Activision's Eric Hirshberg has suggested that 'economic turbulence' has had far less of a bearing on the reduction in new IPs than the demands of the gaming public.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, the CEO expressed the view that 'gamers seem to want to spend more time on, and go deeper into, fewer games. They're gaming more - all of the metrics in terms of number of uniques, number of hours spent, all those are up. Hardware install base is up.'
In Hirshberg's opinion, the long tail of gaming as he describes it, is far more responsible for developers and publishers taking fewer punts on new IPs. In his eyes, the pool has decreased in size because gamers simply don't play as many different games as they used to.
If you look at all the graphs, it's hard to argue that economic turbulence is the driver, because people are still buying new Xboxes and PS3s at a record clip. We get 20 million unique Call of Duty players every month. The shift is that the games have gotten deeper, and as we've seen this shift to online connected play, the tail on games is a lot longer than it used to be.
I think that, as much as anything else, has decreased the demand for new IP. Just a few years back, when there wasn't that long tail of connected play, you'd buy a game, roll through the campaign, roll through the various play modes. Maybe you'd do it again, but then you'd be done with it. There'd be very few games, maybe the sports games would be the exception, like the Maddens and the FIFAs, where you'd just continue to play them all year round.
But now you're seeing that more and more with these DLC strategies and a lot more connected play. This is something we're learning from gamers. Just because it's part of an existing franchise, doesn't mean it's not innovative, doesn't mean we're not bringing new ideas.- Eric Hirshberg, Activision CEO
Do you agree with this? We are, after all, the gamers of which Hirshberg speaks. Has the demand for new IPs lessened because of conservatism amongst consumers? Is this really a chicken and egg scenario, or a spun justification of sorts? Let us know your views below.