According to former EA producer Ethan Levy, Electronic Arts no longer needs big new IP to be successful, touting The Simpsons: Tapped Out as an example of mobile titles giving high return on investment.
Levy points out that EA has seen far fewer new IPs in recent years, with only Army of Two, Dead Space and Dragon Age continuing to see new releases, as part of their stated strategy of "fewer, bigger brands." But with the success of recent mobile titles such as The Simpsons: Tapped Out, which Levy estimates has brought in 20.7 million in gross revenue since its release in August, he predicts that the digital future of EA no longer resides with larger, risker new IP, but with smaller, less financially risky mobile games.
If Levy's numbers are correct, the revenue from that one mobile game would account for 6.6% of EA's $314 million in digital revenue for the quarter. "They may have been late to the mobile & tablet freemium party," he writes, "but now that they are here they will outcompete the Dragon Vales and Tiny Monsters of the world."
The move away from big, experimental new IP (such as Mirror's Edge and Brutal Legend) is one we've seen more and more in the industry of late, with smaller, indie developers picking up the slack--but if mobile gaming continues to be a viable platform for larger publishers, perhaps we'll start some new mobile IP appear.
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Jimmy the Geek