Cousens: Industry must pursue new IP
Lack of new experiences will 'drive consumers elsewhere,' warns Codemasters boss
Rod Cousens has told GamesIndustry.biz that the videogames industry must continue to pursue new IP or risk driving consumers elsewhere.
Speaking in an interview, he rejected the notion that new IP couldn't be successful, and dismissed a tough economy as an excuse, arguing that "stimulating the consumer" was what was needed.
"While there may be a view that you can't publish new IP with any great success, I don't buy off on that," he said. "If all you're going to do is more of the same, then we'll face all the hurdles and obstacles that the music and movie businesses have faced before. If we don't learn from that, then shame on us."
Cousens was talking with respect to the company's forthcoming Formula 1 title, which is set for release initially on Wii and PlayStation Portable, before heading to next-gen platforms next year.
"Yes, the economy is a constraint and videogames are not recession-proof, contrary to popular belief - but it's all about stimulating the consumer," he continued. "I've been in this business for a long time, but one of the most exciting things about our industry - and I pray to God that we never move off this - but from day one since we walked in the door we've always tried to be experimental, to be innovative, to take things into new areas and to make it interesting.
"That, as a software-creator - a developer, publisher, or whatever - has to be part of our charter. If we don't do that, the consumer has a lot of choice now - we're in time-based entertainment and there's pressure on that time - if we stagnate, or it falls, we as an industry will simply drive them elsewhere."
He went on to admit that part of the issue was the result of fighting for retail shelf space, but refused to blame stores for focusing on key franchises.
"The issue is, you get back to a bigger debate which is that we're all fighting for a piece of shelf space here, and it's very easy - and I understand it from a retailer's point of view - to go down a safer route because they'll take another FIFA, another Tiger Woods, another Call of Duty.
"But after a while that wears a bit thin, and I believe there's an element of that shelf space that has to be put over to new IP," he added.
The first part of the GamesIndustry.biz interview with Rod Cousens is available now.
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