Dead Space and Mirror's Edge were poised as massive, blockbuster new franchises for Electronic Arts last year, but while both were mostly critical successes (though Mirror's Edge nicely divided people), neither were the multi-million sellers they'd been pegged as. During the Pacific Crest 11th Annual Technology Leadership Forum, EA CFO Eric Brown was asked a tough question -- are Saboteur and Dragon Age: Origins this year's Dead Space and Mirror's Edge?
"Looking at the two franchises, we have more modest expectations for Saboteur," explained Brown. "It's a version one of that IP, kind of an open world set in circa early 1940s Paris. We've kind of set our expectations accordingly for that title, so that's probably one difference versus where we were, say, 12 months ago."
Such expectations make sense when Saboteur isn't launching until December. With Dragon Age, however, EA is expecting a little more, thanks to BioWare's reputation.
"Dragon Age comes from BioWare, which is one of the highest quality studios in existence and it consistently produces 90 rated or better IP," said Brown. "We think we can count on the quality angle there as well as the gameplay and the content. We think it has as much as 100 hours of gameplay and plus there's an extremely robust PDLC [paid downloadable content] plan to back it up in the months following."
"And also the RPG category has opened up relatively speaking, given some of the title slips that we've learned of over the last several weeks here," he continued. "So, bit different window, slightly different competitive dynamic for the titles. We think that in the case of Dragon Age there's kind of a built in BioWare audience, given their longstanding reputation for quality."
"We think about it, those two titles [Saboteur and Dragon Age], quite a bit differently than the combination of Mirror's Edge and Dead Space last year," concluded Brown.