Indie dev calls out "Mr. Business Suit Guy" after layoffs, new IP cancellation at God of War dev

Braid creator Jonathan Blow points out that every blockbuster series began as a new IP.

by

Indie developer Jonathan Blow, who created Braid, has called out "Mr. Business Suit Guy" after the recent round of layoffs at God of War developer Sony Santa Monica. Specifically, Blow took issue with how publisher executives think about new IPs, like the one reportedly canceled as part of the job cuts at the Sony-owned studio this week.

"Game publishers like to talk about how new IPs are scary and risky and usually not worth it... but this is clearly poor thinking, because every single megablockbuster franchise, that Mr. Business Suit Guy would rather put the money toward, was once a new IP," Blow said on Twitter.

"God of War was once a new IP. Call of Duty was once a new IP. etc," Blow added. "It is so obvious, how does Mr. Business Suit not see this? Maybe next time I meet Mr. Business Suit I will ask him to name an Old IP that was not once a New IP."

Little is known about Sony Santa Monica's new IP, which had been in development since 2010 before its reported cancellation this week. Importantly, we do not know the full situation surrounding the game's shutdown. Sony's official line is that the job cuts were the result of a "cycle of resource realignment against priority growth areas," but the company has not spoken publicly about the affected game.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

74 comments
AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

Well maybe the game was no good, but publishers are notoriously short sighted, even Sony.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I'd love to agree with the man, but I don't think it's as black and white as he makes it out to be. Yes Call of Duty and God of War were once brand new IPs,  but they were conceived and released in the time before the western economy went belly-up.

If you're going to preach to anyone about not releasing enough new IPs, there's more notable offenders than Sony.

Shouoken4Peace
Shouoken4Peace

Now that I think about it, what if "Mr. Business Suit Guy" is actually Agent 47? oh... my... god...

kazhooulte
kazhooulte

Sounds like 1st party games might start getting cut.. making it even more a lack of games for the PS4 because of "resource realignment". I wonder what PS4 owners will do about this..

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

I guess feminist aren't offended that he didn't mention Ms. Pant Suit Gal.  Only if she had been blamed instead of praised.

Bellum_Sacrum
Bellum_Sacrum

Jonathan Blows should focus more on making a new game than piggybacking on the popularity of THAT ONE GAME, and making holier than thou statements.

plaintomato
plaintomato

Isn't that the bad guy in that lego movie?

Barighm
Barighm

Remember, by the legal definition of the term, drawing a picture on a napkin and calling it concept art can be considered "development", so there is no telling exactly how much attention this new IP really got.

Butt_Chunx
Butt_Chunx

So is Mr. Business Suit guy anything like Corporate Commander?

Falconoffury
Falconoffury

Game development is in a depressing place right now. Studios are one failure away from closure. Sometimes they need to sell more than 4 million copies of a game in order to consider it a success. Meanwhile we have less than 5 person indie teams making digital games. The problem is that there is not much in between.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

A new game that was in the works since 2010 so about 4 years of work. So this untitled game was cancelled. Maybe it was for the best. Mr Business may have a good call. 


Hope the people laid off will find new work. They will be put to work on New IPs even if Mr Busines Suit doesn't approve 

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Let's see, a new IP that has been in development for four years without any announcements about it whatsoever.


That doesn't sound like a wonderful new IP everyone was deprived of - that sounds like a Duke Nukem Forever/Last Guardian situation.


Sony was very likely tired of wasting money on a game that wasn't working out.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

totally agree with him.i hope this isnt the ip barlog was working on

john_matrix_007
john_matrix_007

It was also "Mr. Business Suit Guy" who let Jonathan Blows onstage when Sony unveiled the PS4.

ollie_sr
ollie_sr

I agree with Jon. And I think Titanfall is in some ways a testament to this statement. 

gamerno66666
gamerno66666

Who cares more indie devs. And as these guys developed gow i think more quality indie games will come out.

jakesnakeel
jakesnakeel

Unfortunately Mr Indie Guy, most new IP fails, and developers, especially Indie Guys have proven that they are incapable of predicting which IP will succeed.  So Mr Business Suit needs to make big boy decisions.   

virtualskill
virtualskill

Well, I mean... It's common sense. New IPs are not really risky when done right. If they are actually GOOD, well-created ideas, they will always outshine a tired old sequel

StHapns247
StHapns247

And how many new IPs flopped and never turned into blockbusters?

Enter: Risk.

Dude thinks he's clever. If it wasn't for the money "Mr. Business Suit Guy" has successful new IPs would be ever rarer than they are now.

Vojtass
Vojtass

Coffee's for closers only.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

damn man, over 3 years into development, and canned?  Well that sucks!

ghost59
ghost59

new ip to AAA developer:  its to risky.  lets make a cod clone.

new ip to indie developer:  fuck it lets  do it. 

Talavaj
Talavaj

Mr.Indie Guy talking about things he has no clue about from his puny Indie Guy perspective. 

Being a Mr. Business Suit Guy carries a lot of responsibility, we aren't talking about a single unemployed indie dev who either makes money or does not with his attempt at gaming that took a bit off his monthly budget.

Some of these days I'm getting slightly fed up with indie devs who happened to luck out and land a hit and proceed to think they are some industry guru or something.

MadCat221
MadCat221

@Shadowdanc3r You are becoming what you behold: a hair-splitter over gender issues at the inane level.

