CRank: 9Score: 0

PS4 doomed to have only few games? Worrying trend

PlayStation has a library of 2,418 games and PS2 had 3870 games. It took $5-$10 million to develop a PS2 game versus $0.8 million-$1.7 million for the original PlayStation [source: sciencedirect] . In June 2009 Ubisoft reiterated that major titles for PS3/X360 cost $20-$30 million to make and that games for the next-generation may exceed $60 million [source:edge-online].

It is common sense that there is a direct correlation between game costs and games made. It cost 2.5 times as much to make a PS3 game than a PS2 on average. Similarly we can see the consequence of this reflected in the graphs below since 4 times less games have been made for PS3 than PS2.

If it will cost twice as much to make a PS4 game than a PS3 according to Ubisoft, then following the same logic I expect about 2 times less PS4 games to be made than PS3, here is why (based on extrapolation), though other factors such as install base is considered.

Worrying trend? Rainbow Six Vegas for example has this budget breakdown: 30% - Programming. 20% - Art. 15% - Design. 10% - Marketing. 8% - Testing. 7% - Sound. 7% - Animation. 2% - Management. 1% - Other. This gen art, design & animation will cost much more

One certainty though is that the higher the install base the more the games will be made and then development cost becomes less relevant. Which is evident with the PS1 vs PS2. So even with higher development costs for PS2 than PS1, still more PS2 games were made since 50 million more PS2's were sold. Hence Sony can solve this potential problem by selling more PS4's, but i doubt the PS4 will sell that much higher than the PS2.

To conclude, if the PS4 does have only 400 games. Gamers must ask themselves, is better graphics worth exchange for less games? One may say quality over quantity, but there is also evidence that even the length it takes to complete games is decreasing as well, they are becoming shorter (I will leave that for another post).

The story is too old to be commented.
SilentNegotiator1663d ago

Not worried. Things will even out as indies show big AAA publishers how it's done. Plenty of great looking games without massive budgets.

thereapersson1663d ago

Agreed, I think the indie push that Sony is banking on will make up for the lower numbers of big-budget titles from the larger studios. Some of the best games last gen were indie games, and most of the titles that were on the PS2 / PSone could pass as indie games today. With the tech we have in the PS4, anything is possible.

1661d ago
mp12891659d ago

I own about 20 ps3 games. That a lot, but honestly im still missing a lot of big titles. Sometimes I even worried that Sony oversaturated the console, because even if the games are good we cant buy them all. So no, im not worried about there being few titles on the ps4 because there won't be.

Ranma11663d ago (Edited 1663d ago )

Also in this list I did not include indie games.

Of course more games is better I think because of more competition and choice.

The only way I see sony addressing this issue is selling more PS4's than PS2's.

As is evident, even though PS2 cost more, it still had more games than PS1 but thats because PS2 had 50 million higher install base

SilentNegotiator1663d ago

What we need is variety. Everyone is trying to make the next best shooter or F2P MMO and it isn't working.

One of the 7th gen's best sellers was Minecraft. That game is nothing like a shooter and yet big publishers are still convinced that the only means of doing well is with a DRM-ready, multiplayer-equipped game.

Ranma11663d ago


Minecraft is an excellent example. Its also on 360. But doesn't it seem like people have bigger expectations for PS4 & PS3 games than mine craft graphics.

And peoples expectation is the main issue why those type of games with less attention on the graphics do not get made for consoles?

Is it peoples expectation or developers assumed expectations of what people want? I am not sure, whats your opinion?

SilentNegotiator1663d ago

There's nothing wrong with 50 million dollar megablockbusters and people are going to demand the best from those, which is why there's an early emphasis on what the 8th gen consoles are capable of.

Like I said, it's about variety. Between those megablockbusters, there's plenty of room for unique middleware and low budget games.

Ps4Console1662d ago (Edited 1662d ago )

Yeah but you don't want just Indie if you wanted just Indie games then why upgrade to a Ps4 should have just stayed with PS3 .

SilentNegotiator1662d ago

First of all, no one said anything about "just" indie games. Second, indie games don't automatically mean weak graphics, so no, even if a person wanted just indie games, that doesn't mean they would never need bother to upgrade.

mattdillahunty1662d ago

another thing that plagued last gen (and looks to plague this gen as well) is the abundance of sequels. since games to cost much more to make nowadays, developers and publishers need to go with what works, and making a sequel to a hit game is far less financially risky than a brand new IP (unless it's a 100% awesome studio like Naughty Dog or Valve).

it really sucks, because i'm getting tired of every other damn game nowadays being a sequel. just because a game is awesome doesn't mean i need to play another version of it...and another...and another. but if people keep buying them, then they'll keep making them.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1662d ago
Hitman07691662d ago

I agree with Silent Negotiator on this.

Godmars2901663d ago

How doesn't this apply to the XB1 as well if not more so? Given that MS *still* doesn't have proven 1st party support, relies more on 3rd, and where even forced to restructure how they deal with indie studios after burning a lot of bridges.

Think you've only shown that focusing on AAA gaming was an overall bad idea. What console need to do is return back towards middleware production, which apparently ran over to PC.

Ps4Console1662d ago

Why do we have a new console then ?

