Adventures games are only "dead" to major publishers. The genre is alive (if not well) through any number of indie developers. I'll bet there are many more people playing adventure games today than there were 20 years ago, in absolute terms. It's only relative to other genres that adventure gaming has gotten smaller. So Roberta's statement makes more sense this way:
...you've gotta do what you've gotta do to try and reach the biggest possible audience to keep a
|genre large publishing company alive.
As a fan of the full spectrum of adventure/action-adventure/action games, I've always been cognizant that the latter two evolved (in part) from the former. You have a character with a set of abilities exploring a gameworld and using those abilities to overcome challenges embedded in the gameworld. As technology advanced, the range of possible challenges expanded. Gameplay expanded to encompass combat and movement challenges ("platforming") and not just point-and-click puzzle-solving. It's important to remember, though, that just because one thing evolves from another, it doesn't automatically mean that the original thing is obsolete or undesirable. (So adventure gaming is like the coelacanth -- it might seem "primitive" and "un-evolved", but it's a perfectly viable species in its own niche.
) Also, the recent emergence of the action-puzzler style of game shows that there is still interest in and demand for puzzle-solving gameplay, if not for adventure games.
So the revival of KQ is kind of a mixed bag. On the one hand adventure game production as a whole, being so small, isn't very innovative; yet Telltale is one of the more innovative companies within that market. (Unfortunately, its recent innovative direction, the adventure game as glorified content delivery system, isn't particularly appealing to me, but that's another thread.) But really, no truly innovative game developer in the relevant genres, one capable of taking Mask of Eternity
as the jumping off point, would have picked up a franchise this old anyway; they'd be more likely to invent their own IP.
While all this history and speculation is interesting, the KQ9 that Ken and Roberta would have made 12 years ago can never ever be made, not even by Ken and Roberta, not today. We can't revive Sierra itself or its innovative capacity. I think the games themselves
and what they meant to their fans -- what they still mean to the fans -- are far more important considerations for developers attempting to continue the KQ series than anything the Williams have said, either prospectively or retrospectively, about the franchise.