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Livingstone: It's all or nothing for new releases in 2009

By Matt Martin

Wed 01 Jul 2009 1:00pm GMT / 9:00am EDT / 6:00am PDT

Eidos life president warns there's "no room for mediocrity" as budgets spiral ahead of big year-end releases

Industry veteran Ian Livingstone has warned that 2009 will be an all or nothing year for publishers, as new releases either climb high in the charts or completely sink at retail.

Speaking exclusively to, the life president of Eidos said that publishers are pumping more money into developing and marketing bankable franchises, leaving smaller titles choked on store shelves.

"A lot of titles have already hit the shelves and there is a deluge planned for Christmas, but I think 2009 will be remembered as the year of 'roast duck or no dinner'," he said in an interview published today. "Big ticket titles continue to sell well but many of the smaller titles will probably disappoint their owners."

"There's a glut of product and in a discerning market there is no room for mediocrity. To make a suboptimal game with a suboptimal marketing spend is a recipe for disaster," he added.

"I think we'll continue to see more production resources going into fewer titles supported by even bigger marketing budgets. Publishers are continuing to raise the investment bar, ensuring the mega-franchises will rule."

The full interview with Ian Livingstone, in which he highlights the problems for the UK creative industries, and reflects on emerging games businesses, can be read here.

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