- Oct 24, 2008
Isn't this a bit of a catch-22 for the title and the audience?
Its as you said before, in how Nintendoand SE can be contrasted with FE:if and BSecond, and the building or lack there of of consumer confidence in your product. The narrative of a budget sequel to a game you may have like but had some quips with... is a gun shot to the knee right out of the gate on potential.
I don't think it's a good strategy overall.
If you look at how Level 5 or Western publishers handle new IPs, they invest a whole a lot up front and then keep investing.
Assassin's Creed was the fastest selling new IP for the entirety of last generation. They spent a fortune on the first game, and then an even bigger fortune on the second.
This generation, the two biggest new IPs (they argue over who is faster selling) are Watch Dogs and Destiny. Those games were incredibly expensive up front as well.
At minimum, I would ramp up spending immediately after the first game if I wanted the best chance of creating new, long lasting IPs with less budgetary risk.
If we look at what happened with Borderlands or The Witcher, games from developers who didn't have a ton of money to work with, they spent way more on the direct sequels to the games because they knew it was the right decision long term, and it has paid off incredibly well for them in the long term.
There is still opportunity to go back and revive a franchise anyway. Taking Dragon Age as an example, Dragon Age 2's sales tanked compared to the first game, but after investing $50+ million in Dragon Age 3, it became BioWare's fastest selling game ever by unit numbers and EA cited it about eight times in their financial report to explain why they were notably over expectations. However, given the risk aversion of this strategy in the first place, I wouldn't expect Square Enix to do something similar.