Discounting stalwart series like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, we’ve seen a proliferation of sequels this generation, probably more than any other. Just about every game seems to be a sequel, or re-imagining of a beloved franchise. It’s become increasingly rare for a new IP to even launch, let alone do well these days.
But is new IP really all that necessary? Eidos Montreal’s general manager Stéphane D’Astous doesn’t think so.
Speaking to Gamasutra, he explained how the evolution of gaming has meant that it doesn’t need new properties to feel fresh and unique.
“Games are more and more sophisticated; it’s less based on one or two mechanics. I think this replaces the necessity of having new IPs,” he explained. “Innovation and ideas are important, but if you’re able to bring forward an existing IP to bring new types of experiences, I think people will buy them, because they know they can relate to a franchise they’ve played before.”
He says that while there was a an industry focus a few years ago on new IP -publishers thought gamers weren’t loyal enough to stick around for sequels – that’s changed again – meaning we’re in for even more sequels and rehashes.
“The buzzword I remember at [Electronic Arts] three, four years ago, is a ‘we need to spit out three new IPs per year’ kind of thing,” he said.
Of course, Eidos Montreal knows all about resurrecting existing IP – having recently taken on Deus Ex with Human Revolution. they’ve now moved on to classic stealth-em-up, Thief.
“A major relaunch of a title like Deus Ex and Thief, we considered it almost like a new IP, certainly in the effort,” he said. “So we bring back something from the cult classics. This is maybe not considered new IP, but it brings a new flavor.”
This sort of thing coming from a major developer actually saddens me somewhat – and it’s funny, because many of my favourite games this generation were new IP’s for the current console cycle;Games like Mass Effect, Gears of War, Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed and Dead Space. what do you think? Is the industry so creatively bankrupt as to rely on pre-existing IP. Is that enough, or do we need regular new IP to keep from stagnating?
Last Updated: April 10, 2012