The last year was a big one for Sony. The PS5 released in November and introduced fans to next-gen gaming. Along with the console’s powerful new hardware came a new line of games ready to take advantage of the improvements to performance. PS5 games such as Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Spider-Man: Miles Morales utilized ray-tracing, a feature not seen on previous generations of consoles. However, some worry that as games from companies like PlayStation continue to raise the bar in regards to visuals, the cost to make those games are spiraling out of control.
Recently, the former Sony executive Shawn Layden had some cautionary words for video game companies. According to Layden, the video game industry is heading in an unsustainable direction. At the root of this unsustainability are production costs for games, claiming that with each console generation the cost of making a game doubles. Drawing from his previous work experience at PlayStation, Layden noted that the budgets for the PlayStation 4 projects he worked on exceeded $100 million.
After diagnosing what he believed to be one of the major problems with video game development, Layden went on to provide his prognosis for the industry. He estimated that the budgets of some PS5 games would exceed $200 million and predicted that the problem would only continue to get worse. “If we can’t stop the cost curve from going up, all we can do is try to de-risk it,” he said.
According to Layden, as the cost to produce games increase, the variety of games in the industry decreases as a result. He noted that this is what leads to the continuing installments in the Madden and Call of Duty series. “Every publisher is chasing the latest billion-dollar trends, from Candy Crush to Fortnite to Roblox,” he said. Unfortunately, as companies rush to emulate the success found by other titles, this often leaves gamers with a lack of variety on the market.
While the former executive of PlayStation warns about the dangers of increasing production costs, Sony is preparing to reveal some of its big budget titles at the PlayStation Showcase 2021. Scheduled for September 9, this event is a huge deal for PlayStation fans. Gamers could receive more details on a number of games releasing in the near future such as Deathloop and Horizon Forbidden West, while it’s a possibility that news about the next God of War game could be revealed as well.
It will be interesting to see if the video game industry listens to Shawn Layden’s words of warning regarding video game production costs. While smaller developers have proven that games with small budgets can be financial successes, it seems that Layden thinks the industry is trending in the other direction.
Web Source: Game Rant – Feed