It’s a regular occurrence these days to see gamers blame publishers for the ills of the world.
Publishers, we are led to believe, drive the creativity out of developers, encouraging them to keep investors happy by replicating flavor of the month themes and designs, whilst abandoning a focus on quality in order to meet impossible deadlines.
I have tried to resist the urge to blame publishers for anything, as they are ultimately businesses that chase the money wherever it goes. Their primary interest is in discovering patterns of player behavior and exploring new ways to monetize games.
The developers are the ones who are meant to make games fun.
For this reason, I read the tale of Free Radical Design vs All Publishers Ever (Eidos, EA, Activision, LucasArts among others) with some sadness.
It is well worth a read for anyone that harboured an idealistic view of the game industry. After 13 years, the studio responsible for a number of key console titles had itself driven out of business by the publishers it worked slavishly for.