2.01.2007

Fame

New IPs (Intellectual Properties) are scary for a publisher. No one has ever heard of the game before, so it gest no hype (or sales) other than what it earns. This is the challenge that each publisher/developer faces in deciding how many franchise/license games it will create versus original IPs, which got me thinking: why do we get Virtua Figher 5, Final Fantasy XIII, and Tony Hawk Project 8 in the games industry, whereas any number above three in the film industry is just nonsense?
We need a hero to save the day... make that a whole society of heroes. The film industry can more easily risk a new IP because the fiction is not the only thing they bank on. They have famous actors, directors, and even music composers who draw public attention to the film. The game industry has a few of these game celebrities -- Will Wright (Sim games), David Jaffe (God of War), CliffyB (Gears of War), etc -- but I think it could benefit studios to push their big game contributors into the spotlight more often. Now that gaming (and gamers) are becoming more mature, those involved in making games are getting more charismatic and worthy of camera time. Personalities like this can help to buffer a new IP, building up hype on the game before anything substantial about it even sees the light of day. Sure, this may mean that big personalities might be able to demand more money from their employers, but, hey, that's the way it goes in an industry growing like ours, and the hope is that revenue will grow just like the salaries.

Imagine in just a few years seeing game designers/producers/composers on the cover of People magazine and Us Weekly. I guess that's not the part of it that we're shooting for, but we're rapidly approaching the center of the mainstream universe, and with it will come the ups and downs.
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