Insomniac boss, Ted Price, on his insane plan to release a game without a number on the end of its name.
Fuse is an upcoming new IP from Ratchet & Clank developer, Insomniac. It's a - okay. Hold on. I can see I've lost you there. I know it's a difficult concept to grasp. A new IP is ... well, it's kind of like a sequel, only there's nothing for it to be a sequel to, you understand? It's cool if you don't, it's an old concept you don't see too much these days.
A lot of developers and publishers argue that the beginning of a console cycle is the best time to launch new IPs. As a result, they use the twilight years of a cycle to either bring franchises to a close or prepare them for a next-gen debut. The only problem is this generation has lasted much longer than those before it, and new IPs are starting to look uncomfortably thin on the ground. Insomniac's Ted Price is hoping that'll mean less competition for the upcoming co-op shooter, Fuse.
"There's no question that it's a challenge. There are plenty of news items to take gamers' focus off of this generation. For us, the opportunity was to be a new IP in a sea of sequels, offer something very fresh for players to check out when they've been playing, essentially, the same games for the last five or six years," he told Gamesindustry International. "What we wanted to do with co-op in particular was raise the bar and offer features that no other co-op games are offering at this point. Fuse was a great opportunity for us to do that."
While every AAA dev and their mom is quick to label new IPs "a risk," the past few months have seen a clutch of relatively successful new IPs, and there's an impressive degree of buzz surrounding upcoming titles like The Last of Us, Remember Me and, despite David Cage's best efforts, Beyond: Two Souls.
Of course, it's not just about being a new IP; New games have to distinguish themselves from the old to secure an audience desperate for new experiences, and that's where Fuse has ran into trouble. Originally titled Overstrike, the game that would become Fuse was rebranded in August of last year. The game's slightly-cartoonish art style was tossed out with the title, in favor of a "more realistic" art direction; A choice that was met with derision from fans hoping to see something closer to Ratchet & Clank than Resistance. Still, Price doesn't seem worried.
"Everybody's approach and response at the very beginning of each of [our] franchises was to ask the same question: 'Is this IP going to do well? What's it all about? Boy, this is a risk to take,'" he said." And, in every case, we stayed focused and did the best we possibly could to build the right story, build gameplay that does something better than other games and that helps the franchise stand out in some way, and then we've continued to take each of those franchises in different directions because, for us, that's what we enjoy doing. So its really nice to look back at Resistance and Ratchet and say, 'Those franchises did well.' But, when we released the first games in each of those franchises - and I'll throw in Spyro as well - we had no idea what was going to happen. We really didn't. And that's both the exciting and scary part of being a new IP creator,"
Fuse is set for release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this May.
Source: Gamesindustry International