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@Bellum_Sacrum Well, he is making a new game.  He's been doing so for some time now...  Don't look at the vid where GS editors play, they didn't call spoilers when I felt they should have.

tom2750
tom2750

@thissonicboom  Sony has always had the best reviewed, highest rated and most award winning (including game of the year award) exclusives especially compared to Microsoft so if you are going to talk shit about exclusives then Microsoft is who you should be talking about

Barighm
Barighm

@Falconoffury Actually, I would say game development is making a comeback with the new indie surge. For a while there mobiles were getting scary, but now we're seeing more and more great, high value indie games popping up on PC and sometimes the consoles due to Kickstarter and the like. It's AAA development that's starting to crap out.

kazhooulte
kazhooulte

@Thanatos2k  But look at Evolve, and a lot of other games for the Xbox One and PS4, they have been in development since about that same time.. and we just heard about these games last year. 

However, I do agree, whatever this game was at Santa Monica, should have been announced by now.. it sounds like a lack of 'hard working' on the devs part, which resulted in their game losing its publisher funding.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@Thanatos2k Yup.  I new IP doesn't mean good IP.  


We are all so starving for good new IP that we're heartbroken whenever any new IP that has a smidgen's chance of being good bites it.  But you're right.  The good stuff gets pushed to the front most times.  


It's also kind of hypocritical that we can berate a game for adding multiplayer and, thus, taking "resources" away from the single player (which is usually BS), but when a studio cans a whole game to put resources behind another, probably better game, we whine. 

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@virtualskill Critically, yes.  Commercially, no.  What wins Oscars?  Movies that aren't sequels.  What are, on average, the biggest grossing movies?  Sequels. 

_Silent_Jay_
_Silent_Jay_

@ghost59 No.

New IP to AAA developer:  Awesome.
New IP to indie developer: Awesome.

New IP to AAA publisher: Too Risky.

Also, there are a crap load less CoD clones than there are indie Super Mario and/or Metroidvania clones.  The 2D side scrolling platformer is the zombie movie of video games.  Hell, there are a lot less CoD clones than there are JRPGs.  If you want to see a genre that cranks out nearly identical games with almost no innovation, look at the Dynasty Warriors series and its clones.  Japan's been the home of risk adverse developement for a generation now, and that's largely due to the nature of how Japanese corporations work.

blackothh
blackothh

@Talavaj If it were not for "Mr.Indie Guy" I would not be playing video games anymore. The mainstream market is so diluted with shitty games that its sad to think how low the video game industry has gotten. Its also sickening to see what the majority of gamers accept as good games when they are really getting turned around, bent over and getting an unpleasant ramming. But hey what you dont know dont hurt you right?

DIGN
DIGN

@Talavaj  ... No ... Just no.


Either you're a fail troll or retarded. Pick one.... you know what I'll make it easy for you seeing as both options are tantalizingly hard for you to select. I pick "You're an retarded", there, I hope that wasn't hard for you.

unreal101
unreal101

@flyincloud1116 The PS4 has 50% more beans than the X1. Irrefutable proof that something something something.

Guest1001
Guest1001

@Barighm No, the point is, like Falconoffury said, there's nothing in-between. There are games that were available on the PS1 and PS2 that we'll never see the likes of again just because developers go for one of two models; big-budget AAA games that follow an annoyingly rigid formula in order to try and succeed (grit, regenerating health, cover systems, boring protagonists, multiplayer, no unlockables) while indie games being incredibly artsy and retro has become a complete stereotype.

Varied games are dead. Entire genres have been whittled down to samey, homogenous crap.

C_A_G_E
C_A_G_E

@kazhooulte @Thanatos2k  Lets see a system launch with a first party IP in the works for 3-4 years and no mention over 3-5 press events....


Sounds like something wasn't shaping up right. 


sorry for all that lost their jobs and hope they recover quickly.  

Guest1001
Guest1001

@_Silent_Jay_ "The 2D side scrolling platformer is the zombie movie of video games."

In the eighties and nineties, sure. Now though? A few indie developers have made retro-inspired 2D side-scrolling platformers but they're all different enough to be unique, whereas -- and I don't want to sound like a CoD hater because I don't care about it one way or the other -- CoD's "grey, gritty, military realism" fingers are felt in practically every modern-day shooting game.


"Hell, there are a lot less CoD clones than there are JRPGs."

But JRPGs are all vastly different. The same can't be said for each new iteration of CoD and its clones.

DIGN
DIGN

@_Silent_Jay_ @ghost59  Woah woah woah. Let's not push our luck. Dynasty Warriors is a fun game. Sure it doesn't change much, but it's still good to play. Especially with friends & family. Dynasty Warrior clones are good if done right. 

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam was great

Bleach: Soul Ressurection was fun

Zelda: Hyrulian Warrios looks good


The Dynasty Warriors dynamic is copied so much because it works so well with Anime.

cavs25
cavs25

@DIGN @Talavaj  Instead of insulting him do you care to back up your "No" with an argument. Oh no that's right, people just claim things and act like they are facts. 



pboontap
pboontap

@Guest1001 @Barighm  i agree sir. looking back at it there were so many games i played, and enjoyed, that won't be made anymore and i don't like it. i'm not saying they were all great but i had fun playing them. metal arms for the first xbox comes to mind, as does jade empire. neither of those games gets green-lit today.