Publisher EA has once again poured scorn over the licensed games market – a sector it was once famed for bossing.
Following reportedly disappointing sales of recent console release The Godfather II, the president of the EA Games label Frank Gibeau told the LA Times that: “We're not going to do another Godfather game… the bloom is really off the rose for licensed games.”
Under the new stewardship of outspoken boss John Riccitiello EA has repeatedly underlined its commitment to quality and pledged to bring an end to rushing out licensed titles on an annual cycle.
Recent times have seen EA dispense of some its highest profile game licenses. In 2006 it ditched the highly lucrative James Bond licence after a number of lacklustre game offerings. Earlier this year it was revealed that EA had also turned down the chance to renew its deal for the Lord of the Rings games licence – with Warner stepping in to grab the rights.
The only high-profile licenses that the publisher retains are Robert Ludlam’s Bourne series (a brand that was recently ditched by Activision, the same publisher which swooped for the James Bond rights so leisurely discarded by EA) and Harry Potter.
The latter is particularly interesting considering that Warner, which owns the film rights to Harry Potter, is making increasingly bolder strides into the games market. EA’s current Harry Potter deal expires in 2011.