Former BioWare Producer: New IP Not Priority For EA

Has EA all but given up on new IP? You might think so, considering how few new titles the company is producing lately (their upcoming slate is, after all, mostly sequels.) And according to former BioWare producer Ethan Levy, you might be right.

On his private blog, Levy weighed in on the state of Electronic Arts after their most recent investor call. His take makes it sound good for EA, and terrible for gamers. “EA’s stated strategy is fewer, bigger brands. Of the many new IPs developed for this generation, only Army of Two, Dead Space and Dragon Age continue to see new versions,” Levy says. “As far as I can tell from publicly facing information, creating innovative, new IPs just isn’t a priority for the organization.”

He notes EA’s huge returns on cheaply made free and mobile games, compared to their growing line of notorious disappointments, most notably the critically and, as Levy says, almost certainly financially failed Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The conclusion? “EA’s digital future has less to do with big, risky new IPs like Mirror’s Edge or Brutal Legend and much more to do with the huge return on investment proven by The Simpsons’ $20.7 million breakout success.”

In other words, prepare for the company to learn the wrong lessons from recent failures. More generic crap, more cheap to make games, less games that are actually good. Expect them to continue to be shocked when they dilute AAA games by making them more like other games and those games don’t sell well. What this means for BioWare in particular remains to be seen, but it’s another reason we might need to refrain from hoping that BioWare will be able to bounce back.

Via GI.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

7 Comments on Former BioWare Producer: New IP Not Priority For EA

JawaEsteban

On November 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Yeah, there’s a ing shocker. With the exception of a few severely deluded fools over at IGN, I think the rest of us figured out a while ago that the only reason EA still makes games at all is because the current legal structure makes it extremely cumbersome to get into production and distribution of illegal narcotics.

If EA made industrial chemicals instead of games, they’d have made Union Carbide look like the ing Sierra Club by now. What a wretched company. Burn, you bastards.

Bruce

On November 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm

And commence the Bioware talent exodus… now! Oh wait, the Docs already left.

R.J.

On November 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

It is interesting how at one point EA seemed to recognize the reputation it had and turned toward making new IPs to show that they weren’t the sequel oriented company that drove everything into the ground like they used to be. For a while, it seemed like they were making good on that. Games like Mirrors Edge, Brutal Legend, and even Dead Space came about under this seeming effort to get more customers by actually making a broader array of games. Unfortunately, they seem to have decided to go back to the same MO they had before. Lots of sequels based on the most generic ideas possible to the extent that games that were decent or even good are plowed into the ground because they can’t recognize when it is time to move on and try something totally new.

Reading the rest of the blog entry offers an interesting take on the social gaming aspect of EA’s business. There is certainly some merit to what he says. The “core” gamers aren’t being fooled by licensed names and pretty commercials to the extent that they used to be. But these old tricks seem to be working in social/mobile gaming since instead of asking for $60 up front, people are asked for $1 at a time. After all, this is the same company whose CEO likes the idea of microtransactions for something as fundamental as ammo during MP sessions because people don’t think about that $1 and they can end up spending far more than if they just spent that $60.

Amagoi

On November 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I used to love Bioware games, and Dragon Age Origins.. I really wish they could have ended up like Pandemic and just have been dissolved quickly. This seems more like EA parading their bloated corpse through the streets.

Ares

On November 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

EA only makes sequels! The shock and horror of something most everyone knows being revealed to the unclean masses. There is too much of a gamble on a new IP failing so of course they pimp out sequels. Why risk the chance when they know they can milk a fan base for all it’s worth.

I’m all for sequels. As long as they are left to be developed in the time that is needed. Not some 1 or 2 year cycle where they end up out the door in a less than satisfying way.

mischievous owl

On November 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Lol… good, i hope they drive their greedy faces right into the ground. Its like any bloated organization once the “big wigs” out number the passionate creative talent, money out weighs everything and whatever the product is suffers.

May this be the slow and painful demise of a disgusting company that has destroyed franchises and great gaming companies alike.

Wesker1984

On November 11, 2012 at 4:18 am

Derrrp derrrp make more Mass Effect gamez derrr