I don't normally go off on rants like this, but this is something that has been bothering me ever since March of last year.
I am a casual gamer, I don't own a supercomputer capable of rendering amazing graphics, I have an Xbox 360 that I play in spurts, and then forget about for months on end. That being said, I do follow the video game industry as I have dabbled in C# and some other languages that are commonly used in the game-o-sphere.
This whole thing started last March when I picked up a copy of Mass Effect 3. Some of you might be familiar with the Mass Effect trilogy; the critically acclaimed sci-fi role-playing trilogy. For those that aren't, this was a series that was likened to the new generation's "Star Wars" in the video game entertainment industry. I tend to disagree with that statement, but just to give an idea of how popular the series is considered to be, I use that analogy. In any case, the first two games of the trilogy were bar-none, never-before-seen action, drama, great script/character writing, etc.
At some point, a company a lot of you are probably familiar with took the reigns on the studio that was producing Mass Effect. This company of course, is Electronic Arts.
In between the first and second games in the series, EA bought-out the studio that produced ME (BioWare)...these effects were not seen until after Mass Effect 2 however, as most of the pre-production, planning, and some dev. work had already started.
Longer story short, the third game (along with several other BioWare titles including another popular Role-playing fantasy game, and the new Star Wars online game) completely bombed. Star Wars was an absolute failure, being one of the quickest subscription-based models to fall to Free-To-Play (F2P) within a mere 8 months (maybe even less), after it's debut.
So where am I going with this? I finally got my hands on a copy of NHL '13. Now, I don't go crazy over stuff like this normally, but after playing for about 3 minutes, I'm thinking to myself...Why didn't I just hang on to NHL '12? And in that case, NHL '11? NHL 13 is identical, save for a few jersey, roster and team updates. That stuff can either be overlooked or handled without shelling out $60. I've been reading over and over about difference between 12 and 13 and everyone is saying it has a new physics engine, this and that...it's the same freaking thing I bought last year. There hasn't been any commentary change since 2007. That's 6 years of Gary Thorne and Bill Clement saying the SAME stuff OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER.
Can't they at least record some new dialogue?
There's a laundry-list of other things that are wrong with the video game industry, specifically gaming journalism. Popular game sites like IGN and their deep pockets have, in my opinion, deeply skewed rating systems, giving horrible, crap games 9/10's most likely because the game in question paid for multiple advertising spots.
There have been stories of game journalists fired for negative reviews.
And in Mass Effect 3, of course they had to include a 3-D character model of a former IGN reporter. And low and behold, IGN gives Mass Effect 3 a perfect raiting 10/10, Game of the Year, etc. It's all a media/advertising frenzy now, and little to no REAL reviews slip through on the major video game news outlets.
tl;dr: The video game industry is in shambles because of advertising