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And then Diablo happened. (Ah-hah!) cried the industry, anxious to cover their collective butts and not to appear as fools when an RPG sold over a million copies after they'd declared the genre dead. (It's a new paradigm! This is the evolution of RPGs.) See, they weren't wrong. The old RPGs were dead. Long live the RPG!
Nevermind that Final Fantasy VII and Baldur's Gate (which admittedly had some Diablo-esque elements) were also making insane amounts of money, too. FF7 pretty much dwarfing Diablo's success. But it was, you know, a console title. And even Fallout garnered some major critical appeal and financial success, and it was an old-school-style RPG writ LARGE.
Moving on, he calls for the genre to expand so that evolution comes along at a natural pace:
So for me, the point isn't about evolution. It's about expansion. There's a critical difference. Evolution as referred to by the media suggests movement along a single direction towards a (better adapted) (improved) species. Expansion suggests movement along multiple paths into greater diversity and niches. And in biology, by my limited understanding, this is the key behavior that allows evolution to take place. Otherwise, we would have had a world full of perfect dinosaurs.
Personally, I don't have any issue with the genre expanding, but it seems to me that a majority of mainstream developers only want to create action-heavy, first-person or zoomed-in third-person RPGs anymore. How about a traditional RPG powered by a modern engine that utilizes an isometric-like perspective? Apparently Diablo III and Avadon: The Black Fortress are the closest examples we're going to get anytime soon.