2010 was a terrible year for new IP. Not in terms of quality – the likes of Bayonetta, Dance Central, Heavy Rain, Vanquish and Enslaved were amongst last year’s most critically lauded titles.
But commercially new IP was a non-entity. Out of the 30 biggest sellers last year only one was a new IP, and that was Just Dance, a game released in 2009.
Last year was a period that proved how dangerous developing new brands can be. Sure, if you get it right you could be sitting on the next Assassin’s Creed. But get it wrong – as Bizarre and Realtime Worlds discovered – and it’s game over.
And yet in 2011 we are witnessing an altogether different trend. In the first five months of the year, three new IPs have topped the All Formats chart – Homefront, Brink and L.A. Noire – a feat only one original 2010 title managed (Sony’s Heavy Rain).
So why? What’s caused the sudden interest in new brands?