Cost headache for game developers

BBC News, Thursday, 27 December 2007 - by Yo Takatsuki:

Next-generation consoles have wowed gamers with breathtaking graphics, surround sound and stunning gameplay since coming on to the market in the past year.

Cutting-edge video games might be a dream come true for consumers around the world, but for many companies developing them, it's been a nightmare.

The movie-like productions on Sony's Playstation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 games have meant that the cost of producing them has risen sharply.

Back in 1982, the Japanese company Namco produced Pacman for $100,000. Now, the average Playstation 3 title is estimated to cost $15 million.

With profit margins so tight, the line between survival and failure can rest on the sales from just one Christmas. The fear is that many companies will simply not survive the festive period.

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felman874045d ago

probably the biggest reason why we won't see an Xbox 720 or PS4 in 5 years.

Real Gambler4044d ago

It cost the same to make a game for the PC or a console. On the other side, they don't make much money of PC game because they are easy to get for "free", and today's trend is that you need a $2000 box to run them. On the other side, they are getting better and better at preventing piracy on consoles. The PS3 is still doing good, and some guys paid dearly for modifying their 360.

Back to the article... Entertainment cost is booming everywhere. It's the cost of doing business. New movies cost have been through the roof. The game industry is not the only one facing that problem. But you can still make some great movies with small budget, and great games as well (look at Everyday Shooter as an example).

Far are the days where you could make a pacman with "sprites" needing no graphic artists, and only a handull of programmers. Doesn't mean the movie or game industry is going down the drain tomorrow though!

BrianC62344044d ago

I'm fed up with these crybabies. Who cares? So go do something else then. Or keep making PS2 games. That's the way things are. Nobody says these people have to make games.

Bleucrunch4044d ago

So true Brian if your concerned about the money then make ps2 games and shut the hell up.

Lord_Mike4044d ago

They complain and yet they drive ferrari's and lambo's. It's business and that's how it will always be. Also game costs spike $10/20% that should help with the cost.

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Captain Tuttle4044d ago (Edited 4044d ago )

The rising cost of development is the 900 pound gorilla in the room for the industry. I think we'll see even MORE middleware companies springing up and probably less creativity across the board, if that's even possible. Expect more EA type "gaming factories" cranking out mediocre product. Either that or the introduction of the $80-$100 game.

DrWan4044d ago

$100,000 to make Pacman? that seems a bit high..considering it is 1980s as well.

name4044d ago

Sony cut the dev costs down, to around 4 million now. Which is still alot, but at least its not 15 million. lol Perhaps the indie devs can make a bit of cash by producing some psn games. I mean media molucule made ragdoll kung fu and now they're making a huge game like little big planet.

LinuxGuru4044d ago

Go back into your hole, Mart.

Liquid Ocelot4044d ago (Edited 4044d ago )

I think this is what name was talking about
i couldn't find the article that was posted here so i hope these links will do.

Martini4044d ago

I would thing a $10K dev kit is the last of your worries if you are thinking about making a game for PS3...

AAACE54044d ago

Even if sony really did cut the development cost down to 4 million, it doesn't mean anything if consumers aren't buying the games! Especially for a company like Sony, who built their whole reputation on having the most games on their system!

MS and Sony are in the same boat with these systems. They really need to push the games hard. Also, the low(4 million) priced game is probably a game you don't even bother to look at, while the high priced, high profile games like Gears, Uncharted, Halo, Lair, Assassin's Creed, etc. are the games that people spend the most money on.

This is why a lot of developers are merging together. They are working together in order to figure out how to make the games better, and to share the cost with the publisher.

You guys really don't know what you're saying do you? If those developers stick with making ps2 games, it would be bad for these new consoles. How would you feel if all the ps3 or 360 would get is 10 games a year? At this time, all it takes is for a developer to make 1 flop, and they have to close their doors. And then there's fewer games to buy for your next-gen system.

The videogame industry is in a fragile state. It has entered a new playgroung, where the normal rules really don't apply! You will see more mergers, and more studios closing their doors over the next two years because of this!

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Jinxstar4044d ago

Everyone wants to be the Alpha Dog. There is only 1 at a time. Be it Ubi soft, Infinity Ward, Rare, Bungie, Insomniac or Naughty Dog... They all make money and seem to do well. Its the cop outs that lose in the end IMHO... The game industry evolves in so many ways all the time. Its pretty chaotic to say the least... Great games bomb while crap games take the prize... It's a big game of Russian roulette sometimes. Commercializing and going above and beyond still count but... Not as much as it used to it seems... I could be way off but this is how I see it.

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