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Safe Bets

The Wii offered a chance to innovate without taking huge risks, but consumers weren't interested

The suggestion from Japanese publisher Marvelous Entertainment that it is to withdraw from creating original IP and focus instead on franchise sequels has been met with widespread derision from gamers, and some measure of sad head-nodding from industry insiders.

Both sides of the fence, however, see this as simply being a rather blatant step in a not entirely wholesome direction - an acknowledgement that in the boxed games market, at least, the risks of investing in IP have grown even further in recent years, and perversely, that the market's willingness to support such investments seem to have declined.

That's due, in part, to the steady advance of platform fragmentation. Setting aside emerging platforms such as mobile phones and social networks - they're an entirely different story - we find the games industry divided up into a challenging assortment of different devices.

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.
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