Gaming has come a long way since its inception, but in many ways, it has stayed the same.
One such area is the development of new intellectual properties (IP). We’ve seen are fair share of new IPs in recent years, but the sales numbers seem to indicate that players are seeking familiar worlds over the newer ones.
This trend begs the question: Are you reluctant to try new IPs?
Let’s look at the data before going any further.
Among the 20 best-selling games of the 2010s (2010-19) in the U.S., only two games were considered new IPs, according to data from the NPD Group. In 2020, only one new IP (Ghosts of Tsushima) cracked the top 20 while two (Minecraft and Back 4 Blood) did the next year. There could be some argument on both the 2021 titles since Minecraft was a new IP in 2011 while Back 4 Blood is considered a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead.
In 2022, Elden Ring was the only new IP amid the top 10 best-selling games for that year.
So the sales numbers have indicated a favoring toward more-established franchises. That said, some of the newer IPs have made an impact in the market.
Horizon Zero Dawn has drawn a lot of praise and has begun its own series. Bloodborne, Hellblade, Ori, Splatoon, and Titanfall have all captivated audiences since arriving in recent years. That’s not to mention the uber popular Fortnite, PUBG, and Overwatch.
On the flip side, for every great new IP has come some disappointments. Forspoken is a prime example of this in recent years as are Sleeping Dogs, Babylon’s Fall, and Redfall. I’m not saying these games are bad, but rather that they didn’t live up to expectations.
These examples focus on the larger developers and don’t include indie games. Indie developers do seem more willing to take chances largely because a new IP is all they’ve got.
And that’s what this discussion seems to come down to; it’s a risk to try new IPs. Sure, there are many successes as the release of Starfield looms. But trying to get new characters established proves difficult.
In spite of tough competition, Horizon Zero Down seems to have found a foothold, but the established The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has done better sales-wise as both released in 2017. Both are phenomenal games, but Breath of the Wild has the creedance behind it as Zelda has been around since 1986.
But the question isn’t about game developers. It’s about those who play the games.
Anecdotally, there seems to be an appetite for new IP, but sales numbers don’t back that up. That isn’t, however, the only metric that’s important. Critical acclaim is one and how the game performs within its niche is another.
The debate will rage on as developers seek to find that balance of new IPs and expanding existing ones.
But what about you? Are you reluctant to try new IPs? What causes you to pick up a game with a new IP? Would you like to see more or less new IPs? Let us know in the comments below or head over to our Discord channel to join the conversation.
The Boss Rush Podcast: The Flagship Podcast of Boss Rush Media and the Boss Rush Network
The Boss Rush Podcast – The Boss Rush Podcast is the flagship podcast of Boss Rush Media and the Boss Rush Network. Each week, Corey, Stephanie, LeRon, and their friends from around the internet come together with other creators, developers, and industry veterans to talk about games they’ve been playing, discuss video game and entertainment based topics, and answer questions solicited on social media and the community Discord.
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