I have recently noticed something in a large number of sports games relating to the animation of the crowd.
Player holes the golf ball and the crowd all clap their hands. Whilst the faces and attire of the crowd members are different the animation is exactly the same. That is, the arm and hand movement of each member is identical.
Similar scenarios exist in other sports games; in football games the crowd often stand up and sit down together as well as doing things like "fist pump", wave, etc. in a perfectly synchronised manner.
Why is there no (or very little) variation in the crowd animation? Is this a memory constraint? If so, what is the general architecure/design of this functionality and why is it so constrained? Is it along the lines of "It is more efficient to animate a collection of objects than multiple individuals"?
Or do game developers simply not see crowd variation as an important enough requirement?
As technology and game "realism" advances so quickly, this is something that still strikes me as "wooden" and unrealistic.