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Industry veteran urges developers to hold on to their franchises

Ian Livingstone laments British IP revenues lost overseas

Indie developers are often warned about keeping their IP, but Ian Livingstone has offered a particularly high-profile example of why it’s important.

Delivering an opening keynote at today’s Launch conference in Birmingham, the industry figurehead pointed to examples of high-profile British IP that are no longer generating revenue – or even being developed – within the UK.

“Our nation is wonderful at creating compelling new IP,” Livingstone told attendees, pointing to a slide featuring LittleBigPlanet, Tomb Raider, Moshi Monster and Harry Potter.

He then pointed out that while some of the UK’s biggest franchises are hugely successful, “so often the money is going overseas”.

Earlier in his talk, he gave Grand Theft Auto as the best example of a UK success story, making $1bn in just three days. However, a significant portion of that would have gone to US-based parent Take-Two Interactive.

Similarly, Tomb Raider – a franchise Livingstone famously helped launch during his Eidos days – is now fully owned by Japanese publisher Square Enix and developed in Canada.

“It’s so important your retain ownership of your IP,” Livingstone added. “Try not to give away your company.”

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