Call of Duty template, chiefly because "pretty much every first person shooter loses money". This is something the developer discovered when trying to get Timesplitters 4 backed.
Ellis related about that experience, "I spent the whole of 2008 going round talking to publishers trying to sign up Timesplitters 4. 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."
He then pointed at Crysis 2, which was essentially a financial flop.
"Nobody really buys any FPSes unless they're called Call Of Duty. 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," Ellis noted.
Ellis now has founded a new studio, Crash Lab, and has gotten away from big budget shooters. He is happy to work on another genre, because he believes the genre has stagnated.
"We’ve been through more than a couple of console generations and seen things grow and grow to a stage where it's not really the business we got into," he stated. "It's not really what we signed up for at the start. There's plenty of people coming out of university who are dying to do that, so let them find out what it's like and we'll do something different!"
Crash Labs current projects are a scrolling shooter and a puzzle game, both for iOS devices.