If you were responsible for a mega-hit franchise like Halo or Call of Duty, would you be willing to step away from it to pursue a new IP instead of moving right ahead with a sequel? It’s one of the more compelling questions facing publishers and developers these days, especially when it comes to games that pack as financially powerful punches as those from Bungie and Infinity Ward.
Well, it seems that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford is among those people who would prefer to see something new from established developers, as opposed to seeing yet another solid installment of a hit franchise. Speaking with VideoGamer.com, Pitchford said:
Pitchford's stance on this issue is solid and typical enough. Although, for as exciting it is when a company like, say Valve, takes a break from Half-Life 2 for a little bit to do something as brilliantly refreshing as Left 4 Dead, I’m still always thinking, “This game is great, but when is Half-Life 2: Episode 3 coming out?”
Of course, as Pitchford points out, the major issue here is the financial riskiness that prevents publishers from encouraging developers like Bungie and Infinity Ward to pursue new IPs instead of milking established franchises. From a strictly economic standpoint, this view makes absolute sense. However, from an artistic perspective (aka the more important perspective), this mindset has the ability to stunt the creative growth of gaming if not kept in check. Because if all we ever saw were sequels, gaming would be a far less enjoyable and exciting medium.
Would you rather see a developer churn out another installment in your favorite franchise, or a completely new IP?