Recent Posts

S&S Perspective: Are New IP's Necessary?

Over the past couple years or so we've been given a ton of new games, and a lot of them being sequels.  We've also been given a lot of brand new IP's as well.  While these new games like, Playstation All Stars Battle Royale, Sleeping Dogs, and Dragons Dogma didn't particularly sell the best, you have a lot of new sequels that are whisking off the shelves.  Call of Duty Black Ops II being the most obvious example.  The question is, do gamers care about getting fresh new IP's, or are we satisfied with getting 2 to 3 sequels of franchises that has been around since the previous generation?

I'm not knocking sequels, in fact I love most of the sequels we had this year.  Halo 4 was great, even though we've had 8 games in the Halo franchise, and yes, I included Halo Wars.  Black Ops 2 is a great game, not fantastic, but its really good.  Far Cry 3 was one of the best reviewed games this year.  It was one of the best shooters I've played, not just in 2012, but all time.  My last example has to go to Assassins Creed III,  a lot of people said the game didn't really catch up to the massive amount of hype the game had conjured up.  I was indifferent to those people, I thought the game was great, I thought it was the best AC game so far.  All of these games have sold very well, but when you bring in these new IP's, they don't really sell as well.  Money has to be one of the main reasons that companies don't want to venture off and try new things.  I know that the video game industry as a whole is industry, a billion dollar industry at that.  Its all about the money, publishers only want to commit to a project that they know will sell.  You also have publishers that want to stick their necks out for new projects, if you didn't, you wouldn't have Journey or Dishonored to play.  Money is the reason we've had more than 6 current gen Call of Duty games to date.  
These games sell a massive amount of units each year.  Expecting a new Call of Duty each year has become one of the staples with this generation.  This isn't a bad thing by any means, the games are good, but certain games have lacked a bit of creativity in their development.  Look what Medal of Honor Warfighter did, the studio tried to recreate the numbers of COD, and it just got blasted by critics across the web.  Gaming magazines, online critics, and bloggers alike have stated that the game lacked creativity and was an insult to every gamer alive.  I myself thought the game was pretty good, and didn't think it deserved much of the harsh criticism the game received.  Plus, when the same game journalists and bloggers gave great scores to COD Modern Warfare 3, the weakest game out of the three, it just seems a little odd that it was received so well.  Maybe some of the bigger publishers have better relationships with different video game journalists, who knows?  
Thats a separate topic for another time.  I want a lot of new IP's for next year, why do we need another Gears of War so soon, we could've have a brand new series to get behind.  I'm sure the game will sell just as much as the third game, and most likely, I will be one of the millions of people playing it.  It just seems that a lot of the publishers aren't asking the question, when do we stop and move onto a new franchise?  Hopefully, the next generation of consoles will bring us a bevy of new faces to play as,  while still not forgetting the best characters of today.  There just has to be a better balance between returning franchises and fresh IP's.  

2 comments: Leave Your Comments

  1. Blazeknyt12/11/2012

    It's something I've thought a lot about as well. Some of it lies in the marketing. Assassin's Creed III had commercials put on TV, but you didn't see any of that for Journey. Some of it also lies in how games are super expensive to make, as well as just playing it safe. If you make a sequel to a game, you have an established fanbase, and the possibility of a new group. Making a prequel makes that new fanbase move even easier (Gears of War Judgment).
    I think a lot of it lies in the risk of creating a new IP, as no one will know how it will perform.

  2. Lucas Bert12/15/2012

    I think this is definitely where indie games fit into gaming at the moment, every new indie game is essentially a new IP. (Obviously excepting sequels).

    The difference is that the risk of creating a new indie IP is generally less that a big publisher, as an indie developer will rely on cheaper avenues of advertising like social media and things like Steam Greenlight and Kickstarter. Whether this is a good thing or not is debatable, I'm still waiting for a new Nintendo IP that isn't just a revamp of an old one. (I'm looking at you, Kid Icarus!!)