Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Line Is Dead To Me!

So here's a thought:
I understand the basic logic of how a company should work. You stick with what you know, and then you reap the benefits of improvements over time. Much like staffing, you don't bring in some nobody and trust him with an entire project based on what he says he can do, but rather, based on what he has done.

That's all well and good, but you've gotta start making some changes in the biz if you want to see improvement.

Unless your first name is Shigeru, odds are that every game idea that comes out of someone's head is very much in line with the last one. Electronic Arts and THQ, for example, took risks way back in 1996 establishing core franchises (Madden, WWE...etc). As such, they have gotten away with 10 years of "and here's our next improvement on _____"

We don't want an upgrade. We want something new.

I can't even say "we" like I'm speaking for the general population, but come on now. Name the last ORIGINAL title (i.e. NOT a sequel to something else) to come out from Electonic Arts. I dare you. Nay, I CHALLENGE you. I think the last one was the first Medal of Honor game, back in 1999. And you know how many of those there have been since.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of seeing new numbers posted after a franchise. Or, worse yet, when you've already exceeded the #3, you just add a new subtitle and pretend you've done something new. Not true.

Before anyone out there says, "Oh, but no such company exists like that," take a look at UbiSoft. Yes, UbiSoft milks their core franchises (Splinter Cell ____, anyone?), but for every Tom Clancy/Rayman game they churn out, they try something new like Assasin's Creed. See that EA? They're maintaining their core profits, while trying to rope in new players!

Actually, scary enough, I think that EA has noticed. UbiSoft, after all, is their primary competition as a third party developer, which is why EA has purchased stock in UbiSoft.

Lord help us all if EA buys majority stock.

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