Frank Gibeau, president of EA Games label, told The LA Times that “we're not going to do another one”, adding that “the bloom is really off the rose for licensed games.”
The publisher’s u-turn on the series follows disappointing sales for the recently-released Godfather 2, which only managed to shift a modest 241,000 units in its debut month while production costs have remained high. Its predecessor sold 4 million units worldwide.
Paramount Pictures, however, was seemingly kept out of the loop as EA decided to cancel a third Godfather project.
“Plans for the next Godfather game have not been decided,” a Paramount spokesperson told The LA Times. Following this, an EA spokesperson aimed to pour cold water over Gibeau’s statement, explaining that nothing has been decided in regards to future editions of the franchise.
“Paramount is a great partner,” added the spokesperson.
Despite Gibeau’s comments on licensed games, EA still holds the Harry Potter and Jason Bourne licenses, the latter of which is being developed by Swedish indie Starbreeze.
In a recent interview with Develop, Starbreeze Studios CEO Johan Kristiansson applauded the pulling power of licensed games, stating that “it’s increasingly difficult for your game to stand out amongst the pack.”
"I’d say that, with something like Jason Bourne, it’s almost impossible to get the same level of exposure with a new property,” he said, before adding that – even with lucrative licenses – “there are no sure-fire hits in this industry; we are very aware of that.”
EA has in recent times relinquished the rights to publish The Lord of the Rings franchise, as well as a series that had served the company for over a decade, James Bond.