Who says innovation don’t sell games?
Quantic Dream’s Guillaume de Fondaumiere revealed to a Digital Dragons audience in Poland today that PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain cost just €16.7 million to make.
Add Sony’s marketing efforts, and the total cost comes up to about €40 million, but Fondaumiere said that “Sony earned more than €100 million with this game. It’s very profitable.”
Why was Fondaumiere revealing numbers that are usually internal knowledge? He wants to bring across the point that, “We should stop thinking that innovation rhymes with unprofitable.”
Wives and girlfriends played it with their partners, Fondaumiere said, and he’s hoping that now, without the help of their husbands and boyfriends, these partners will go out into a store and purchase Quantic Dream’s next game: Beyond: Two Souls.
It is true that Quantic Dream is a unique development house, and we expect Beyond: Two Souls to be just as exciting and successful as Heavy Rain – even more so. But why aren’t other publishers taking such leaps of faith? Fondaumiere says the industry as a whole needs to stop creating sequels year in and year out.
We need, as an industry, to be probably more creative, and probably stop creating, every year, the same games over again. Maybe create new IPs. We need publishers of course to take the risk to create new IPs. But we also need the audience to [vote with their wallets].
It’s important that the entire ecosystem be more creative for this entire media to step up.
But how would you convince companies like Activision and EA to abandon, for at least a year, their shooter franchises and delve into uncharted territory? Fondaumiere says he’s not on a mission to convince everyone.
I don’t want to convince everyone. Part of the industry is going to continue to create sequels on a yearly basis.
There are cycles. We’ve seen that in the past, at one particular moment, a franchise, when you overdo it, the franchise falls apart and needs to be reviewed. Tomb Raider is a very good example of a prime IP that iteration after iteration became almost irrelevant. People didn’t want to play any more Tomb Raider. It took several years for a developer to create a new iteration that would again be attractive to the market.
What I would like to see is publishers taking more risks and have a balanced approach between the sequels they are financing year after year, and the new projects that they are developing, and this balanced approach will make for a more appealing industry overall.
Today we are seeing a crisis, we are seeing a market that is in decline.” Yes, the global economic crisis is to blame, but “there is a certain creative crisis that is, in part, the reason why some gamers are playing less.
We can only resolve that by offering new creations, new IP [and] also wooing a new audience to games.