Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
August 20, 2014
arrowPress Releases
August 20, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Is it worth introducing new IPs this late in the console cycle?
Is it worth introducing new IPs this late in the console cycle?
September 4, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

September 4, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
Comments
    13 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



"If you look at the market dynamics, 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' Labels president Frank Gibeau argues that now is not the time to release new IPs for existing consoles because the next generation of systems are due soon.

Gibeau believes the best time to launch an IP is at the beginning of a hardware cycle, when it's easier to show that the property can do "something really, really remarkable" by taking advantage of new console's improved capabilities, according to an interview with GamesIndustry.biz.

"We have to shepherd the time that our developers spend, as well as the money that we spend on development in a positive way, so we're focused on bringing out a bunch of new IPs around the next generation of hardware," Gibeau added. EA is currently working on three to five new IPs for next gen systems.

There are plenty of arguments against that line of thinking, though -- like the advantages of having a much bigger audience to reach when you ship a game late into the console cycle, or being able to deliver much more impressive titles once you've had plenty of experience working with the technology.

Are those advantages enough to make developing new IPs for current platforms worthwhile right now?


Related Jobs

Cloud Imperium Games
Cloud Imperium Games — Austin, Texas, United States
[08.20.14]

Lead Network Engineer
Cloud Imperium Games
Cloud Imperium Games — Santa Monica, California, United States
[08.20.14]

Animation Programmer
Cloud Imperium Games
Cloud Imperium Games — SANTA MONICA, California, United States
[08.20.14]

Art Director
Cloud Imperium Games
Cloud Imperium Games — SANTA MONICA, California, United States
[08.20.14]

Audio Director










Comments


Brian Pace
profile image
I wouldn't think new IP would be very profitable with a console launch. granted your title has less competition but also less customers. By the time people really start adopting the console your game can be bought used or at a discount if digital.

I think launching a new IP would be best launched between the 1-2 year of a new consoles life span.

Tom Baird
profile image
I get the feeling it's more about franchises than individual products.

e.g. Gears of War and the Xbox 360, or Uncharted and the PS3. The first in the series may have been selling to a lower audience, but they got themselves into one of those rare slots that are console-defining IPs, and so could guarantee high priority retail space, and having their entire franchise qualify as 'must-have' for a console.

And so I think his sentiment applies more to franchises than one off titles, in which case the first release needs to capture a largest percentage of the audience much more than it needs the highest number of users.

Keith Thomson
profile image
The first one won't be exceedingly profitable, but basically you can stand out in a market that isn't yet crowded, and where the owners of that console are very motivated to find new experiences that take advantage of their new toy. It's less about the individual game, and more about starting up a new franchise and getting this initial group of enthusiastic users promoting your game as a way of getting other people to like the console they have.

Launching towards the end of a lifecycle, the fans aren't as enthusiastic about new things and have plenty of other things to play, your new title might get buried under a pile of other games people are more interested in because they played prior iterations.

A S
profile image
Yeah you're right that the individual game suffers, but he is discussing a new IP. In that case you're always going to have a tough time getting it noticed, and launching with a new console means you piggy back your marketing efforts with whomever is launching the console (you'll get free plugs in their media etc).

Just makes it easier to get out and be noticed, setting you up to sell a ton of games for the second title.

Eric Geer
profile image
I believe the next few years it will be more relevant than ever to introduce new IP on dated consoles.

People have invested lots of money in consoles this year(particularly PS3/360)--whether it be an updated hard drive, extensive DLC additions to games, DLC full games, saved Games etc.

I believe of all generations, this will be the most relevant year in gaming to continually offer new IP on older consoles.

Matt Robb
profile image
I'd say the day you start seeing the new systems advertised where the general public sees them, that's the day you stop releasing things that are purely on the old hardware. That's when the general public sees that further investment in a console may not be worthwhile.

Mark Ludlow
profile image
Unless it's the PS2, DS or PSP (in Japan).

Matt Robb
profile image
How many new IPs were released for the PS2 but not the PS3 after the PS3 was advertising for release?

Ditto for the others.

Mark Ludlow
profile image
Of course, the counter-argument is that at the beginning of a new console's lifetime, developers are still getting their heads around what it can do and how best to leverage the power it provides. This means that a lot of the initial games will potentially be poorly written and not as streamlined as those towards the middle and end of the life cycle. If you launch a new IP at the beginning, it may play badly because of this and leave a bad impression on players about its future.

One of the related arguments for late life cycle launches of new IP is that it allows you to develop a game relatively cheaply and see the response from an established and diverse audience before investing in the potentially more expensive new technology.

Mathieu MarquisBolduc
profile image
Well the last transition was especially painful because we went from mostly single-threaded architectures to multiple cores, in some case asymetrics ones. And motion controls.

So all but the best prepared had to write new engines or do some major conversions to their existing ones. But its not like we hardcoded for a specific number of cores, so the next transition should hopefully be much easier on the technical side.

However, more power and memory usually means more assets, so just like the previous transitions, teams with bad production pipelines will find it rough.

Bob Johnson
profile image
I think timing means less than developing a good IP.

Chad Nimmo
profile image
I think Guitar Hero proved that late-cycle IP can sell just fine, and become a major brand. Guitar Hero did awesome on the "dying" PS2. It wasn't until they started making the games just for PS3 and not for PS2 that the brand faded. (over saturation didn't help either)

Terry Matthes
profile image
I don't think it's ever a bad time for a good game.


none
 
Comment: