. Over time, the ‘traditional’ CRPG genre fall into the niche stage and is supplanted by the 2D action RPG (of which Diablo was the genre king) and the 3D action RPG (where Bethesda’s various titles were genre kings).