EA Exec Claims Movie-Game Business is Falling
Electronic Arts is moving in a very different direction than it used to as it tries to focus more on original IP and less on licensed-based games. Not only does it see more potential in original IPs, but EA Games president Frank Gibeau believes that "the movie-game business is falling apart."
Speaking in an interview with Develop, Gibeau explained the motivation behind dropping the James Bond license: "We dumped that licence because we felt like we needed to own more intellectual property, and we dont like where James Bond is going with all the creative limitations on it. The percentage royalties you have to pay the licensors are going the wrong way for publishers. The margins are being squeezed. And, to top it all off, the movie-game business is falling apart.
"Considering the total amount of money we have to spend on those types of James Bond games, and the total amount of man-hours we had to put into them, we thought, Hell, lets work on our own IP. The guys who made James Bond games for us, well yeah, they went on and made Dead Space.
"And look where we are now; what would you rather publish, retail and play -- the latest James Bond or Dead Space 2?"
Some people might claim Gibeau is simply trying to make EAs decision to move away from licensed-based games look better by insinuating that aspect of the business isnt doing well. But he was also critical of both Mirrors Edge and Dead Space, making it clear that going with an original IP isnt a guaranteed recipe for success.
"Well both of those games had some degree of success but they didnt quite meet our expectations, for sure," he explained. "I think the reasons why, in both cases, are very different. What I learned from Mirrors Edge is that you have to execute, you have to spend more time on a game to ensure its polished, and you need to have the depth and persistence of an online game. First-person parkour across buildings is fun, but to be blunt, Mirrors Edges execution fell short."
Gibeau also mentioned the lack of multiplayer in both games hurt, but offered up a reassurance that EA will continue moving forward with those IPs. "But one thing I will say is that we wont give up on those IPs," he said. "A new idea obviously has a lot of risk attached to it, but if you get it all right it can be huge." Thats not much of a surprise given how much support has been shown for Dead Space, but its nice to once again hear some reassurance that EA continues to believe in Mirrors Edge.