Hitman07691662d ago

Microsoft is publishing Zoo Tycoon, Quantum Break, Powerstar Golf, Killer Instinct, Loco Cycle, RYSE, Forza 5, Xbox Fitness, Project Spark, Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood, Kinect Sports Rivals, Halo: Spartan Assault, Below, D4, Fable Legends, Minecraft: Xbox ONE Edition, Sunset Overdrive, and Halo 5. (All announced and confirmed). These may not be 1st party developed, but I think it's safe to say Xbox ONE has games, and whether or not we like them or consider them valid "proven" support is an entirely different debate my good friend.

nosferatuzodd1661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

Same can be said Sony has 13 studio each has 2 teams working on game and to say ps3 has less game is just stupid if ps 3 has less games how comes it still has way more exclusive than Xbox 360 you guys kinder forget about the gaming company you're criticizing this is Sony we"re talking about you're argument is invalid

Hitman07691661d ago

@nosferatuzodd I never criticized Sony. I love the fact they actually own many studios and develop tons of 1st party stuff and are intimately involved. I was simply stating the reality of MS having games they publish.

MidnytRain1662d ago

Lol, what does MS have to do with this?

Godmars2901661d ago (Edited 1661d ago )

May as well ask what the game gen has to do with this. If you're talking about AAA games bolstered and bloated by indie titles, you might as well be talking about PC gaming as well.

BitbyDeath1663d ago

Wouldn't it cost less since a lot less time will be spent making the games?

Time is money and all that.

Ranma11663d ago (Edited 1663d ago )

Please explain this. What is this?

p.s ubisoft says: "PS3/X360 cost $20-$30 million to make and that games for the next-generation may exceed $60 million [source:edge-online]"

BitbyDeath1663d ago

Here's a quote, this isn't just ports as can be seen below-

"Cerny cited a concept he called "time-to-triangle," which he described as the time required to code graphical systems at a level the hardware's capable of, essentially analogous to how long it takes to create the base for games that match the hardware's graphical power."

Pandamobile1663d ago

Time to triangle is a horrible metric for gauging development time.

Yeah, it's easier to get going for the first time on PS4 than it was on PS3, but that's a one time fixed unit of time that never really occurs after the first few months of the console cycle.

Fairchild Channel F1663d ago

The leap from PS2 to PS3 was substantial. Online was new. HD was new, etc. The leap from PS3 to PS4 however is not. If a company is doubling their design costs (in this case Ubisoft as the example) then they're doing it wrong. They're mismanaging money.

Nicaragua1663d ago

Exactly, I cannot believe it costs 20 - 30 mill to recycle Assassins Creed every year they have had the same core engine since the first game.

ProjectVulcan1663d ago (Edited 1663d ago )

I read the studio of 500+ people working on a single AC.

Just to put it in simple terms, 500 full time people on an average of 30k a year is 15 million a year in wages alone.

It's not just tooling that has had a huge increase in costs for developers, but the size of studios needed to turn out a single high profile game every year or every two years has swollen hugely.

Big playstation/N64 late era titles were often made with just 20-30 people working on them. Super Mario 64? About 15 people. Most major studios these days have 100+ working on a single title.

Nicaragua1663d ago

Again if it is taking Ubisoft 500 staff to churn out each Assassins creed then they are doing something very wrong.

By contrast The Last Of Us was made by a team of around 50 people and that was a brand new IP.

Bladesfist1662d ago (Edited 1662d ago )

The average wage for a game dev is $80k a year so the costs are much much higher.

Tontus1662d ago

@Nicaragua lol! Who the hell told you that only 50 devs worked on TLoU? That's not close to the truth. There's 500 employees at Naughty Dog and two teams, assuming they're equal sized teams then that's 230+ on TLoU and 230+ and the rest form the ICE Team.

Not to mention that Assassin's Creed games are released yearly which totally justifies the 500 strong team, TLoU took 3.5 years to create, 4 AC games released during that time. How are they doing something really wrong?

Nicaragua1662d ago


I got that figure from this interview with the founders of Naughty Dog which I think has a bit more credibility than the assumption you just pulled out of your ass.

CrossingEden1661d ago

Um, no they haven't had the same core engine from the first game. Did you just avoid all of the information about the anvil next engine? You know, that AC engine which was built from the ground up for AC3 and 4 -_-

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1661d ago
Ps4Console1662d ago (Edited 1662d ago )

Online wasn't new where did you get that from online started with the sega Megadrive lol with it's new add on's , then the Pc & DreamCast & the original Xbox .

Fairchild Channel F1662d ago

Yes online was around in some limited fashion on some consoles and of course it was around on PC for quite a long time. But the discussion is why games are costing so much more to make. Most game companies that were developing games predominantly for consoles back in 2000 when the PS2 launched were not putting an online component into their games. They did not have the employes or the infrastructure on a company level to do so. How many games by Insominac had multiplayer on PS2? Naughty Dog? Capcom? Konami? Ubisoft? Square? Now look at today. They all have online play in nearly all their released games. That means more development time and more employees. That means more money. So for them, online was very much a new thing they had to address as companies.

AtomicGerbil1663d ago (Edited 1663d ago )

Apart from licencing, development costs for the PS4 and Xbox One should be no different than for PC as of now. So how can development costs jump so substantially? Simple, publishers claim higher costs so they can charge higher prices. Don't fall for the lies.

-Gespenst-1663d ago

Hmmm yeah you might be right about that. Although when thinking about development costs, you also have to factor in payment to all the big name voice actors (well, Troy Baker and Nolan North), as well as general higher standards in production technology. Music for instance - a lot of games rely on live instruments and hiring musicians and studio time and whatnot. I'd also imagine that all the technology available for making the games is probably more expensive, as are the wages for developers working for triple-A companies - videogames are an expensive industry these days.

Show all comments (60)
The story is too old to be commented.