Insomniac's Outernauts to be a franchise

Insomniac's Facebook game Outernauts won't just be a one-and-done affair, according to the developer. The game's head says that Insomniac has a history of making franchises, and this is just the latest example of one that it hopes to continue well into the future.

"Insomniac builds franchises," said lead designer Rowan Belden-Clifford, "so don't expect Outernauts to be going away anytime soon."

Belden-Clifford told Gamasutra that the decision to launch a new IP was sparked by moving to Facebook. "We are launching into a new platform, and wanted a new IP that would work well for both our longtime fans at Insomniac and new players on Facebook," he said.

While the style and tone is similar to the Ratchet & Clank series, thanks to many of the same creative minds, Insomniac doesn't own the IP to that series. They couldn't make a Ratchet game for Facebook if they wanted to, but he notes the developer is "very invested" in the new property.

"This is our first foray into the wild new world of Facebook game development," he said, "so we're completely focused on making this game the best it can be on the platform we've chosen."

The studio does have a tendency to make franchises with lasting appeal, starting with Spyro and moving all the way to Resistance. Overnauts is probably what came of two trademarks filed last year for "Space Beasts" and "Galaxy Beasts." The company's next core game, Overstrike, certainly seems positioned to become a franchise as well. But with both Outernauts and Overstrike, franchise success will rely on a strong first showing.