EA's old IP revivals undaunted by Syndicate disappointment

Having sat on large chunks of its back catalogue for several years, EA has recently started digging up old properties and bringing them back. It didn't work out so well for Starbreeze's Syndicate FPS, but that hasn't put EA off its necromancy.

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Having sat on large chunks of its back catalogue for several years, EA has recently started digging up old properties and bringing them back. It didn't work out so well for Starbreeze's FPS reboot Syndicate, EA Labels boss man Frank Gibeau has said, but that hasn't put EA off its necromancy.

"Syndicate was something that we took a risk on. It didn't pay off - it didn't work," Gibeau told CVG. "But in general it doesn't change my appetite for wanting to go look in the library and see what we have and maybe bring back some IPs for the next-generation. That's the nature of the business; some stuff works, some stuff doesn't."

One such success was the new SSX, which Gibeau described as a "very successful launch." Saying that its shiny appropriation of the Autolog social features seen first in EA's racing games "really showed why it made sense to bring that back," he noted that we'll "probably see more" from the franchise "in the future."

EA's also bringing back the splinter of the Command & Conquer series which didn't burn out and wither up in C&C: Generals 2 and, after a seven-year break, SimCity in, well, SimCity. "There are numerous IPs that I think about all the time," Gibeau said, only naming those two but surely, definitely, certainly, hopefully, thinking about Dungeon Keeper.

It's a shame we're unlikely to see more Syndicate. While the single-player campaign was mediocre, the setting was lovely and the co-op multiplayer jolly good fun. I certainly would like to see more of it myself, whether as DLC or in a cooperative-based sequel.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 14, 2012 6:00 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, EA's old IP revivals undaunted by Syndicate disappointment.

    Having sat on large chunks of its back catalogue for several years, EA has recently started digging up old properties and bringing them back. It didn't work out so well for Starbreeze's Syndicate FPS, but that hasn't put EA off its necromancy.

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      June 14, 2012 6:08 AM

      If syndicate was more a sequel than a reboot that changed the core mechanics it might have done better. Seriously what is the point of using the nostalgia card then game turns out to be radically different. If they would have stuck with what worked in the past for the series you might have had a success here. There are plenty of people myself included that want modern takes on old series but not complete reboot/retooled efforts.

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        June 14, 2012 6:48 AM

        couldn't have said it better myself.

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        June 14, 2012 7:18 AM

        Exactly. The only thing they "resurrected" was the name.

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        June 14, 2012 9:19 AM

        Yup, but then you get the Fallouts of the world that work out, and convince them there's a chance.

        • Ebu
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          June 14, 2012 10:06 AM

          Eh, the Fallout "reboot" worked, but it wasn't great. Not everything needs to be First Person. :/

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            June 14, 2012 3:12 PM

            Yes but Fallout 3 was essentially Fallout in first person. The new Syndicate wasn't the old Syndicate in first person, it was just a generic first person Shooter with the Syndicate name attached to it.

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        June 14, 2012 12:42 PM

        I'm assuming that the dev team has an engine for a generic shooter then asks EA for a license they can wrap that art style over top of it.

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        June 14, 2012 3:59 PM

        I think Syndicate would have been a good jumping off point for a new IP as well, it's a shame that it ended up getting entangled in this whole naming mess.

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      June 14, 2012 6:11 AM

      Maybe if the revivals actually played like the older games instead of having nothing to do with them then people would give a shit? Just maybe a little bit?

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      June 14, 2012 6:15 AM

      Syndicate had almost no marketing effort, news of the game came incredibly late. I imagine it's budget was tiny too, so of course it's not going to work out well. I don't think I'd blame the IP or even the developer here, I'd blame the idiotic publisher who essentially sent the game out to die.

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        June 14, 2012 7:06 AM

        If any marketing team isn't excited or interested in a product, it's dead. That was clearly the case here.

