@bowlisimo I wouldn’t, as @feenwager states, broadly state that all the mainstream devs aren’t willing to try things out with storytelling. Hell, one of the most mainstream releases this year — Mass Effect 3, is still a solid example of RPG storytelling mechanics (until the ending). I even think Infinity Ward did a decent job with the atmosphere, characters, and moment-to-moment narrative of the earlier Call of Duty games. They kinda nailed that “you are one soldier with your buddies in the middle of a massive ward” feeling without a single cut scenes and with some solid set piece design in the WWII games as well as the American campaigns of the first two Modern Warfare games.
Sure the mainstream games are now stuck within a limited range of archetypes and characters and whatnot, but the medium is still malleable enough that even they’re willing to experiment with the mechanics.