In the last two generations of consoles, AAA games have been getting bigger and longer. Live content, event content and expansions should bind players to the game in the long term. However, in recent years, there has also been an increasing focus on open-world games such as “Red Dead Redemption 2”, “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey”, “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”, which have over 100 from scratch Busy hours.
In order to put such games on their feet, gigantic developer studios, a huge budget and above all a sacrifice of the employees are required when the always harshly criticized crunch times of development are due. Production costs increase with each console generation, as better graphics and more details also require more work.
Costs could explode further
At the Gamelab live conference spoke former PlayStation president Shawn Layden on the potential cost of AAA games on next-gen consoles. So far, between $ 80 million and $ 150 million have been required to produce, with Layden assuming a further increase in costs. For this reason, Layden would like to see the AAA titles again, which offer 12 to 15 hours of play.
“It is difficult for any adventure game to target 50 to 60 hours of gameplay because it is so much more expensive to achieve. And in the end, you could exclude some interesting creators and their stories from the market if that’s the brand they need to achieve … we have to rethink that, ”said Layden. “Is there any other answer? Instead of using five years to create an 80 hour game, the question is what a three year and 15 hour game could look like. How much would it cost? Is it a full experience? “
As a long-established gamer, Layden would prefer the shorter AAA games because he would primarily complete more games. He also compares it to well-compiled literature or a film that offers more streamlined and appealing content.
On the subject
However, Layden also sees a controversial issue between the further increase in production costs and the price of a new game. After all, today you still pay 70 euros or 60 dollars for a new publication.
“It’s been $ 59.99 since I got into this business, but the cost of games has increased ten-fold since then. If you don’t have elasticity at the price point but there are some huge inconsistencies at the cost point, this model becomes very difficult. I think this generation will see these two imperatives collide, ”Layden concluded.
It will have to be seen how the industry will develop in the next few years.
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