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EA scoff at James Bond videogame licence costs, mock Activision

29-Nov-2010 • Gaming

Electronic Arts has no desire to return to the games-film licensing business that it once made a fortune from, a key exec at the firm has said.

EA Games label president Frank Gibeau told Develop that film licence-based games, such as James Bond and Lord of the Rings, no longer deliver attractive margins for publishers.

“If you want to make a hit, you have to give a game time to get to quality,” he said.

“The days of licensed-based, 75-rated games copies are dead like the dinosaur.”

In an interview with Develop, published today, Gibeau was asked whether the firm was at all interested in returning to license-based game publishing – the kind of which it had released in droves over the last fifteen years.

“No, absolutely not,” he said. “We dumped that licence because we felt like we needed to own more intellectual property, and we don’t like where James Bond is going with all the creative limitations on it.

“The percentage royalties you have to pay the licensors are going the wrong way for publishers. The margins are being squeezed. And, to top it all off, the movie-game business is falling apart.

“Considering the total amount of money we have to spend on those types of James Bond games, and the total amount of man-hours we had to put into them, we thought; hell, let’s work on our own IP. The guys who made James Bond games for us, well yeah, they went on and made Dead Space.

“And look where we are now; what would you rather publish, retail and play – the latest James Bond or Dead Space 2?”

MI6 note: Activision shuttered their studio Bizarre Creations immediately following the release of "James Bond: Blood Stone" which failed to impress critics or consumers.

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