Has the new media explosion of recent years led to an ever increasing output in character based IPs? Does this have an effect on a character's shelf life? Does increased competition make it harder for characters to succeed? These questions were recently asked in our Linkedin group.
A Canadian character IP developer thought that an increase in output was not necessarily a bad thing. He said that competition is always good, because it keeps the relevant industries on their toes.
The European IP developer who asked the original question wondered how many characters the Western markets can actually bear. Given that Japan has a far greater character "density" than the West, he said he was also interested in the effect such proliferation might have on their longevity and success rates.
The Canadian character IP developer responded by saying that in the West we simply do not have the variety the Japanese market has to offer. He said that in Japan even many everyday things such as food, signage and events often have their own soft characters, for example. He therefore believes strongly that there are still many opportunities for characters in Western culture.
He went on to say that characters must resonate with the public. Once that connection has been made, they have a real chance to achieve true longevity, regardless of how much competition they face.
What do you think? Is there a limit to character proliferation, or is a character's ability to engage people the only thing that matters? Why not join the discussion and share your thoughts... here.