So many developers and journalists – including yours truly – have been calling for better storylines, better developed characters, and more emotion in the interactive entertainment industry.
For the most part, I believe we're making good strides in that direction, although it still seems painfully obvious that the mainstream audience hasn't much interest in quality stories or memorable characters. The first question on the lips of most gamers isn't, "So, does it have a good story?" And I don't see this changing any time soon.
Not necessarily because we'll never reach another level of interactive storytelling. I believe we have enough visionaries and talented writers in this industry, who will continue to push for deeper and more intelligent scripts (Hideo Kojima, Ken Levine, David Cage, etc.). But will they ever produce games that smash sales records and dominate the charts? They'll be popular, no doubt, but they might not be able to compare to the likes of Call of Duty or blockbusters of that nature.
I think that gamers are just so used to a certain form of entertainment, one that often uses the story as a back-up, a Plan B, a side attraction. This is quite valid, in fact, as we're talking about interactive entertainment and storytelling is traditionally passive. While we're getting used to the concepts of choice and freedom these days, we're still a long way from top-notch literary works in video games. But do gamers even want that? Based on what I've seen, I'm not sure they do. The interesting part is that I think those better stories are coming…I'm just not sure how they'll be received.