As part of the second part of the Gamasutra podcast on next-gen game development, which will go live later today, panelists including Brian Eddy of Midway Games (Stranglehold), Bethesda Software's Todd Howard (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion), and Evan Wells of Naughty Dog (Unnamed PS3 Title) discussed the range of issues facing developers and publishers, with a particular focus on the rising costs of games.
With regards to the high costs associated with next-gen development, and ways to pass this cost onto the consumer, Naughty Dog's Evan Wells noted that he does not believe that games have yet reached a point where they do not offer a good value for the price. "I think that compared to going out to see a movie, even at $60 a game, video games are a bargain. I think that for the time being a small increase is completely warranted", he commented.
However, Midway's Eddy, currently working on the Unreal Engine 3 title Stranglehold, disagreed, and commented that he thinks games are simply too expensive. "It's that quandary of 'the production costs are going up, so we have to charge more to get the money back', but I think it does remove some of the audience. And it removes more of the mass audience than the hardcore gamers. They can't simply afford that many games."
Eddy continued: "If I can buy two for $30, I may just buy those two for $30, even if they are not as good as the $60 game, because I feel like I am getting more value, and just more variety of gameplay. I think it affects sales. And the numbers and units that we can sell passed the hardcore gamers. "