Creativity is Unnecessary
If your conscious bothers you when you re-release a game that is less than 10 years old, you can just do a straight port with updated graphics, like the GameCube version of “Resident Evil”, “Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes”, and the oft-rumored “Final Fantasy VII” remake. If you want to get really snazzy, you can “update” classic gems. There’s a lot of this going on: “Ninja Gaiden”, “Metal Gear Solid” (The BIG G will bet you that 99% of the MGS fans never even heard of, let alone played the Nintendo game), “The Bard’s Tale” and the new “World of Final Fantasy VII” or whatever blasphemy Square is doing to their precious IP. (Did I say blasphemy? I meant... errr... What a great business move! Saps like myself will totally buy anything that says “Final Fantasy VII” on it... Well, I suppose I won’t buy the cell phone games, but still...)
So, why haven’t all the publishers caught on yet? It’s essentially free to re-release all your old gems, and people will buy them! Someone at Interplay or Acclaim should be taking notes. I’m sure they could make a “Best of Interplay” (Fallout, Descent, Battle Chess, The Bard’s Tale [the original, not the remake], Out of This World) or “Acclaim Classics” (NBA Jams, Turok, Arch-Rivals, Smash TV, Mary-Kate and Ashley: Girl’s Night Out, and... well, it doesn’t matter what’s on it, as long as the name is cool, people will buy it). These products would save their bankrupted companies, unless they already liquidated their IP, so they couldn’t re-release their back catalog.