Electronic Arts' E3 offering was notable for its emphasis on sequels. Where are all the original IPs? Fret not because according to EA Games Label boss Frank Gibeau, there will be some fresh game concepts coming soon. The mega-publisher is simply waiting for the next console generation to unleash them.
Gibeau spoke of EA Games Label's commitment to original IP - recalling the arrival of Dead Space
, Dante's Inferno
and Mirror's Edge
some three years ago - and said that building any new franchises is a matter of timing.
"The introduction of new hardware from [Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are] going to allow us to reembark on a bunch of new IPs, because it's the better time to do it... you can really explore new ideas and do different things," he said.
"In a market this massive, launching new IPs is very risky and it's a big investment to make these games. So it's a natural thing to see in this point in the cycle a little bit more emphasis on the knowns - the big properties and franchises - but in the new cycle you're going to see a lot of new IP from Electronic Arts.
In something of a sideswipe at Ubisoft's recent critical acclaim for the announcement of original IP Watch Dogs
, Gibeau added, "Right now if I was coming out with a brand new IP that nobody had ever heard of, it would be very difficult to get the mindshare of gamers. You might get really good press for introducing a new IP, but to sell a couple of million units to break even on it at this point in the cycle... discretion's the better part of valour, to hold it a little bit so you get a whole new market refresh and reset."
While EA's output over the next year is very sequel-focused, that doesn't mean to say it has held off entirely from introducing new IP. A reboot of classic cyberpunk game Syndicate
was released earlier this year, to something of a whimper. Gibeau offered a post-mortem: "Syndicate
was something that we took a risk on. It didn't pay off - it didn't work, but in general it doesn't change my appetite for wanting to go look in the library and see what we have and maybe bring back some IPs for the next-generation. That's the nature of the business; some stuff works, some stuff doesn't."