While some people argue that what games need is more monotony, at least in terms of black and white games, plenty of people are dissatisfied with the current trend of drabness in developers' color palettes. Of course, there are plenty of brightly colored games that are and will continue to be released, but plenty of people miss color. Bright color. I myself am rather fond of candy-colored palettes, preferring them to drab medieval "realism." One blogger thinks he has the answer to who stole the color from games:
... I think that publishers have convinced developers that the game buying public is composed almost entirely of teenage boys.
If the binder doodles, film and music consuption habits of my friends in junior high is any indication, adolescence is as much about proving that you're not into "kids stuff" anymore, as it is about anything else. Remember when Nintendo made Wind Waker more cartoony? Remember how sales spiked when Prince of Persia went from this to this? Remember what the monsters of Doom 3 look like?
This is the legacy of teenage boys that continues to shape our industry. We sell to our audience, our audience thinks that they want "mature" titles and someone told them that mature meant dark, dank and bloody. Dystopian novels English curriculum, I am looking in your direction.
I can appreciate muted palettes as much as anyone, but it's nice to step into games that are so far removed from reality that the grass is always emerald and the sky is always some slightly unnatural color of blue. Are teenage boys to blame? I don't know about that, but there's nothing wrong with prettily painted games. And you can be muted without being drab.