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      June 14, 2012 6:54 AM

      Don't worry guys! The Ultima FPS will be much better

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        June 14, 2012 9:36 AM

        I think I'm going to have nightmares now...

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      June 14, 2012 7:08 AM

      The Firaxis X-Com game needs to be a big success to show the publishers they're doing it wrong.

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        June 14, 2012 7:36 AM

        basically this. ignore my post.

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        June 14, 2012 8:39 AM

        Yep. Stop trying to turn old franchises into FPSs. Just do your best to update them, while keeping core gameplay concepts in tact.

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        June 14, 2012 11:46 AM

        Yes, and considering how good that game looks... it should do well anyways.

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      June 14, 2012 7:14 AM

      This game was pure, unadulterated ass.
      It needed like 2 more years development time.
      "Gamers" complain about Bulletstorm? This here was about as generic and bland as shooters get. At least I had fun playing Bulletstorm.
      As soon as I saw the menu in this pile of shit I was raging.

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        June 14, 2012 11:49 AM

        People complained about Bulletstorm? That game was awesome^2

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      June 14, 2012 7:17 AM

      who owns bullfrog? I want an ipad themepark game

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        June 14, 2012 7:20 AM

        That's being made actually - it's a 3rd person cover shooter now.

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      June 14, 2012 7:30 AM

      Syndicate was pretty awesome and looked great, but it wasn't a Syndicate game.

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        June 14, 2012 10:12 AM

        100% this, I really loved it not sure why people did not like it(unless they compared the old Syndicate).

        Sure it wasn't a Syndicate game but it was really cool as what it was I want a follow up of the same stuff and juiced up.

        I wonder if they used another IP name if it would of done better, sort of wish they did for they may be a chance it won't get #2?

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          June 14, 2012 11:46 AM

          Yeah, they might have actually done better if they released it as a totally new IP. Now that it failed financially it doesn't only hurt that game... it kind of tarnishes the Syndicate name as a brand. Hopefully they learned their lesson and try doing a REAL Syndicate game!

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        June 14, 2012 11:44 AM

        I agree.

        I loved the game, but it could have been called something else.

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        June 14, 2012 3:16 PM

        agreed, it was an awesome game. who gives a fuck what it's named

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          June 14, 2012 3:54 PM

          Those hoping for a "true" Syndicate sequel with its isometric views and and whatnots have their hopes dashed because EA will perceive the Syndicate brand to be a failure, when it was not really a Syndicate game.

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            June 14, 2012 4:59 PM

            Yeah, the game was so good, but they shouldn't have tried to ride off the coattails of a long-established franchise that already had a loyal fanbase. :(

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        June 15, 2012 4:54 AM

        Well you guys convinced me to give it a try, so it better be worth it!

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      June 14, 2012 7:35 AM

      EA should have pulled a 2kgames and had two syndicate games in development, the fps and a modern throwback to what gamers remember. Look at how much more excited people are for the throwback xcom versus the fps.

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      June 14, 2012 7:59 AM

      It looked fun and I liked the demo. I just had too much other stuff to play and I couldn't convince anyone else to give the multiplayer a shot.

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      June 14, 2012 8:01 AM

      I haven't finished it yet but from what I've played, it's actually really good.

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      June 14, 2012 8:15 AM

      Reminds me of that shitty Shadowrun game that MS released a few years ago. I was hoping for something, you know, like the actually RPG or the Genesis game.

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      June 14, 2012 9:03 AM

      C&C: generals 2!! w00tie w00t w00000 Woohooo. Just don't let the C&C 4 team anywhere near Generals 2.

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        June 14, 2012 6:16 PM

        We'll see how much of EA LA RTS is left in BioWare Victory.

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      June 14, 2012 9:07 AM

      So my big prob with Syndicate. It was a diff game. Syndicate needed a true successor with isometric view and a major graphic overhaul.


      It didnt need the FPS treatment.

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      June 14, 2012 9:26 AM

      Wow, i didn't even know Syndicate was released.

