I was watching a let’s play of White Night, an indie survival horror. The lets player commented on how the use of locked doors was the same as the mechanic in Silent Hill. So this got me to thinking a lot of new games reuse a wide array of game mechanics that have already been utilised by past games. Does this therefore mean that game developers have no new ideas for different game mechanics? Not at all, in the case of locked doors it is used to guide a player to where the developer wants them to go. I believe this is seen a lot in story driven games. The developer wants the player to follow the story and the best way is to guide them along that path.
At the time when the butterfly effect was popular a lot of games adopted this mechanic, two that come to mind are until dawn and Life is Strange. I believe this mechanic opens up linear story telling. The player can choose between many paths and have different outcomes and therefore follow different story paths. Even though the two games above used the same mechanics they had very different outcomes.
So there are many reasons as to why developers re use the same mechanics as other developers. This does not mean they are imitating other games but using these mechanics in order to make their games different.
It will be interesting to see what Hideo Kojima does with death Stranding, He plans to do something different to traditional action and RPG. So does this mean there will be new game mechanics? We will have to wait and see.