Head of EA (Electronic Arts) Labels Frank Gibeau has been making quite a few headlines recently. Just yesterday, he talked about the company working on three to five new IPs (intellectual property) for the next generation of consoles. Recently, he revealed that, “I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single-player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365.”
The quote has been taken out of the promotional material for an upcoming gaming conference mostly based on cloud gaming. After the quote caused quite an uproar in the gaming community, as many gamers thought that the company would not publish another great single player experience like the first Mass Effect game, Kotaku talked to Gibeau at the New York Games Conference.
Electronic Arts may not greenlight single player games
“Let me clarify,” Gibeau began. “What I said was [about not greenlighting] anything that [doesn't have] an online service. You can have a very deep single-player game but it has to have an ongoing content plan for keeping customers engaged beyond what's on the initial disc. I'm not saying deathmatch must come to Mirror's Edge.”
Gibeau went on to explain how EA’s approach to making games will change. “What I'm saying is if you're going do it, do it with an open-world game that's a connected experience where you can actually see other players, you can co-operate, you can compete and it can be social. Everything that we do, we see the telemetry coming in telling us that's the best way to build our business and that's the best way to build these experiences and be differentiated from others. Yeah, I'm not suggesting deathmatch must be in Bejeweled. It's just… You need to have a connected social experience where you're part of a large community.”
Yesterday, Gibeau talked about new IPs from EA for the next-gen consoles. “The time to launch an IP is at the front-end of the hardware cycle, and if you look historically the majority of new IPs are introduced within the first 24 months of each cycle of hardware platforms,” Gibeau told GamesIndustry. “Right now, we’re working on three to five new IPs for the next gen, and in this cycle we’ve been directing our innovation into existing franchises,” he added. Gibeau also talked about introducing new IP this late into a console generation, “as much as there’s a desire for new IP, the market doesn’t reward new IP this late in the cycle. They end up doing okay, but not really breaking through.”
This is a sentiment very similar to that of the CEO of Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot. Back in July, Guillemot told Gamasutra that we were long overdue for a new console generation. “What we missed was a new console every five years”, said Guillemot. “We have been penalized by the lack of new consoles on the market. I understand the manufacturers don't want them too often because it's expensive, but it's important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity.”
Ubisoft has announced a new IP for Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U. The game it showed at E3, Gamescom and PAX Prime, named ZombiU, was one of the most prominent examples of third party support for the Wii U. While the Wii U has been openly criticised by some, Guillemot stated that doomsayers have been wrong.
“I think Nintendo has very often surprised us, so you never know,” noted Guillemot. “I think they've created something good, if the customer uses everything they have created, I think we can see a good success with that machine.”
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