Sequels, spin-offs and follow-ups are often lucrative in this industry. Just ask Activision, EA, and most other big publishers.
But some game producers are willing to take more of a risk; they believe that in order to make their mark, they must pursue all-new IPs. And this is the current focus at THQ; executive vice president Danny Bilson has stated in a recent GameZone interview (as cited at GamerZines ) that he wants to "build great, original, innovative experiences that are among the best in the industry." That's quite the ambitious and admirable goal, isn't it? Added Bilson:
"That's what this mission is all about. With that high quality and that kind of innovation will come revenue and the ability to make more, and make cooler stuff.
In great success you can take more risks creatively and get back to your first question of more bold, innovative games. Although I think we've got some in the pipeline that are pretty bold and innovative, they are commercial also."
For instance, one can look at THQ's Homefront , a promising new IP set to release in March. Bilson has high hopes for this one, as he "absolutely expects" that it'll outsell their currently established franchises, like WWE and UFC. Let's not forget that THQ publishes Tim Schafer/Double Fine's stuff, and they also have Tomonobu Itagaki's Devil's Third and the new game from film director Guillermo del Toro, inSane .
Of course, they're not about to abandon those aforementioned franchises; they're currently hard at work on the third Saints Row , and more Red Faction games are coming, too. Oh, and that Darksiders sequel. But in the end, we like to see a publisher that strives to be diverse.