Rampant Games - Nobody Wants to Be an RPG!
They're just not cool enough, and they don't sell in the millions (for the most part), Jay Barnson Blogs on the RPG avoidance issue.
First it was British game development's biggest mouth, Peter Molyneux, claiming that "Fable 3 isn't an RPG." After years of saying he was going to redefine the genre, he changed his tune to say he's going to abandon it. Kinda.
Now, the exemplar series of Japanese RPGs (jRPGs), Final Fantasy, is apparently abandoning the RPG genre as well. The RPG "template" was just too stifling, and the creators were aiming to go off in new directions without any preconceived expectations and requirements.
At least, that's what they are saying now.
Kat Bailey notes this recent trend in her article, "The Loneliest Genre." Mass Effect 2 (and Mass Effect 1) really look like hybrid FPS / RPGs to me (which, I stress, is cool and all...) While Dragon Age: Origins (which I still haven't played) sounds to be pretty much good ol' RPG on the inside, a lot of the marketing did try and make it feel like... something else.