Games are more and more expensive to produce, and therefore logically see their price increase in stores. A situation that is unlikely to improve according to Shawn Layden, former president of PlayStation Worldwide Studios. He estimates that PS5 titles are expected to cost $ 200 million to produce soon.
Creating a video game is getting more and more expensive. We’re talking about AAA titles, the blockbusters that sell consoles. According to Shawn Layden, the former president of PlayStation Worldwide Studios who stepped down in 2019, this is not going to go smoothly, since he believes that PS5 exclusive titles will cost 200 million dollars to produce in the end, that’s as much as a big Hollywood movie.
It’s in Bloomberg columns that Layden gives his thoughts on the turn the video game industry is taking. It indicates that the cost of developing AAAs doubles with each change of generation. PS4 headlines, like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn or Uncharted 4 cost an average of $ 100 million to make. Future PS5 titles should therefore have a budget of $ 200 million. To give you an idea, it’s the equivalent of a movie like Star Wars Episode VII, Mulan or Tenet. Note also that the most expensive game in history is Red Dead Redemption 2 with an estimated budget of $ 800 million, but this is an exception.
PS5 games will cost more to produce
Mechanically, the purchase price of games goes up. We saw it on PS5, since the titles of the console took ten euros compared to the PS4. They now cost 80 euros. More than the price, this policy of always more has another consequence for Shawn Layden: studios are taking fewer and fewer risks. He believes that the variety in the market is going to disappear is that we are going to end up with three or four different types of games, no more.
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It’s hard to prove him wrong when you look at today’s market saturated with third-person action / adventure games, first person shooters and sports games. The goal is no longer to create original content, but graphically beautiful, edgy and which makes many people want to buy. The former boss of PlayStation Worlwide Studios is happy to point out that he is also somewhat responsible for the situation, given that he has allowed the rise of flagship titles like God of War PS4 or Horizon Zero Dawn.
However, all is not lost for video games – far from it. This observation only concerns blockbusters, but the independent game market remains a pot of ideas. In addition, the big manufacturers are betting more and more on this segment. Regarding Sony, many independent titles have been highlighted during virtual conferences in recent years. A win-win policy since it allows small studios to gain visibility and Sony to offer original things inexpensively.
Sony boss explains his departure
Shawn Layden left Sony without explanation in 2019. His appearance in Bloomberg is an opportunity for him to clarify his departure. While rumors of tension between him and Jim Ryan, president of SIE, have been circulating the net, he actually explains that he wanted to move on, that he no longer saw himself in this industry, which he describes as “young” compared to him.
He also saw that now was the right time to leave after overseeing a golden generation for the PS4, marked by great games. He just didn’t want to continue on that voice. Although he is no longer with Sony, his analysis is interesting and shows that the industry is making more and more money. Sony does not intend to release the development of AAA with the PS5. In fact, the State of Play on Thursday, September 9 should give us a detailed look at new titles, such as the sequel to God of War.