Marcus Andrews: "We had no idea it was going to be this big" is something you often hear from developers behind massive hits. Hits -- excluding sequels -- often come from nowhere. They're completely unpredictable and utterly surprising.
Take, for instance, SimCity, The Sims, Pokémon, Tetris, Grand Theft Auto, and Counter-Strike. The probable causes of these hits are brilliant developers, hard work, timing and some luck. Unfortunately, I wouldn't know, really; therefore, this article is not about those games -- as much as it is about the process of actively trying to conceive the next big thing.
While I haven't yet been a part of fully launching a huge new IP, this article builds upon the seven months I worked at the IP development team at EA DICE where we came reasonably close to doing just that.
This article is about how to deliver under creative pressure, finding inspiration and developing it to attractive IPs and communicating them to executives - over and over again.
While at the IP team I developed 31 IPs over a period of seven months.