Speaking in an interview with CVG, EA president Frank Gibeau revealed that the company is currently working on between three and five new IPs for next-generation consoles, but can’t guarantee how many of them will make it to market.
“I can tell you right now there’s between three and five new IPs that we’re working on that we’re thinking about for the next-gen… Some of them might come to market, some of them might not. It’s really one of those things where I’m consciously looking at introducing new IPs into the portfolio over the next several years as the new hardware comes into the marketplace that we can refresh.”
“Right now if I was coming out with a brand new IP that nobody had ever heard of, it would be very difficult to get the mindshare of gamers. You might get really good press for introducing a new IP, but to sell a couple of million units to break even on it at this point in the cycle… discretion’s the better part of valour, to hold it a little bit so you get a whole new market refresh and reset.”
Being careful as to when to release a new IP makes sense, but I honestly don’t understand Gibeau’s reasoning for holding everything back for the next console generation. The install bases of the Xbox 360 and PS3 are huge right now, which would translate into the biggest possible audience for a new IP. By waiting a year or two for the next consoles not only will development be more expensive, but the install bases will be a fraction of what they are now. In many ways that seems like one of the worst times to launch a new IP.