Microsoft, EA Pledge New IP Despite Recession

In the face of a worsening economy and several rounds of painful staff reductions, publishers Microsoft and Electronic Arts have both made separate commitments to continue the development of original gaming properties, rather than resort entirely to the safety of sequels.

"I think you'll see some [IP under threat], yes--but I also think, and I can only really speak with authority about our own games development work, be very confident we'll continue to innovate, and focus on exciting IP for the future," said Microsoft Interactive Entertainment VP Chris Lewis to GamesIndustry.biz.

"I think all the big, mature companies are thinking that way, because if we're in the eye of the storm right now in terms of the economic situation, then clearly we'll come out," added Lewis. "The healthy companies will be the ones that have invested sufficiently during that phase, that they've got exciting IP and innovative things happening for when that recovery starts to happen."

Meanwhile, on the wake of layoffs affecting 11% of its business, Electronic Arts VP of communications Jeff Brown made a similar pledge to the development of new properties last week.

"We can take risks because we are pretty sure our blockbusters are going to generate good revenue that allow us some cushion," said Brown to Kotaku. "You will not be able to see a dramatic drop off original IP."