I think it's a delicate discussion because innovation isn't always a new IP, it's also developing something that is great and making it better, or in some cases taking something that is quite bad and making it good. I think the challenge lies within the consumer behaviour of not buying new IPs even if they're great, because people like what they know, or they think they know, even if it has completely changed.
We've seen that with Battlefield 3, which is completely different from any other Battlefield game, and still people are calling for the next Battlefield game, which is of course a benefit for us because we get people's attention. Battlefield 3 is way different than for instance Battlefield 2 or Battlefield: Bad Company 2, so we get free advertising just by having the Battlefield name, then of course it's up to us to prove that it is the next big thing.
So for us Battlefield 3 could have been released almost as a new game because there are so many differences, but the problem then is that players seem to want sequels, they like the next iteration of the game they love, and even if people say they want new IPs, when new IPs arrive no one cares, they don't buy them, so I still don't understand why people see it as a problem when they're part of, they're creating the problem. I would love for people to buy new IPs and prove with their wallet what they mean, instead of blaming someone else. There's a big chunk of money you invest in games so you want at least your money back.
Like Mirror's Edge?
I can't talk about Mirror's Edge, but that is one of those examples.
EA has Medal of Honor: Warfighter coming out this year, and presumably there'll be a Battlefield game in one form or another in 2013, when it's been rumoured that there'll be next-gen consoles on the market. What's top of your next-gen wish-list?
In general it's probably what everyone else wants. We want a more powerful CPU, we want more memory, we want a powerful GPU, we want to push everything that has to do with calculations and graphics. Everything from AI to rendering has to do with what CPU you have, what GPU you have, then of course memory, high resolution textures, getting the crisp feel of a game is all about memory.
Together with that I'd love to see expanded online capabilities, because we are really pushing the boundaries of what you can do, and we want to continue to do that in even better and more connected ways. I think both consoles are already doing that, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what you can do with the next-gen.
And what do you think about the anti-used games measures rumoured to be featured in next-gen consoles?
Yeah, I heard about that. I think that can be a win and a loss. I think it's a loss if it only means that you will be able to get fewer games for the same money. But in theory you could see it the other way, because a lot of companies making games today are struggling based on second-hand sales.
So if you think that there are too few new IPs on the market, [it's because] no one can take that risk if their game is at risk of being resold too many times. Therefore you see a lot of online games being the most popular. You mentioned that you feel like a lot of them have the same formula and this is one of the reasons, which most people seem not to realise.
So on the positive side you could see more games being created because of this, and also more new IPs, because there'd be a bigger market for games that don't have for instance multiplayer. There could be awesome single player-only games, which you can't really do these days because people just pirate them, which is sad.
From a gamer perspective, if you want to buy as many games as possible then this could be a problem, but if you want more diverse games then it's a more positive thing than a negative. The only thing I know is that people are not doing it to be evil and stupid, it's about trying to create some benefits for consumers.