I said earlier that I think we're gone back, somewhat, to telling linear stores. There are multiple ways of approaching the issue of branching stories -- you can create fully branching storylines, with (possibly) multiple endings; you can create stories that branch less often, and tends to remain within a few distinct plot lines; or you can have what Charles Cecil calls "multilinear" stories, in which the main plot has particular nodes that the player must pass through, but there is a certain amount of freedom between these nodes...One has only to look at the mission trees for Righteous Fire versus Freelancer or Wing Commander 1 against Prophecy to see that changes in the overall structure were made to increase production efficiency. You can find the complete article here. It's an interesting read.
We've improved the quality of our storytelling by, in large part, abdandoning our efforts to be interactive about it. We have gone, unapologetically, back to the basically linear stories. Interactivity earns you progress through the story, but it doesn't have much effect on the outcome.