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Schafer: Publishers are scared of new IP

Unproven franchises must start small says Double Fine boss

Double Fine boss Tim Schafer has revealed how difficult it has been to attract funding for major projects based on new IP, saying that publishers are unwilling to invest in unproven franchises.

Lately, Double Fine has changed tack with its releases somewhat, scaling back from traditionally scaled projects to smaller download titles, but has stuck doggedly to its ethos of breaking new IP with games like Iron Brigade, Stacking and Happy Action Theater.

That, says Schafer was at least in part a response to a lack of potential funding.

"Publishers often don't want to release anything new, I mean they're scared of new IP, and Double Fine specalises in new IP," Schafer told Digital Spy.

"That's always been our challenge, is getting a publisher to invest millions of dollars in something brand new like Brutal Legend."

Brutal Legend reviewed fairly well, but failed to become economically rewarding enough to merit a sequel. With smaller gamers, Schafer believes, studios have a much better chance of learning from failure without the penalties being too punitive.

"It has helped to have games that are smaller, like digital download games are smaller so the budgets are smaller, like Happy Action Theater. The whole reason it got made was that I was asking for very little money to get it made," Schafer continued.

"And once it proved the power of it, money was invested in it, but the original thing that we were asking for was very small."

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