Via Slashdot I found an article on The Guardian about the rise in game complexity since the 8-bit era.
Today, creating the most advanced, triple-A games has become too big a task for a single developer leading to the rise of what is best described as a modular approach, where different developers work on different parts of a single game.Video game publisher Ubisoft acquired Reflections, a studio known for driving games, and put it to work making driving sections of larger games. This financially shielded it somewhat from the success or failure of a particular game.
Is there a way for this sort of collaboration to work in the NES scene, apart from the obvious multicart approach? I can think of a couple NES games with gameplay that diverse. The first is Vice: Project Doom (aka Gun-Dec) had platforming, Spy Hunter-style driving, and Operation Wolf-style shooting. There's also Battletoads, which appears to use a largely separate engine per level. Or are there too few NES developers to make it practical to farm minigames out to other developers?