Let's see, where to begin. They refuse to try anything new. CRPGs are becoming a joke. I mean, I don't want to start a huge war here, but Oblivion was not good, innovative, pretty, or fun. Sure the models had high poly counts, and the forests had alot of leaves, but I really did not see a single good animation, or model in the game. Maybe I've just gotten picky about artwork; leaving out the artwork though, the game was more repetitive than rat killing in MMOs.
Then there are the MMOs, they could be fucking amazing, if the industry would put some thought into reward vs. risk, how to move away from grinds, and making worlds believable (lore/interesting quests/events). There are so many things that could be done with the "genre", and yet they've done nothing but go backwards from EQ. Eve has some decent ideas, A Tail in the Desert does too. Ryzom might even have a hint of an idea. The mainstream stuff though: Vanguard, WoW, shit do people even play any others? I'm so tired of treadmills I could shoot someone. I mean, time is definitely an intrinsic value to MMOs, but deciding who leads the game world based on how much endurance their ass has for the computer chair is not viable, fun, or whatever you want to call it, in my opinion.
Then there are FPSs, uhm do I even need to talk about those? They involve shooting people, and they're getting less and less creative as time goes on. Half-life 2 is a major step up in graphics and interaction (physics), but where the hell are the variety of models, landscapes, worlds? Sadly, it offers probably the best "story" out of the current gen shooters, though correct me if you feel I'm wrong, b/c I don't have much patience for most of 'em anymore.
RTSs, well they were cool when they came out because strategy can be really fun, and they've been refined, but do we really need to have the same essential mechanics for the whole genre. I know there are more ways to control a war or society than the same tired mechanic we've all known since Dune, (or before?). Look at DF (http://www.bay12games.com/
), he's got something going with that AI run world. Of course DF is all in ASCII, but I think it's definitely its own brand of strategy.
Platformers don't really exist anymore; uhm, ok wait the DS isn't all that bad. I enjoy it once every blue moon, and there's alot of potential to it. I'm sure there are many more arguments about why the mainstream sucks, but suffice to say they basically arn't creative anymore.
I don't agree with a lot of this. New things are tried all the time, yes there is a hesitancy from some publishers about new IP, and sometimes new game ideas, but there are still some crazy mad games that get released. Naturally they don't make a profit so a publisher is less likely to try that again.
Platformers don't exist - well that's hardly true, but the bottom dropped out of that market supposedly, when excellent games like Jak and Daxter and so forth start not selling so well then what's the point in making more of them? They had to innovate (by, heh, by adding weapons) to make sales, and it worked.
Oblivion gets by with its large world and bags of (albeit very repetitive, similar) content. Yes, it's not an anal D&D CRPG but then that probably wouldn't sell as well. It's all about markets.
What do you want from an FPS anyway? It's first-person, and you shoot people. You're seeing more stuff now in FPS than you ever did before: wall-walking, portals and and gravity manipulation in Prey; bullet-time and horror in FEAR; behaving like a fricking animal
in Far Cry; the list goes on. Yes, the old problems are still there, and those need working on, but you can't really argue that the FPS genre has no new stuff going on in it. I could agree that it's saturated with a lot of other crap (WW2 shooters raise your hands please).
I kind of agree with you about RTS, though the Total War series is a good example of breaking the mould slightly and Supreme Commander deals with a lot of the standard RTS problems quite artfully, but your point about Dwarf Fortress is a good one, and shows up how tired RTS really is.
Of course, I personally hate the industry for other reasons - the way its employees are treated and paid, and the developer-publisher relationship.