According to the president of Electronic Arts Labels, Frank Gibeau, Electronic Arts (EA) is working on three to five new intellectual properties (IPs) for the next generation of consoles. Gibeau says that the best time to launch new IP would be the start of the next console generation according to an interview with GamesIndustry.
“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 talks 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”.
Electronic Arts is preparing new IP for next-gen consoles
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.”
“It's a lot less risky for us to create new IPs and new products when we're in the beginning of a new generation,” he said. “Our customers are very open to new things. Our customers are reopening their minds — and they are really going after what's best. … At the end of a console generation, they want new stuff, but they don't buy new stuff as much. They know their friends will play Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed so they go for that. So the end of a cycle is very difficult”, added Guillemot.
'Sequelitis' has been one of the major points of criticism of the current console generation, with major game developers such as Activision pumping out yearly sequels to games such as Call of Duty with little to no major changes in gameplay. “If you can't take risks because people don't buy, you don't innovate,” said Guillemot. “And if you don't innovate, customers get bored.” The major advantage of having a new console generation come out is that major developers can try out new IPs at the beginning of a new console cycle. Another major advantage is that PC games won’t be stuck in the graphical bottleneck that is currently being caused by shoddy ports of games on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
Ubisoft has announced a new IP for Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U. The game they 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 criticized by some, Guillemot stated that doomsayers have been wrong before.
“I think Nintendo has very often surprised us, so you never know,” notes 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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