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.