Speaking at a GDC Europe '09 session titled 'AAA or bust!', Splash Damage's owner and lead designer Paul Wedgewood has suggested that creating great games should be a developer's first priority, over and above the ownership of IP.
"It's fine to be in the business of creating franchises for publishers," said Wedgewood, in a session that offered a 'counter-intuitive guide' for studios that wish to succeed in the transition to AAA game development from existence as a smaller operation.
In his talk, which Wedgewood used to document Splash Damage's rise from developing exclusively for PC to being a multiplatform AAA development studio with a deal with Bethesda, the designer suggested: "I don't think any of us really got into the industry to own intellectual property." Arguing that owning IP is not significantly important for developers, Wedgewood later added that "most publishers won't do much for you if you do own the IP".
London studio Splash Damage signed with Bethesda signed with Bethesda for Brink, a third-person console action shooter that offers a unique spin on the distinction between single and multiplayer gameplay.