Former BioWare San Francisco producer believes new IP “just isn’t a priority” for EA anymore

By Stephany Nunneley, Thursday, 8 November 2012 21:57 GMT

Ethan Levy, a former BioWare San Francisco producer of Dragon Age Legends, has said new IP isn’t “a priority” for EA anymore.

Speaking on his Quarter Spiral blog, Levy believes EA’s new mantra of fewer, bigger brands has partially stemmed from the company’s success with iOS titles. The format tends to provide a less risky investment with the potential for larger dividends.

“EA’s stated strategy is fewer, bigger brands. Of the many new IPs developed for this generation, only Army of Two, Dead Space and Dragon Age continue to see new versions. As far as I can tell from publicly facing information, creating innovative, new IPs just isn’t a priority for the organization,” Levy wrote.

“Big brands + big marketing budget + high production values = $$$. This is the EA formula. They may have been late to the mobile & tablet freemium party, but now that they are here they will out-compete the Dragon Vales and Tiny Monsters of the world.

“This formula may have finally run its course in the core space, where 80+ rated Lord of the Rings, James Bond and Godfather games have all fallen out of favor with gamers’ wallets.”

Levy said The Simpsons: Tapped Out proves to EA that players who “enjoy the games produced by this formula” just moved to another platform. This provides EA with a digital future having “less to do with big, risky new IPs like Mirror’s Edge or Brutal Legend,” and more on huge returns such as the $29.6 million in sales earned by Tapped Out – a figured estimated by Levy and not “official”.

Tapped Out’s budget was likely just a “mere sliver compared to the cost of the critical and probable commercial failure, Medal of Honor: Warfighter,” noted Levy.

Thanks, GI International.

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