The Reasons Why We Don't See More New AAA IP's

Note: [All opinions expressed herein are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GamerXChange]

We all do a pretty good job talking a good game on forums and saying how interesting certain new Intellectual Properties look, but at the end of the day, we all go and buy the sequel of a sequel and then go buy the new IP later on after it’s used or when it’s at a reduced price. We are all guilty of this little dirty deed, so when we don’t see a ton of new games coming out every year we really need look no further then the mirror to see the main reason why, that being said there are certainly more reasons why were not seeing an influx of new IP’s or even what I’d consider risky sequels to games we’ve all wished for at one time or another, Star Wars Battlefront 3 I’m looking at you!

I plan on giving some examples to back up what I’m saying, but first I want to know how many of the gamer’s out there talk the good talk about buying new IP’s and then end up not getting them, instead opting for some sequel or a rehashed idea? Please feel free to leave some comments so we can get a good idea. Now lets take a look at a game like L.A. Noire, which was a pretty fantastic game and it actually sold very well, but it was so expensive and tedious to create, that we probably wont see a sequel and the company that made the game is closing down or has already closed down. I would put part of the blame for this on the developer, the longer a game takes to develop the more money it’s going to end up costing, add in the cost of all the cutting edge technology they used in the development process and you have a recipe for disaster.

A similar thing happened with Homefront, which I thought was a pretty solid game. Although it was a genre that is super saturated at the moment, it was still what I consider to be a great starting effort. Kaos Studios actually did a pretty good job at crafting an entertaining game, and even though it sold over two million copies it still wasn’t enough to actually turn a profit. Again sadly this game caused the closing of Kaos Studios altogether, we’ve lost so many quality studios lately that it’s not really any wonder that we don’t see anything new on the market. Now Homefront wasn’t without some flaws, the short campaign being a main flaw, but I think the game definitely made some solid strides and though we will see a sequel, I doubt Crytek makes a true Homefront sequel that will be very comparable to the original. Which I guess depending on where you stand with the first game could be a good or a bad thing, I know for myself personally I’d like it to stick to the original feel of the game, maybe with a longer campaign.

So basically companies are becoming a little gun-shy when it comes to releasing something new because it’s too much of a financial risk these days, BulletStorm is another example of a solid game that scored well but made no money for Epic Games. People might complain that BulletStorm was another game that was in a saturated FPS market, but honestly BulletStorm was the freshest and most innovative FPS game I’ve played in years. We need to face facts that there aren’t going to be any “new” genre’s invented. So we have to deal with what we have currently, the problem is even when new games come out, even if they are a genre that we’ve played before and even if they add something fresh and new, most of us aren’t buying them.

I like to support new IP’s by purchasing them new, not everyone takes this risk though, $60 is a lot of money and sometimes it’s tough to justify the purchase of a new, untested game as opposed to an old faithful type of game, which is why the top selling games on the current consoles are Halo, Gears, Call Of Duty, Grand Theft Auto 4 and Metal Gear Solid 4. It seems like were our own worst enemy, we all like to claim that we aren’t sheep, but at the end of the day the status quo remains unchanged. Everyone will rush out to buy Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 this November, just like the last five November’s. We will all complain and act like we want innovation and “change” but if that were the case we wouldn’t see such low sales coming from new IP’s.

The fact is that AAA titles cost a lot of money, it’s starting to shape up much like the movie industry currently is. It’s costing so much money to produce these games that they would need to sell between four and six million copies to even make a profit. That is far too large of a margin for most of these big companies to risk something new and untested. Which is why we see so many sequels green lit so fast. Apparently people like repetition, they want to play Assassins Cree, Madden Football, FIFA Soccer and Call Of Duty each and every year. Who need’s something new and interesting like Alan Wake when we can have Resident Evil 100? Who wants something fresh and interesting like BulletStorm when you can play Call Of Duty 100?

The main thing I’d like to see is some of the gaming community to step up and take a risk, then maybe the big companies would follow suit. Until we all stop lying on the internet about what we are going to buy, I think it’s pretty clear that we aren’t going to be seeing much innovation or anything new. I think we might see some less than AAA titles that come out, but we wont be seeing those true AAA titles like in past generations. It seems like we all have those security blankets and we need to let them go. I actually applaud a development team like Naughty Dog because they move on to new IP’s each and every generation, first it was Crash Bandicoot and then it was Jak And Daxter and now it’s Uncharted, now we do see sequels to these games, but Naughty Dog has made it pretty clear they will be moving on to other IP’s after the PS3 is done. We need more developers to think and act like this, more sequels aren’t the answer, I’m not opposed to sequels, but I think we need a better mixture, we can’t let the big companies tell us what we want, we need to tell them what we want.

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