New IP will probably suffer in 2009, says Sega Europe chief

To be honest, isn’t fresh IP the first casualty in any situation?

As if new and original games didn’t already have a hard time getting the marketing and the green lights they deserve, Sega Europe president and COO Mike Hayes has warned that they will likely get even worse in the face of economic disaster.

“… I think that publishers in general will reduce the number of titles that they’ll bring to market,” explains Hayes. “Whether than means people will focus less on innovation and more on sequelization of course is a big debate.

“What we’re actually doing is getting rid of the bottom tier of titles that we were putting in to get an extra bit of market share, of money. We’re getting rid of those, and we’re going to focus on the biggest titles — but we do have a lot of new IP coming out. We’ve invested in things like MadWorld, for example, and we feel our line-up is good enough that we can take that.

“But I think a lot of other publishers, and EA have been quite open on this, will stop a lot of projects and cut back. Ultimately I think the number will go down, which will probably be less good for consumers.”

This is something we’ve more than likely all expected, but it’s still sad to see an industry figure confirm it. Even during good times, it can be difficult to get a publisher to take a chance on a new title. Now that any risk taken could spell financial doom, the Okamis and Killer 7s of the world have a bleak outlook.

Jim Sterling