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      June 14, 2012 9:29 AM

      They need to revive SEAL Team.

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        June 14, 2012 5:40 PM

        I heard they are, but it's going to be a squad-based marine theme park simulator.

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      June 14, 2012 9:41 AM

      we need theme hospital the driving sim

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      June 14, 2012 10:05 AM

      Probably would have bought syndicate if it wasn't banned in my country.

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      June 14, 2012 10:16 AM

      Syndicate (the new one) rocks, you guys are all nuts. You probably don't dig Quake either.

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      June 14, 2012 12:48 PM

      At some point I heard the announcement for a reboot of Syndicate. I was super psyched for a solid 10 seconds. Then I saw it say something about being an FPS and I groaned. I don't think of Syndicate as a game that could translate well into an fps. GTA made the transition well but that makes sense (GTA 2 is still the best multiplayer GTA, tho). Command And Conquer though, had an FPS game at some point and it wasn't all that good. And I argue that syndicate is more of an RTS - real time strategy - game.

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      June 14, 2012 12:55 PM

      With all the prowess and hope of a Civ FPS, undaunted, EA published their Syndicate FPS with little fanfair or advertising and yet still wondered what happened.

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      June 14, 2012 3:07 PM

      Wow EA is really showing some smart business sense there. They pushed out a shooter that was as generic as it gets with almost no marketing and no connection to the IP and sell around 200k between all platforms(estimated from VGChartz), and say...

      Shit this is awesome, lets do more!

      Well played EA... well played.

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        June 14, 2012 3:13 PM

        They also revived SSX this year, which did well for them, and everyone's drooling over Sim City.

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          June 14, 2012 3:28 PM

          Neither of those are anywhere on the scale of revival. SSX has had plenty of titles over the last 10 years, and Sim City has had plenty of high grossing spin offs.

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            June 14, 2012 3:41 PM

            In the eyes of EA, those are way old.

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              June 14, 2012 3:53 PM

              They aren't syndicate old is my point.

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      June 14, 2012 3:17 PM

      Alpha Centauri 2, damn it

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      June 14, 2012 3:27 PM

      Uh oh...does this mean they might resurrect Dungeon Keeper? Oh god...I hope they don't touch that shit. I need a kickstarter team to enhance the graphics of Dungeon Keeper! OH EM GEEEE

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      June 14, 2012 3:56 PM

      Yeah no obviously things don't work out WHEN you decide to take a tactical isometric game and turn it into a uninspired COD ripoff you untalented modder fockkers

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        June 14, 2012 4:32 PM

        The co-op for this game is fucking incredible. :(

        Give it a chance!

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          June 14, 2012 4:52 PM

          Be that as it may, it still wasn't the game people wanted. Look at Fallout 3, they tried really hard, and succeeded, at keeping the original feel and spirit of the original while bringing it to the modern era. It was a huge success.

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          June 14, 2012 4:55 PM

          We vote with our wallets.

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      June 14, 2012 6:05 PM

      Wing Commander FPS will be bad ass

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        June 14, 2012 6:07 PM

        It would kick so much ass if you can play as Malcolm McDowell.

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        June 14, 2012 8:21 PM

        I would love a game like wing commander only updated!

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          June 14, 2012 10:21 PM

          Me too! But not an FPS. It would remind me of those scenes from the movie

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      June 14, 2012 9:42 PM

      Command and Conquer Renegade 2 plz xD.

      But without destroying the franchise like they did with Command and Conquer 4.

      Or... its strange to say this but... sell the franchise to Activision XD.

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        June 19, 2012 4:08 PM

        So we have to deal with worse off DLC efforts from those greedy pigs? No thanks. I'd rather deal with the DLC from EA.

        Also: Populouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulouspopulous

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      June 15, 2012 1:42 AM

      "EA has recently started digging up old properties and bringing them back"

      Haha, recently?

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      June 15, 2012 5:55 AM

      Looking forward to the Hard Hat Mack fps.