Christmas can be a dark time for games.
For every FIFA or Call of Duty nestled under the Christmas tree, there's a long line of games left out in the cold. A Beyond Good and Evil or Brutal Legend or Wii Music that couldn't get heard over the noise made by the big sequels.
But publishers still try to make new IP work during Q4, and for good reason. Because get it right and they could have another hit franchise on their hands, like Valve did with Left 4 Dead or perhaps more notably, Ubisoft with Assassin's Creed.
There are a number of new IPs due over the next three months, from Rising Star's Ivy the Kiwi to the launch line-up for Kinect. The two biggest new core games heading to market are Namco Bandai's Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and Sega's Vanquish. So how are these companies making sure their titles can compete in what is a notoriously hostile few months?
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