Production cost for game development doubles with each generation jump
Whenever there is a leap in technology between generations of consoles, developers use more improved techniques to bring games to life and consequently bring graphics increasingly neat and also more realistic.
But for everything there is a price, and it was at this point that the former Sony executive Shawn Layden entered an interview he granted to the Bloomberg. Layden spent 32 years of his life working at the Japanese company and has toured several positions of respect, his résumé includes vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America and his last position was president of Sony Worldwide Studios before leaving the company in 2019.
In the interview, layden reported that with each new generation of consoles that arrives in players’ homes the price for producing new games doubles, he still claims that on the PlayStation 4 generation the average cost to produce a Sony AAA title was around $100 million, and fears that the price for production on PlayStation 5 averages 200 million dollars.
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All of this represents the price of new production resources, the former president says that this can be harmful to innovation, as there is no way to prevent prices from rising, it is often necessary to choose which games will receive the injection of money for them to be produced, mainly affecting those games that do not yet have a relevance in the gaming market or that bring some doubt about the financial return they can provide.
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Many titles end up having an ever-increasing hiatus to receive a sequel, when the company revives the franchise. At Sony we have cases of series like killzone, infamous, resistance, Twisted Metal among many others that have not received new titles for many years, leaving only the rumors and hope for new games.
The increase in production also reflects the price consumers pay for games, in the past generation AAA titles cost 60 dollars in the US and have jumped to 70 dollars on the Playstation 5, in Brazil games used to be between 250-280 reais on the PS4 generation and today they are released for R$350 as is the case with Forbidden West horizon which went on pre-order recently.
What do you think about the cost of production and everything that affects the industry? Share your opinion in the comments.
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