"But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing—strategy games are just not contemporary."Not just a commercial thing is definitely the right way to characterize this, especially when defenders of turn-based strategy games are interested mainly in sales figures ('strategy games are contemporary- look at how much Civ V sold!'). It's one case where the unreconstructed corporate shill is at least putting his argument into the proper form.
"I use the example of music artists. Look at someone old school like Ray Charles. If he would make music today it would still be Ray Charles, but he would probably do it more in the style of Kanye West"This is even better, even if the example itself is crude and not really correct (all Black Artists are the same I guess). It is possible for entire genres to fall by the wayside and its necessary to constantly re-evaluate them and update them for a new era (for new technology, expectations, knowledge etc.).
People who fall back either on sales-figure-mongering or uncritical praise of past games are going to fall into traps, sooner or later. Whoever this 2k guy is, he has the drop on all of these people. To really refute him we have to reject his future and be even more ruthless about the past then he's being. Not just retreat into boardroom arguments or nostalgia.
"We use tapes, pre-recorded, and we play tapes also in our performance. When we recorded on TV we were not allowed to play a tape as part of the performance because the musicians' union felt that they would be put out of work. But I think just the opposite: With better machines, you'll be able to do better work, and you will be able to spend your time and energies on a higher level." - Ralf HütterHere we go. This is the high ground that is falsely claimed by people who take old franchises and ruin them- their argument is that they are washing away the encrusted gunk of management masochism around these old mechanics and giving players true Choice, real Freedom unburdened by worrying about which caliber of bullets you need to purchase, etc. They almost always miss the mark, and if they did take a game that really was cluttered up with a lot of shit and apply Streamlined Design Techniques to it, what they wind up producing is a set of mechanics where the player not only doesn't have to worry about minor details, but doesn't have to worry about anything else either. It's true that exacting and punishing resource systems for bullet management are petty and primitive. But if you're not able as a designer to produce challenge on a higher level then you're better off leaving the bullet minutae in. It's still a more rewarding experience to get everyone the right guns in Jagged Alliance, despite all the caliber and attachment headaches, then it is to complete a contrived shooting sequence where you don't have to worry about your bullets but the enemies don't present a challenge either.
So 2k Guy is right and also wrong (bold statements for this first post!). We have to be 'unafraid of ruins' for the right reasons- because we're confident in our ability to build something better, not just because we can't understand the buildings that used to be there.