EA Wants To “Push Creative Boundaries”
Battlefield, FIFA and Madden are but a few pillars of EA. These are the annual titles that ensure the company has plenty of revenue coming in each year. However, the company has plenty of other franchises and IP’s as well but none of them are really new by any means though don’t tell that to them.
Speaking with MCV, EA Games executive vice president Patrick Soderlund said the company is not risk averse and is in fact working on multiple new IPs at the moment.
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“We are working on a new Mirror’s Edge game, and although that’s not a new IP, it is a revival done in a new way. We are developing Star Wars: Battlefront, which to us is a new IP, even though it isn’t technically,” Soderlund said.
“We have six to eight completely new IPs in the works. The day we stop making new IP is when we go onto life support,” he added. “We need to incubate new ideas and push creative boundaries.”
Sure EA has a couple of Star Wars game, a new Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Mirror’s Edge, Need for Speed and whatever else in the pipeline but these are all existing franchises or, in the case of Star Wars, franchises that Disney tossed to them. The only major new IP that comes to mind is Titanfall though Soderlund suggests that EA has around 3-5 new IPs in the works for next-gen. He believes the company has a responsibility to at least attempt to expand and diversify its portfolio.
“It’s an entertainment business. You have to surprise people and you have to take risks. If you don’t, you die,” Gibeau said at the time. “So constantly trying to stay fresh from an entertainment standpoint is a difficult challenge. But it’s something we try to do at EA, and I think we have a better track record than most in being able to innovate and build franchises over time and introduce new ideas.”
This, from the company whose mantra in recent years has been to appeal to a wider audience by watering their games down until Dead Space is pretty much like Mass Effect which is pretty much like Need for Speed which is pretty much like Plants vs Zombies. Okay, that was classic hyperbole but you get my point. If you want to diversify, why not keep your niche games as niche? It’s certainly more diverse than having every mildly successful franchise become progressively more homogenised.