Eidos life president Ian Livingstone reckons publishers will need to go big this year or be forced to go home, as there is "no room for mediocrity" at the table.
"A lot of titles have already hit the shelves and there is a deluge planned for Christmas, but I think 2009 will be remembered as the year of 'roast duck or no dinner'," he told GamesIndustry.biz. "Big-ticket titles continue to sell well but many of the smaller titles will probably disappoint their owners."
"There's a glut of product and in a discerning market there is no room for mediocrity. To make a suboptimal game with a suboptimal marketing spend is a recipe for disaster.
"I think we'll continue to see more production resources going into fewer titles supported by even bigger marketing budgets. Publishers are continuing to raise the investment bar, ensuring the mega-franchises will rule," he added.
His claims are supported by a brand-heavy autumn schedule, featuring the likes of Modern Warfare 2, Assassin's Creed 2, FIFA 10, BioShock 2, and Splinter Cell: Conviction, not to mention eagerly-followed games like Red Dead Redemption, Alan Wake and Heavy Rain.
Eidos, for its own part, has Batman: Arkham Asylum down for August, Championship Manager 2010 and Mini Ninjas poised for September and Just Cause 2 for Q3. There's no Tomb Raider this year, however.
Square Enix took control of Eidos earlier this year, a move Livingstone feels British developers are being forced into by lack of government support.
"It's a classic case of British industry, where we don't realise what we've got until it's gone. The UK is incredible at creating world-beating IP but not particularly good at retaining ownership of it," he said.
"Take a look at who owns all the major UK-created franchises and play spot the Brit!"