Plenty of stuff, but at the same time not too much. Games are the same almost on a genre level, but there have been some notable things that happened to the industry.
Political correctness / wokeness is a big one. Games (not only games, though) have been suffering from insufferable political correctness for the last couple of years. So now we have World War II shooters with mixed-race battalions, women on the front line with prosthetics, etc. It has been an absurd ride, but thankfully it’s mostly regulated to AAA gaming. This leads me to…
Corporate greed has reached new heights. AAA gaming is kinda dead, I’m not kidding. The industry has stagnated to maybe 1-3 releases per year, and then these releases are being milked dry for several years through “games as a service“. These means games are released in a pitiful shitty state, and then over the years get a ton of DLC, but really nothing substantial since the grind must continue. Don’t expect any conclusions from the stories. Some of the worst offenders are UBISOFT and EA Games. Did you know that there are like 10 different Assassin’s Creed now since 2012, but none of them have told anything interesting about the world or pushed the story forward? AC is also an RPG now since it has dialogue choices and talent trees… yeah, the bar has been set that low.
Indie is the way to go. Thanks to STEAM and GOG indies have really thrived. So while AAA gaming oofed themselves, indies have stepped up their game – so to say. Indies used to be small one-man projects that produced endless 2D-sidescrollers (which to be fair still happens) but it has evolved to something much more! Many of my favorite games are made by small independent companies, like for example Battle Brothers coming out of Germany. Still, indies are not immune to greed. Scams and DLC pushing are still a thing, but I guess it would be naive to think indies would somehow be nobler than the average game publisher since they are all run by humans.
The Kickstarter craze has long since ended. I think by 2012 Kickstarter came into a crescendo, I could be wrong about this, but it feels right to me. It was the time when a lot of old has-beens from legendary studios thought they could re-create what they once made, but this time without meddling publishers. It was promised to lead to even more exciting games because all those legendary RPGs back in the day were held back by unscrupulous corporate stooges, but no more! Now we would get RPGs free from the shackles of corporate greed! Finally, the masses cried out and took to the streets to celebrate. What really happened though is that we got a bunch of isometric games ranging from semi-good to bad, which lead to a realization that all these classic RPGs from our youth were just a lucky fluke and lots of these devs aren’t’ worth more than the random Call of Duty programmer.
Also in a hilarious twist, some of these companies have now ended up in the hands of one of the biggest corps around, aka Microsoft. Looking at you, InXile and Obsidian Entertainment.
That is all from me now, and thanks for reading!