A recent report indicates that new intellectual properties have seen a significant rise over the past couple of years. In 2007, 61 new IPs were developed for the major home consoles, that number has since doubled with 126 new properties released in 2009. Good news, right? Well, sort of. Out of the 126 new properties launched in 2009 only 7 were deemed to be ‘hits’, while the rest are likely to saunter into obscurity like so many that came before them.
This surge of new and oft disappointing IPs seems to be a recent reflex response by publishers who have taken onboard ‘complaints’ from gamers that the market has become over saturated with sequels. But it appears the problem isn’t just the plethora of sequels themselves but a failure to innovate within the confides of the sequel.
VP of analyst Services at EEDAR, Jesse Divnich, cites Blizzard as a fine example of a developer that has managed to avoid brand stagnation. Despite having not launched a new property in over 12 years they still managed to succeed in making over $1 billion in 2009. In addition to this, Blizzard also has two highly anticipated sequels, Diablo III and StarCraft II, in the pipelines too.
To avoid furthering this quandary Divnich suggests that when a company is dealing with a new successful IP they “should be thinking about how best to elongate its popularity, rather than how to extract its riches as fast as possible.” Not naming any names here.