Kotick: Most Gamers Prefer Sequels To New IP

Those CEOs, the things they say when they're talking to the magazines CEOs read, thinking no one's watching. Talking to the Economist, Activision's Bobby Kotick said "a small segment" of gamers are the ones insisting "everything has to be new."

In an August 13 profile run by the respected news magazine, Kotick responded to a reporter's question about milking IPs with:

A small segment of very vocal gamers say everything has to be new and different every year. Actually, people are happy with existing franchises, provided you innovate within them.

It's the kind of response that makes both Kotick's position and the criticism pretty fair. Call of Duty? Modern Warfare absolutely was innovative, and has earned its shot for another go around. Guitar Hero? Re-skinning the game with a new band every quarter, more or less, is gonna be called for what it is.

But Activision, and other publishers, do face a Catch-22 of sorts. Create the game of the year, or close? Not only would you be foolish not to consider a sequel, the same hardcore complaining about sequels will be right in line to snap it up. And then you get beaten over the head for having a bunch of 2s and 3s and 4s in your catalogue. But, that's why they pay you the big bucks.

Activision: People Prefer Sequels to Original IPs [Game Stooge]


    He is, in general, right.

    I think a more accurate way to put it is that production quality is more important than innovation. If you have innovation/fresh IP that is poorly executed, then it is just a gimmick and doesnt sell. However, if you make a derivative game but you make it extremely well, it will be still be very successful.

    Seems like a fair comment. No matter how good a new IP sounds, and how great the trailers look, there's always a pretty big the final product will suck (making games ain't easy). It stands to reason that we'd be more cautious of new IPs and more comfortable with the idea of something we're already familiar with.

    That man will suck Activision dry. Thers only so many years you can pump out sequels and expansion packs until people get bored.All is not lost though, perhaps they can just keep buying successful franchises and running them into the ground.

    Yeh, I'm guilty of wanting sequels. Granted, I prefer them to not go past 3. New IP's are pretty risky business nowadays, a lot of em can turn out pretty damn horrible but thankfully, when they are good, they're usually very good.

    The problem has been when real innovation comes around - Grim Fandango & Psychonauts spring to mind - and people don't buy it. This puts the industry off creativity, and it's not like EA ever lost money by rehashing their sports games or Sims add-ons...

    I like sequels, but nothing beats a new, kick-ass, well developed IP (Mass Effect, for example) - provided the publisher has the balls to fund it decently. I think Mr. Kotick is only interested in his bottom line, thus prefers the safer route.

    Yes, people do like well-made follow ups to games they previously enjoyed; but awesome new IP is that much better.

    Kotick Correction: Publishers prefer less financial risk (sequels).

    This is a case of denial almost as severe as the tobacco companies of the sixties.

    Don't kid yourself Bobby. You really don't care what we want.

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