I remember a time growing up when a sequel to a game came out 4-5 years after the original.  Even then it wasn't always a hit.  Almost all games development cycle was around that time frame.  These days the more popular the IP is ,the shorter the development time is, for the most part. Yeah Blizzard, we know you don't release a game till it is "done".  But for most companies to make more money they shorten the "brewing" time.  While this is not necessarily a horrible thing I do believe it impacts the quality and skips certain steps in a software cycle that is needed to ship a quality product.

More recently Activision, for example, has a strict 2 year development cycle for it's Call of Duty development teams.  Which leads to a new yearly update to the franchise.  Same as Guitar hero the development time is a year or less and we see 1 or 2 updates per year.  This I believe reduces innovation in a fast growing industry.  The same "back-end" of a game is used repeatedly with a few new features and is shipped as new product. This hurts and helps the industry, games like Guitar Hero and Call of Duty reach to a more mainstream audience than say No More Heroes or Bioshock.  Companies see this and regurgitate the same piece of software for a new $60.  Innovation suffers for profit.

Companies also let bugs into the final product, which happens with every piece of software, but it becomes a problem when these effect gameplay.  The reason why I feel that most companies allow this is because we are not in an age where most people are not connected to internet.  Companies can now rely on shipping updates post launch to fix a critical issue.  A helpful feature I feel is beginning to be abused.  Gears of War 2 suffered greatly in terms of online play because of this.  In a world of deadlines and businesses there needs to be a tolerance to where the consumer doesn't get hurt.

While I like Call of Duty as much as the next guy and look forward to every new NHL release I just don't want to see this to become a market trend nor do I want to play a beta for $60.