2K President Says It’s Hard to Launch New IPs on Current Gen

Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K Games (Borderlands, Bioshock), has blamed the length of the current console cycle for the lack of fresh IPs. He believes it will be easier on the next generation, where enhanced graphics will allow for a greater emotional connection to the player.

In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Hartmann said, “I think the market is ready to take console gaming to the next level. It is the longest cycle we’ve had and it is harder and harder to launch new IPs. Consumers are very used to the big franchises, but we need innovation in terms of content to really drive things.”

How this makes sense is beyond me. It will be more expensive than ever to produce big games on the next generation of console (given the increased graphics, etc.), so the assured sales of sequels will be even more enticing for publishers and developers. The cost alone raises the barriers to entry, taking creation of new IPs out of the hands of nearly everyone but the most established companies. And as we all know, companies prefer sure things over risk.

Though if Christoph plans on milking 3-4 sequels out of a ‘new IP,’ then I suppose it is indeed harder to launch one on current consoles…

[Via CVG]

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5 Comments on 2K President Says It’s Hard to Launch New IPs on Current Gen


On August 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I don’t understand the rush for photorealism. make an extremely cartoon game like, for argument’s sake, Kingdom Hearts or Sly Cooper. The visuals are not less pretty to look at, they’re just a lot easier to create and way less costly.
Then you spend the rest of the budget on making the game has huge has possible and spend has much time has possible refining gameplay. The increased power of the machine doesn’t have to be used solely on graphics. Cartoon visuals don’t have to mean less adult games either.
It’s not really complicated.


On August 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm

If we’re talking original, one-shot games, then it’s really more that the publishers don’t want to make them because too many are concerned with sequel potential. As it stands, yes we’re probably too late to get very many serious efforts at new franchises since there is only so much that can be done without getting new hardware. I know that the console makers are worried about sales since the economy has been in the tank for so long, but they could probably get good sales if they didn’t go nuts with the prices. $600 for a new console won’t cut it this time around.


On August 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I have given up on these big established companies, all they ever do is make sequel after sequel, with few exceptions, and all the new IP are just rehashed ideas with a new coat of paint. All the creativity in the gaming industry seems to be coming out indie developers. The big studios who are willing to take risks are few and far between and this just hurts the gamers. Hopefully we start to see a decline in sales of these big “triple A” games, and a rise in the much more creative indie games. then maybe these big publishing companies will open there eyes and see that if they want to keep us instead they have to take chances and encourage creativity not squash it. But, more likly they will take this as a sign that gamers want more casual games…. Not every game has to be a Call of Duty or a collection of mini games for crying out loud!

Oh gawsh I just thought of something…. what if they make a call of duty that is a collection of mini games…. somehow this does not seem like an unlikely event …..


On August 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm


I can understand why some ppl do not care about the visuals but it is another way for a game developer to immerse the user into the game. Another advantage to using more impressive visuals is that you get all those adult-oriented effects that you say are possible on lower tech systems. Blood decals, advanced physics, SSAO, the list goes on. Developers can only complete a game to the identified scope and one done, the game is finished. Why not have a team of programmers work on the graphics system while the writters and managers are plotting the story, time schedule, ect..

One last point, more powerful hardware also allows for more features. Example: You can more in the background on a strong PC, same applies to games.


On August 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm

My one wish is that all these companies that think the way this guy does should go out of business.
I believe that the next cycle will put the nail on the coffin for gaming. Video games like cartoons and movies have started this slow spiral downwards and soon all hells going to break lose. Then they are going to blame us the consumers for there failure. Sorry your the failures. I don’t play with current gen games because everything is a FPS game. What ever happened to simple fun games like the ones we played on the SNES and the PSone. Remember all the games these machines had to offer. Remember all the roleplaying games and fighting games we didnt have to pay extra for costumes and characters which we had to unlock.

Now all they want us to do is pay the bill for games they make that cost them so much to make. Uh we are not telling you to spend 100 million on a game. You can make PS2 style games polished up and still give the player the same experience for alot less the cost. Making things more realistic is for movies. Not games.

I believe we are doing fine with the consoles we have now and I strongly believe these machines have the power to still make alot of awesome games for the next 20 years. The problem is that the egos of these companies want to find way to steal more of your money. As for digital download its not the future and it will not make companies profitable. In the long run we the gamers are going to suffer by paying more for internet service to stream these games.