New Generation, New IP?
Well the PS4 has launched in North America hitting a million units sold within a day. It all seems to be good news right? Well that really depends on how good the games for the system are, as a console is only as good as the games it has on it. Out of the games on the PS4 launch, a total of twenty, only six of these were new IPs, fewer still were console exclusives. This ties into a bigger fear that I have for the next generation that we will again be dominated by sequels, and spin offs.
However with so little new on offer it raises the question, have these companies run out of fresh ideas? Even with what is coming later down the line, it only adds four new IPs to the catalog. Now this is supposed to be a new generation, new ideas, new games, and a chance to wipe the slate clean, and sure there will be some titles that will carry over, but it seems to be spun as out with the old and in with the new.
Why is it then that we are seeing so little new and fresh IPs? The problem I think is that as consumers we tend to buy sequels over original fresh ideas. This is by no means a bad thing as we tend to pick what we like and a sequel guarantees more of the game we liked. As evidence of this, some of the biggest sellers where sequels GTA V, Assassin’s Creed 3, Halo 4, the list goes on.
Though this is by no means fact, Dishonored was a new IP and look how it did, as well as most of the actual Triple A games, from here we can assess that success is related to coverage. Using the Dishonored example again, Bethesda advertised across many channels and the result was that the game sold. That however was last generation and Dishonored 2 may become a thing in the future, and it will sell.
Even the New Xbox, a total of three of the launch titles are a new IP. Don’t get me wrong, most of the games for the Xbox One and PS4 look and sound phenomenal and the games coming down the line look brilliant. Now you are probably wondering why I’m going on about this so much, what does it matter if those games are good? Well it is due to the fact that the same stuff, if released too often, will turn the audience off. Though this seems to be a problem exclusive to the consoles. Meanwhile on the PC the amount of crazy new IPs is staggering as new and strange titles come out everyday, all trying to grab your attention. Most of which never seem to find a market on the consoles either through lack of interest or lack of support. If the stream of fresh ideas or games ever stops then the games market is in serious trouble.
Though in the end it will ultimately matter what you want as a gamer, are fresh new games what you crave? Then the PS4 indie section is looking good and there is always Steam, with its pander to all policy. However if you would like to stick with what you know with the old and tried and true formula then that’s fine too as both the new consoles and PC will cater to that.