Most consumers find new game ideas strange and off-putting, Ubisoft Montreal’s creative director has told Develop.
Alex Hutchinson said that most customers shy away from truly new concepts in favour of familiar genres and franchises, despite a clamour for something different.
"The audience says they want one thing and then they don’t vote with their feet, or at least with their wallets that often," said Hutchinson.
"In the marketplace, when they’re standing in the store, they often find truly new ideas strange and off-putting, whilst they find existing ideas and shapes comforting."
He added that just because a game was a sequel in a long-standing franchise, it didn’t mean that it was any less innovative that a completely new IP.
"The idea of a new IP versus a sequel being innovative or being more or less innovative based purely on the title is ridiculous," said Hutchinson.
Though there are a lot of new ideas out there, it’s hard to make money off of them unless they’re packaged with something more standard and reassuring.
To Hutchinson, this means the pressure is on established brands to introduce new concepts to the consumer.
"It’s especially important for existing IPs to innovate and try to move forward because we know we have a customer base," he said.
"We’ve done huge things in Assassin’s Creed 3 that we would never have had the budget or the opportunity to do in a new IP just because we would have spent all our money and time getting to a base entry level."