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Eidos' D'Astous: Overhauling IPs 'replaces the necessity of having new IPs'
Eidos' D'Astous: Overhauling IPs 'replaces the necessity of having new IPs' Exclusive
April 9, 2012 | By Staff

April 9, 2012 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Exclusive, Business/Marketing

In Gamasutra's latest feature, Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex: Human Revolution) head Stéphane D'Astous argues that reviving IPs can replace the necessity of taking risks on new ones.

Discussing fears about creative stagnation with triple-A titles, D'Astous points out that a few years ago, many publishers presumed their customers wouldn't always stick around to buy their sequels. Those companies believed they needed to focus more on new IPs to keep their audiences.

"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. It was a buzzword," says the Eidos Montreal general manager.

"In our case, maybe we haven't produced new IPs, but a major relaunch of a title like Deus Ex and Thief, we considered it almost like a new IP, certainly in the effort," adds D'Astous. "So we bring back something from the cult classics."

His studio's relaunch of Deus Ex last year was well received for modernizing the eleven-year-old series. "This is maybe not considered new IP, but it brings a new flavor," he says. "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."

D'Astous says he's hearing fewer publishers continuing their mantras about the importance of new IPs, as evidenced by the popularity of recent sequels for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Gears of War, Assassin's Creed, and Mass Effect.

"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 continues.

The full feature interview, in which D'Astous talks about building Eidos Montreal and the studio's relationship with its owner Square Enix, is live now on Gamasutra.

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Ron Dippold
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Sometimes you get 'Deus Ex: Human Revolution' - and sometimes you get the new 'Syndicate'. So you still have to be careful.

I'm not saying the new Syndicate is bad, just a bit generic for something that's recycling what should be valuable IP.

Michael Rooney
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New Syndicate wasn't bad. It wasn't great, but I rather like it.

edit: not that I disagree with he overall point you're making, I just think Syndicate is the wrong example.

John Flush
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I wouldn't mind seeing something amazing happen with the Thief series again. I loved all 3 of them.

Bisse Mayrakoira
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Yes, I can't wait for a new Thief game where a grim reinvented Garrett shaves his head and proceeds to defeat twenty guardsmen at a time in open battles (cinematic! epic!) between five-minute-long cutscenes.

Todd Boyd
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Let's be honest: you need to do both. Sticking with either method exclusively (new IPs or refreshing existing IPs) will lead to stagnation.

E Zachary Knight
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How does creating new IPs lead to stagnation? One would think that having to come up with new ideas would involve a bit of creativity.

Jeffrey Crenshaw
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"Overhauling IPs 'replaces the necessity of having new IPs'"

Funny, I always thought of new IPs as an honor and opportunity, not a burden.

Gil Salvado
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Well, seems to be the lesser evil, but still leaves a bad taste. I got to agree with Dippold, reviving an old IP and changing the genre 180°, only because some executives don't believe in it anymore, won't satisfy the original audience - which they are actually targeting.

An IP is not only about the looks, it's much more about the feeling of gameplay. Only in the best cases it's the combination of both, and especially those ones shouldn't be separated by a reboot.

The recent Kickstarter campaigns by Double Fine and InXile prove that the is a audience for non-FPS. And after release of those titles, we will see if it's only a success for niches or hit for the masses.