That scares me.
How expensive are games going to get in the later years? How many game developers and publishers are going to falter in their failed attempts to create well designed, addictive, enjoyable, engaging, balanced, and "not-frustrating" games for the next generation? Will the desire to experiment end as a result of fear from creating a "mediocre" game? Will it come to an area were we, as gamers, are going to complain about how "dated" or "last-gen" certain games are going to be in the future with such games not having fully mo-capped facial animations and movements, ala Halo4 and LA Noire (if, by chance, that truly becomes the standard for cut scene direction)?
We have Jeff Gertsmann pointing out flaws such as gliding animations upon ladders in Shadowrun and, in Deus Ex Human Revolution, how the AI couldn't shoot through glass windows to murder you. Will the standard rise, making game development next to impossible? Will new comers fall and certain studios like Bethesda, Valve, Epic, and whatnot will be the last remaining?
Halo4 is just a simple shooter. This isn't some open-ended role-playing game with fuck loads of detail, dialogue, animations, and deep elements -- nothing overtly ambitious in Halo4 other than its 'core'; the game is going to be adorned with great looking cut scenes, high quality voice actors, plenty of polish, and tons of weapons and content that will make it last for quite a few months. But if you remove all of that expensive stuff, I think we can all agree that Halo would just be a really, really simple shooter that any decent game developer could possibly program and build. Give a game like Serious Sam 3 tons of fame and resources and I'd bet you all that we'd see some hefty blockbuster stuff going on. It's amazing what high production values can do to such a plain concept like Halo.
But knowing how much money and resources is going into such a simple game, I fear for the things going beyond the shooting and the cut scenes. To think, Todd Howard is going to be alive for the next generation and we're going to see an Elder Scrolls VI in the next 5 or 6 years. With the visual standard to be expected, that game is going to be really fucking expensive. But if it's for the sake of making good ideas not go to waste by the case of death, then so be it. I just hope they're careful.