Making licensed movie games used to be a profitable business for Electronic Arts, but the company has gone away from licenses. EA Games president Frank Gibeau clearly has no remorse about going away from well known brands like James Bond.
We dumped that license because we felt like we needed to own more intellectual property, and we don t like where James Bond is going with all the creative limitations on it, said Gibeau. The percentage royalties you have to pay the licensors are going the wrong way for publishers. The margins are being squeezed. And, to top it all off, the movie-game business is falling apart.
Considering the total amount of money we have to spend on those types of James Bond games, and the total amount of man-hours we had to put into them, we thought; hell, let s work on our own IP, he noted. The guys who made James Bond games for us, well yeah, they went on and made Dead Space. And look where we are now; what would you rather publish, retail and play the latest James Bond or Dead Space 2?
Speaking of Dead Space, Gibeau said, It made money for us, but didn’t hit expectations. We felt like we had an IP that struck a chord, and one that hit quality, but again it missed multiplayer modes. So when we re-worked Dead Space, we looked at how to make it a better idea, how do we make the story more engrossing, how do we build Isaac as a character, how do we make this game a success online.
“But one thing I will say is that we won t give up on those IPs. A new idea obviously has a lot of risk attached to it, but if you get it all right it can be huge.