When games were aimed at kids dozens of fuzzy original characters debuted each year. Now companies are focusing on making characters for an older audience such as Nathan Drake and Bayonetta… then farming them out for sequels.
“I think it’d be nice to see more original characters getting debuted in games and then moving on to other forms of media. I’d like to see that happen, but — and this is as true in the U.S. as it is in Japan — the sales department is primarily interested in whatever character sold the most product last year,” Toshiyuki Takahashi said to Gamasutra in an interview.
“No matter what you do with an original character, it’s always going to have an uphill battle in this respect. Developers want to put out all kinds of new characters, of course, but the marketplace is just not ready to accept them. That’s the way things have become, and it is a disappointment.”
Sad, but true. Why bother inventing new characters when Mario, Sonic, and Master Chief sell millions?
If you remember Hudson’s in their heyday be sure to read the full interview. The Gamasutra explores what it was like to make early CD games.