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Ellis: "No One Buys FPS Games Unless They're Called Call Of Duty"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Battlefield, Call Of Duty, FPS games, Free Radical, Steve Ellis, Timesplitters

Ellis: "No One Buys FPS Games Unless They're Called Call Of Duty"

Free Radical co-founder Steve Ellis has suggested that publishers aren't interested in backing anything "quirky and different" when it comes to first-person shooters, going to state that "pretty much every FPS loses money.

Gallingly, he also reveals that he did the rounds trying to sign up TimeSplitters 4...and none of the big fish bit.

"I spent the whole of 2008 going round talking to publishers trying to sign up Timesplitters 4," said Ellis, chatting to EDGE. "There just isn't the interest there in doing anything that tries to step away from the rules of the genre - no one wants to do something that's quirky and different, because it's too much of a risk. And a large part of that is the cost of doing it."

Ellis is rather of the opinion that no-one can see past Call of Duty and its high-flying competition such as Battlefield 3.

"Nobody really buys any FPSes unless they're called Call Of Duty," he continues. "I guess Battlefield did okay, but aside from that pretty much every FPS loses money. I mean, [look at] Crysis 2: great game, but there's no way it came anywhere close to recouping its dev costs."

Ellis explained that this tied in to the reason he's turned his back on AAA games, having recently set up mobile game studio Crash Lab, with former Rare colleagues Martin Wakeley and Lee Musgrave.

"We’ve been through more than a couple of console generations and seen things grow and grow to a stage where it's not really the business we got into," he continued. "It's not really what we signed up for at the start.

"There's plenty of people coming out of university who are dying to do that, so let them find out what it's like and we'll do something different!"

Add a comment11 comments
Moka-Bear  May. 3, 2012 at 12:05

What are the numbers for BF3 vs CoD?

Personal opinion - BF3 is far superior. Really hate CoD. Only played MW2 to play with friends. Hated BO, hated MW3.

Yukes  May. 3, 2012 at 12:30

Sadly, he's right. Whilst Battlefield and CoD have such a stranglehold on the FPS market, other IPs just cannot compete, so devs won't take the risk. It has to be financially viable for them at the end of the day.

Personally I'm deeply saddened by the confirmation that Timesplitters 4 will probably never happen. The Timesplitters series was sublime back in the PS2 days, and heralded my move away from Nintendo with Goldeneye on the N64 to Playstation.

There is no better FPS game than Timesplitters 2. Fact.

phil16  May. 3, 2012 at 12:50

Personally I don't buy a game if it has COD in the title! Last one I bought was MW1. I only got Black ops because I won it through this site....

DivideByZero  May. 3, 2012 at 14:05

Whilst Battlefield and CoD have such a stranglehold on the FPS market, other IPs just cannot compete, so devs won't take the risk.


Wrong... there are loads of FPS... did you not see the recent article the other day "are there too many FPS games"...

There are LOADS of FPS games out there, but most of them are naff.

Timesplitters 2 was amazing and I would love a new Timesplitters... but did you ever play Timesplitters 3? It was pretty lame compared to 2.

Crysis 2 was rubbish, linear and boring and not a touch on Crysis 1. Add Origin in to the mix and it is no wonder it didn't do so well.

If you make great games they will sell, if you make a lame game it wont. At least you can always blame other people for your own shortcomings.

DivideByZero  May. 3, 2012 at 14:08

F*** it, Steve Ellis...

Make Timesplitters 4 via a kickstarter project and I will put money in, loads of others would too.

Timesplitter is not about the latest and greatest graphics, its fun, quirky and stylised... so this would totally work as a kickstarter project.

Do it!!

MattGardner  May. 3, 2012 at 14:21

There is no better FPS game than Timesplitters 2. Fact.


What I'd give for an HD re-release. Astounding game.

MattGardner  May. 3, 2012 at 14:44

Make Timesplitters 4 via a kickstarter project and I will put money in, loads of others would too.


+1

Quietus  May. 3, 2012 at 15:06

Agreed on the Timesplitters front. I can't even begin to count the amount of time I spent getting all of the Platinum trophies for the challenges. I even managed a 5.6 for Pane in the Neck, which I could never beat.

Just in case anybody else is interested, you can see the sickening records here.

Yukes  May. 3, 2012 at 18:08

Whilst Battlefield and CoD have such a stranglehold on the FPS market, other IPs just cannot compete, so devs won't take the risk.


Wrong... there are loads of FPS... did you not see the recent article the other day "are there too many FPS games"..


I agree there are a shed load of FPSs out there at the moment, but as you say, most of them aren't great. I think the surge of FPS games is due to the phenomenal (love it or hate it) success of CoD, and the knee-jerk reaction of publishers to want a slice of that success and money.

I should have clarified that I think now publishers are starting to realise they can't compete with CoD if with a run-of-the-mill FPS, so they will start to look elsewhere. Or maybe that's just me being optimistic...

The Timesplitters series has what so many FPS simply do not have: character. I agree with DBZ that Timesplitters 3 wasn't great compared to 2, but it was still a superb game.

As for the kickstarter project...where do I sign up?

On that note..."it's time to split!"

JonLester  May. 3, 2012 at 18:22

I desperately want more Timesplitters, and I agree with Ellis' sentiment: publishers definitely don't take risks on innovative FPS games. They should. Kickstart that mother.

I'm not convinced that "no one buys" non-CoD FPS games, though. To use Ellis' example, Crysis 2 actually released very well indeed and topped the charts in multiple countries (EA even boasted that they'd shipped - not necessarily sold - 3 million copies in 3 1/2 months), though it did also get pirated a lot. The reason it didn't break even was that CryEngine 3 development costs were probably astronomical, and don't forget, Crysis 2 is essentially a tech demo that's attracted some engine licensing fees after the fact.

EDIT: And as /0 says, gamers buy good games, and the FPS genre wouldn't be so prevalent if it wasn't making someone money.

Last edited by JonLester, May. 3, 2012 at 18:39
mbover  May. 4, 2012 at 12:34

I agree get a kickstarter project for it .
I would pledge and know others that would too.
You can distribute it on psn and xbla and steam.
A vita version would be good too :)

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