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February 24th, 2010, 12:46
I think its naive to believe that a bit of bitching in the dark corners of the internet has anything to do with this "movement" (if it even is one). I think this is simply the result of a trend we have seen going on (and bitched about) for a long time, i.e. that classic RPG-centric features (character systems, dialogue, nonlinearity) are weighed down and action elements are given more weight. That some franchises that have been successful with that strategy (like the two cited here) eventually move out of the RPG bracket entirely is not surprising. Many would argue that actually happened quite some time ago…
At the same time we saw quite significant successes of fairly complex RPGs, such as DA:O, Witcher, MotB, FO3, and more on the way, so I am not afraid for the genre at the moment. Considering that this genre was already pronounced dead more than once, it still produces a remarkable amount of GotY's.
Actually I think this is good news - it would suggest that developers are actually thinking a bit about the genre's definition again, instead of slapping "RPG" on everything that has even the faintest sprinkling of RPG elements.
That is not being elitist, I hope. I love genre crossovers. But it is helpful to remember what some of the core features of each genre are. I see that as a basis to be able to develop these elements that originally made each genre fun (as opposed to just "streamlining" them).
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