Peter Moore is a very well known industry figure and he doesn’t shy away from tough questions.
It’s a known fact that mid-tier game development has slowed down due to inadequate sales, but games from massive franchises like Call of Duty, FIFA, Halo and the likes have just been going from strength to strength.
It sort of shows that consumers basically spend money on games that they know will provide them with hours of entertainment. EA has also mentioned that new IPs don’t really do all that well late in a generation, sure, there are exceptions, but they believe that it is something that will change when next gen arrives.
Peter Moore has said the same thing, and he also talked about Mirror’s Edge–a game that hasn’t got a sequel so far in spite of fans being so vocal–in an excellent interview with Wired.
He believes that big games are getting bigger and everything else just falls off the cliff. There’s a lot of truth in that statement considering if you make a list of studios closed this gen, it will be something that will easily paint the industry in a negative light.
“The higher-end games that land, land well. Everything else just falls off the cliff,” he said. “If you think about the industry today, I don’t know what they exact numbers are, but the top 20 games globally probably deliver 80 percent of the revenue. Anything that doesn’t hit that top 20 or 25 finds it very difficult to justify itself, its existence, and you kind of wonder why you did it.”
He also said that EA does take risks, and Mirror’s Edge was an example of that. Even though it didn’t perform all that well, they’re proud of it. Mirror’s Edge was sort of a revolutionary game in my opinion, because of how unique it was. It was also surprising that it came out of EA rather than other publishers who we know take risks, and in a way, it’s one of the most notable things the company has done this gen.
“We’re accused of being too safe, but then I’ll point to Mirror’s Edge — not a commercial success in the broad terms that we look at it, but certainly as an innovation, was brilliant. The art style, the character herself, the idea of taking this kind of parkour thing but a backstory of authoritarianism in cities, it was brilliant. Again, and you take risks — we don’t get credit a lot for the risks we take.
When asked about why there’s no sequel for it so far, he echoed what other EA executives had to say.
“The deeper you get in the back end of the generation, the less that a new IP is going to work. You start saving up your creative bullets for when you think the next generation of hardware is going to come along. So you start thinking in those terms,” he said.
“It’s very difficult, if not impossible — I can’t think of new IP that launches five or six years into a generation of gaming hardware that is successful. It’s just not the time to do it.”
What do you think? Does he make sense?