Commerce can be detrimental to the entertainment industry. Creative minds want to produce something innovative and imaginitive. Meanwhile, the business side of the entertainment world wants a “sure thing”. This leads Investors to shy away from innovation in an attempt to constantly re-create last year’s success stories. This risk management results in a flood of similar music, movies and video games. While these three entertainment related industries are very different from each other in many ways, they all suffer from a common problem: fear of innovation.
In the video game industry, there are hundreds upon hundreds of near identical games in every genre. While some titles offer a bit of innovation, they are usually variations of existing games. Sports games are among the worst offenders, where sometimes a nearly exact copy of the same game is realeased year after year, the only difference being the names of the athletes, and a few graphical improvements. I’m looking at you, Madden NFL series. Other genres are guilty of this lack of innovation as well. World war 2 shooters have been flooding the gaming market for about half of a decade now, and consumers are becoming less and less responsive to this variety of game because of it. This is the youngest of these three industries, and possibly the most innovative.
Box office sales have been suffering for some time now, and while the industry can point fingers in an attempt to place blame for this occurence, surely innovation can be considered among the culprits. Remakes of old movies, and films based on TV shows seem to be more common than ever. This could be viewed as Hollywood attempting to recapture it’s former glory by capitalizing on formerly successful franchises. Meanwhile, many big budget movies of our time rely more heavily on special effects and big name actors than they do on plots and dialogue. This industry is by far the least innovative, as their products are the most expensive to produce, thus there is less willingness to take risks on unique products.
Record companies complain about sales slumps in their industry as well. While the music industry likes to take the easy route and blame file sharing for it’s problems, the big labels pump out meaningless drivel that’s not intended to endure a year, let alone a decade. This industry is constantly pushing a variation of last years most popular genre or artist from one year to the next, from grunge to rock/rap to punk pop to emo and so forth. Pop radio is considered by many mature listeners to be a vast wasteland, and is largely aimed at those who are under 25. What the record labels need to realise is that truly great music transcends genres, and there is a massive amount of untapped talent just dying to be heard whether these artists get paid for their music or not.
Despite their differences, all of these industries exist to provide a creative entertainment product, yet they fear the very innovation that’s at the heart being entertaining. Simply recycling similar content is not sufficient to maintain sales figures. Imagine what would happen if you told a variation of the same joke to your friends every day. Eventually, your friends would stop laughing at that joke, right? This phenominon is hapenning in the entertainment industry. We’re being told the same tired old joke over and over again, with some slight variation from one year to the next, and it’s just not funny anymore.