I was a huge fan of Call of Duty. Modern Warfare I still tout as the best competitive multiplayer game I've ever played. When I first saw the trailer for World at War, I almost shit my pants because the trailer was amazing. The first gameplay shown for Modern Warfare 2 also left me astounded. Then one night I had a revelation. I looked at the release dates for each Call of Duty game and realized all were right before Christmas, annually. I paused and went back to playing Halo 3.
Syndrome is probably not the best term to use, as I am no medical expert, but this effect seems to be growing like a tumour. (How many medical terms can he use within one blog posting? My god!). The prevalence of first person shooters and the importance the genre has had to advance the gaming medium has had a dramatic effect on what video gaming has become. It may be the natural occurrence of what happens in media; something gains popularity and then after a time society hates said something. Look at the abundance of 3D movies as a great example.
It first started with platformers, then RPGS in the 90s, and now shooters are sitting pretty. But I think this recurring trend will end with this generation of consoles. The sales for FPS have been through the roof (Black Ops just had the largest entertainment launch in history) with MW2 holding the previous record. And the Halo games can included in that mix as well.
Such dominance like this has one detrimental effect. Other genres are losing money because they cannot compete. I predict we won't see a game sell 15 million copies unless someone is killing someone else and that's the sad reality of what the industry is in its current state. Another thing I predict (I sound like a psychic) will be a pillaring of the industry (I now realize pillaring is not a term, but let me explain). There will be ridiculously popular genres and there will be not-so-popular genres. Those popular genres will consume all of the gaming community and those other genres will die out. Within those genres still existing, certain franchises will become pillars of the genre, basically keeping it afloat. This is the devil of video gaming and really the devil of business itself.
Could this possibly happen soon? I'd say so. The art of business and the love of the green stuff has taken over the pride and passion studios once had to making quality games, and now smaller studios are scrambling just to get by. People have blamed the closing of great studios (i.e. Pandemic) on the current economic environment but really it's because the studio wasn't making what was popular. In the case of Pandemic, LOTR: Conquest and The Saboteur had disastrous sales and EA said "You know what, fuck this" and closed the studio. This is the first step in what I am talking about.
If this is the ultimate fate for video games then I am scared. I love playing video games and it's what I have been doing for a long time, and will continue to do. But only the community, the ones actually buying the games, is the one group that can change this inevitability. Please do this.