As Bob Dylan once said, “The times, they are a-changin,” and nobody knows that better than Electronic Arts. After being nestled in the game industry for nearly 25 years, the publisher is looking towards the future and what they can offer their consumers in the form of new IPs.
In fact, they may even bring back a few they have left in storage all these years.
Newly promoted EA Labels president Frank Gilbeau made it clear during GamesCom that the publisher has more than just “time-tested titles” in the works. Stressing that this is an entertainment business, EA constantly has to anticipate and change with the times ahead. What that ultimately means is new content may not always be as easy (or as ready) as they may want.
“We’re always going to be building new IP and the mix that we have now is… you’re right, we do have a lot more titles now that are proven, where as a few years ago we we’re coming out with a lot of IPs because the cupboards were bare. We had been a licensed-oriented group.”
Though EA has had ups and downs in the IP realm: back during the early portion of 2000, a majority of their IPs were focused on selective titles such as James Bond, Harry Potter, and the Spider-man franchise. This is why, back in 2008, EA branched out with titles like Mirror’s Edge and the now immensely popular Dead Space series.
Flash-forward to today, EA is beginning to look at revisiting some of the titles that have been locked away in storage, letting them see the light while also getting a new burst of creative (and technological) flare.
“We’ve got 25 years of good IPs and I’ve worked on a few of them in my career like Road Rash and the Strike series. So I have a strong affinity for a lot of the things we’ve done in the past… we kind of have a rule which is you’ve got to have a really good reason to bring something back – What can you do to it that makes it fresh and brings something new to the equation of the franchise?”
The rule holds true for the Mirror’s Edge series, which just recently was confirmed for a sequel after being put on the back burner. In the case of Mirror’s Edge – and potentially future titles like Road Rash or Strike – the blend of technology and interest has to be there before anything can happen. However, that doesn’t mean a new IP is a long way away: Glibeau made mention of EA’s new business strategy.
“I figure we’ll probably be doing one to two new IPs a year as far out as I can see – and we always have new IPs in development.”
That’s a fairly tall order; unless EA does have the backing to pull from the existing IP’s in their expansive repertoire and make something shine like new. As Gilbeau said, it will also come down to knowing when’s the right time, and what title will make the most impact. That being said, what titles do you think they could bring back to help bolster the ranks? Would you rather see entirely new IPs instead?