Electronic Arts is currently working on three to five new intellectual properties for next-generation platforms, according to comments from EA Labels president Frank Gibeau. Speaking to CVG, the executive explained that building new IP is the "lifeblood" of EA, but stopped short of confirming the publisher would definitely release these titles.
"Some of them might come to market, some of them might not," he said.
Gibeau explained that if EA were to release these new properties at present, they would not flourish, due to the late stage of the current console cycle. He said EA would receive favorable press for doing so, but it would be difficult to sell the requisite copies for the endeavor to prove worthwhile.
"Right now if I was coming out with a brand new IP that nobody had ever heard of, it would be very difficult to get the mindshare of gamers," he said. "You might get really good press for introducing a new IP, but to sell a couple of million units to break even on it at this point in the cycle…discretion's the better part of valour, to hold it a little bit so you get a whole new market refresh and reset."
Speaking generally about developing new franchises, Gibeau explained that EA has a responsibility to at least attempt to expand and diversify its software portfolio.
"It's an entertainment business. You have to surprise people and you have to take risks. If you don't, you die," he said. "So constantly trying to stay fresh from an entertainment standpoint is a difficult challenge. But it's something we try to do at EA and I think we have a better track record than most in being able to innovate and build franchises over time and introduce new ideas."
Regarding next-generation platforms, EA announced in May that it was investing $80 million in future console development in 2012, but did not elaborate further. During the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo last week, the publisher revealed that Mass Effect 3 was in development for Nintendo's next-generation platform, the Wii U.