Thankfully, the gaming industry has seen more investment in new IP in the last few years, marking a stark contrast from the franchise driven model that we all thought we were moving towards permanently a few years ago. However, just because new IP come out more doesn’t mean that they are easy to pull off. For instance. speaking to MCV magazine, Eidos Montréal Studio Head David Anfossi talked about how difficult it can be to develop new IP.
The difficulty, creatively speaking, he notes, is a blank slate- making a sequel always gives you a framework, a set of expectations, and what came before to guide your work on the new game- but a new game is just unbounded, infinite possibilities, which can be creatively paralyzing.
“We have to be proud of our Eidos franchise IPs,” he said. “They are very strong and very interesting to work with. And honestly, creating a new IP with the experience we have is crazy. It’s very, very difficult to start and create a new IP. A good one. You can lose yourself. You can can go everywhere. With Deus Ex, Tomb Raider and Thief, if you want to be respectful you have some guidelines to respect. You can make the series more up-to-date for a new generation of gamer, but you do that with a frame to work within. “A new IP… Boom! You can start and say: ‘We’ll do a multiplayer game, we’ll do a single player game, we’ll do something cartoonish, we’ll something very realistic’, it’s infinite. That’s because you have this white sheet in front of you. That’s the difficulty of this. Even with a frame to work within, I guarantee you that halfway through the project you have to cut 30 percent of the game because you want to do more and more and more. For a new IP, it’s even worse.”
I get that, personally- it’s the dreaded creative paralysis (see also: writer’s block), that can happen to anyone and everyone. That said, new IP can also be re-energizing- because you are trying something completely new that you have never done before, and it is easier to get excited for something fresh. Hopefully, Eidos will soon work on something completely brand new as well.