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Free Radical Co-Founder Says Almost All First-Person Shooters Lose Money

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Posted on May 2, 2012 AT 05:04pm

During a recent interview, Steve Ellis—creator of the multiplayer component of GoldenEye for the N64, and programmer for the Timesplitters series—said that “pretty much every FPS loses money.”

The quote came from an interview with UK publication Edge, where Ellis painted a dire picture of the first-person shooter market.

“Nobody really buys any FPSes unless they’re called Call Of Duty,” Ellis told Edge. “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.”

Seems like a very bold statement from Ellis, and it’s a little hard to believe. Look at all of the FPS releases out there—would developers and publishers continue to make them if 99% of them lost money?

There could be just cause for Ellis’ downer attitude toward the genre, however—the problem Free Radical Software had in trying to find a publisher interested in picking up Timesplitters 4.

“I spent the whole of 2008 going round talking to publishers trying to sign up Timesplitters 4,” Ellis said when talked to Edge. “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.”

For Edge’s full conversation with Free Radical Software’s Steve Ellis, hit the link below.

Source: Edge Online

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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