By James Brightman
As triple-A console budgets continue to escalate dramatically, publishers are becoming increasingly risk averse and want to bet on a sure thing. It’s part of the reason why Activision killed off Guitar Hero and more to put even more focus on huge hits like Call of Duty and Blizzard’s titles. Now Microsoft says while it’ll look at launching new IP, the company will double down on its biggest franchises too.
“…there always has to be a balance… you have to bet big and develop the franchises and universes that you know people care about, and take those and grow those in new directions,” said Microsoft’s Kevin Unangst to Gamasutra.
He also acknowledged, “You don’t want to just sequel, sequel, sequel, you have to be pushing the envelope; you’ve got to invite new people in.”
Ultimately, it means we’re going to see plenty more Halo, but 343 will try to innovate with the brand. “So yeah, we’re still going to double down, you’re going to see us do more with Forza, with Halo, with Fable; all the franchises,” Unangst said.
“But we’re also, of course, looking to bring in new IP, looking to bring new things. As a first-party studio, our job is also to experiment, also to lead the way, set the example… things like the integration between Kinect and the phone. Having a strong lineup of first-party Kinect games, not just use Kinect because it was a big platform show for us. That’s the role of a first party studio. At the same time, we’ve got millions of faithful fans for each of those franchises; we’re going to take these in some pretty exciting directions.”