Ex-Free Radical dev: Nobody makes money on FPS unless it's Call of Duty
Posted: 02.05.2012 23:45 by Comments: 7
According to former Free Radical co-founder Steve Ellis, publishers refuse to stray from the Call of Duty template, chiefly because "pretty much every first person shooter loses money". This is something the developer discovered when trying to get Timesplitters 4 backed.

Ellis related about that experience, "I spent the whole of 2008 going round talking to publishers trying to sign up Timesplitters 4. There just isn't the interest there in doing anything that tries to step away from the rules of the genre - no one wants to do something that's quirky and different, because it's too much of a risk. And a large part of that is the cost of doing it."

He then pointed at Crysis 2, which was essentially a financial flop.

"Nobody really buys any FPSes unless they're called Call Of Duty. I guess Battlefield did okay, but aside from that pretty much every FPS loses money. I mean, (look at) Crysis 2: great game, but there's no way it came anywhere close to recouping its dev costs," Ellis noted.

Ellis now has founded a new studio, Crash Lab, and has gotten away from big budget shooters. He is happy to work on another genre, because he believes the genre has stagnated.

"We’ve been through more than a couple of console generations and seen things grow and grow to a stage where it's not really the business we got into," he stated. "It's not really what we signed up for at the start. There's plenty of people coming out of university who are dying to do that, so let them find out what it's like and we'll do something different!"

Crash Labs current projects are a scrolling shooter and a puzzle game, both for iOS devices.
Source: Edge Online
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By Arrecoolast (SI Core) on May 03, 2012
Um, Crytek actually profited from Crysis 2 which means that the dev costs were covered by the sales income. Cevat Yerli stated that himself in an interview.
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on May 03, 2012
The guy worked on Crysis 2. He'd know if Crysis 2 made a profit or not.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on May 03, 2012
Crysis 2 was an average game at best, from what i've seen so far i'm sure Far Cry 2 will make money.
By Arrecoolast (SI Core) on May 03, 2012
Yeah, Jonah but remember that Cevat is the CEO of Crytek. I think he knows a bit more than this dev. :P
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on May 03, 2012
Cevat also has a stake in Crytek and doesn't want to lose investors.
By Arrecoolast (SI Core) on May 03, 2012
I still take his word over some dev. :P
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on May 04, 2012
...espacially one that jumped ship to a new employer... ;)
Words are easy to say - harder to live by - always take them with a grain of salt.. and pepper on the side if you can.