Although some games based on movies have proven decent this generation, EA says they're done with the games/film licensing business. It just isn't worth it, they say.
This according to what EA Games president Frank Gibeau told Develop during a recent interview. What once was a big cash cow for the company has failed to deliver; games like James Bond 007: Blood Stone and titles based on "The Lord of the Rings" just don't seem to sell well. Said Gibeau:
If you want to make a hit, you have to give a game time to get to quality. The days of licensed-based, 75-rated games copies are dead like the dinosaur."
After being asked if EA would be returning to the movie/game business – in which they've participated for a good 15 years – Gibeau's response was firm and unwavering:
"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. 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?"
Well, that's a darn good question. While we said Blood Stone was a pretty fun game and worth playing, we also know it paled in comparison to the fall season's truly great titles. This is the type of thing that drives EA nuts. However, we will say that High Moon Studios ( Kung Fu Panda , Transformers: War for Cybertron ) seem to be quite capable when it comes to making decent games based on films that also sell well.
You might want to ring 'em up, EA.