Our IP Profile scrutinises the Britsoft hit franchise as speculation mounts over sequel

Driver IP has ‘inherent value’

The BBC yesterday stirred up a raft of speculation over the next instalment in Reflections’ Driver franchise when it featured an interview with developer Reflections discussing the industry skill shortage.

While the news of a sequel was in fact detailed as far back as the August 2006 issue of Develop, that kind of thing doesn’t stop the consumer press. And with the media swarming over the potential return of the GTA-challenging franchise we thought the time was perfect to post up the latest of our IP profile features – appearing every month in the print edition of Develop – which this month looks at th Driver franchise.

Charting the series’ course from its inception through to the struggle to get Driv3r out in shops and beyond, right up to its acquisition by Ubisoft, the piece scrutinises why the IP is a success.

Author Nick Gibson, of Games Investor Consulting, concludes that despite its mixed fortunes, the property is still an invaluable one:

"Reflections Interactive (which had already lost its founder and the designer of the original Driver games) and the Driver IPR speaks volumes for the inherent value it believed is locked in the Driver brand. As acquisition values go, €19m is relatively low given the franchise’s pedigree. The genre in which Driver sits is still hugely popular and many publishers now have a title to attempt to compete with Take 2’s GTA franchise. Ubisoft, which did not, can now tick this genre’s box and has a development methodology and technology base that has not only revived other seemingly moribund brands (such as Prince of Persia) but will likely result in the sort of development patience needed to guarantee a successful return for the Driver IP in the future."

Hit this link to read the full profile.

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