@shindig: I think Doom 2016, Hitman, and Destiny are all examples of more limited risks, though. Doom and Hitman were established franchises and they did do some risky stuff with those versions of the games, no doubt, but the fact that they had a franchise fan base makes it much less risky. Destiny was a big investment in a new IP but it was ultimately Bungie, the Halo guys, making first person shooters.
Compare that with something like Jet Set Radio, which was made by the Sega Rally 2 guys and was like nothing we'd ever seen before. It had the best cell shaded graphics up to that point but it was this totally new type of game that drew on some inspirations like Tony Hawk or whatever, but was much more out there than something like Doom 2016, which is ultimately a first person shooter with a bunch of cool new mechanics but still fits squarely in that genre (and even uses all the old tropes of Doom from the enemies to the arsenal.)
"What's this new game, Seaman?"
"Oh. You talk to a fish every day. Over time you kind of develop a relationship with it."
"Oh, so it's like a cute friend who lives in your Dreamcast?"
"No. It starts as a parasite that kills another fish and it grows into a hideous abomination who treats you like garbage. You need to buy a peripheral to be able to play it."
Obviously not every game was like Seaman, which was absolutely insane even for the time, but did you know that Leonard Nimoy was the narrator for that game? That's a time we'll probably never see again. A game premise that insane but with enough money behind it that it was technologically cutting edge (good graphics for the time plus voice recognition), had a peripheral packed in with it, and could afford to get freaking Spock to narrate.
Mainstream gaming used to be so much crazier than it is today. For good and bad.