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Business Ex-PlayStation boss predicts Sony's PS5 games will cost $200m to make, "3 to 4 game types continue to exist and variety is squeezed out"

JerryinSoCal

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How is this any different than what went on under Shawn Layden in the PS3/4 days?

We've been getting the same "type" of games for a very long time. It's just now those games are even more expensive to make, but also of much higher quality, and sell a lot more.

I don't think the AA-tier games are being abandoned. Sony is making things like Returnal / Kena on a tighter budget
I think he's wrong, I doubt budgets are going to hit $200 million for most games and Sony is still making smaller titles as well.
 

JerryinSoCal

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I've heard people say Halo Infinite is the most expensive game ever, and I've heard people say that Xbox only makes double A games now.
People say that because the head of xbox game studios said that they would focus more on high end AA content for game pass. Halo is a big investment up front but it's going to be a service game that sticks around for a long time so they can try to monetize it on the backend through microtransactions etc. Most of the studios MS bought were AA level studios to begin with.
 
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What makes you think that they aren't working on original PS5 games?
No I'm sure they have something planned. Just that we won't be seeing anything from them for years. Instead they're doing remake of a PS4 game and likely Last Of Us 2 multiplayer. I'm always excited to see what they come up with with new hardware. For once it would've been nice if they had been working on a new IP and launched in 2nd or 3rd year of the new gen.
I'm also aware that they've done this with PS3 to PS4 transition as well. Remake old ass game on new hardware and then launch with next gen only title.
Oh well. I'm just impatient I guess...but it still pisses me off lol.

I think it makes sense. Naughty Dog likely produce some of Sony's most expensive games. Their last title, TLOUII, did well critically, but for such a massive budget title, their earlier games like the Uncharted titles easily eclipsed it in terms of sales. If you want them to continue to throw such big budgets at such divisive titles, they'll need a way to recoup that cost. It'll take them five or six years to do their next original game - they need something to sell in that time. It's like that gag from 'Jay and Silent Bob': "You gotta do the safe picture. Then you can do the art picture." I suspect a standalone multiplayer title is about re-using the TLOUII engine for another title to offset their engine development costs, and to generate a recurring revenue stream that would help them justify spending $200m on another title that half their fans might not like. TLOU remake is likely just to ride the upcoming TV Show and make some easy money.
Good post. Didn't look at it that way.
 
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Stooky

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From experience of working on some these titles he’s right. AAA Game production looks more like making a animated film/ live action efx heavy summer movie. This shit cost. Cant really compare it to previous gens because the quality bar is so much higher.
 
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vaibhavpisal

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If the AAA business fails everything goes GAAS. That is absolute aids.

GAAS is even bigger money sink than AAA games.

It will die before AAA games would. No small company can afford to make Destiny 2 or even Halo 5.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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GAAS is even bigger money sink than AAA games.

It will die before AAA games would. No small company can afford to make Destiny 2 or even Halo 5.

The majority of GAAS games start out as AA. They hit big, and the company grows organically to support it.
 

Pull n Pray

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People say that because the head of xbox game studios said that they would focus more on high end AA content for game pass. Halo is a big investment up front but it's going to be a service game that sticks around for a long time so they can try to monetize it on the backend through microtransactions etc. Most of the studios MS bought were AA level studios to begin with.
Fanboys like to twist Matt Booty's words into saying that Xbox will focus less on big budget games. He was speaking specifically about smaller studios they had recently acquired (Double Fine, Ninja Theory), and how their games would fit perfectly in between Xbox's bigger triple A releases.
 

MonarchJT

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People say that because the head of xbox game studios said that they would focus more on high end AA content for game pass. Halo is a big investment up front but it's going to be a service game that sticks around for a long time so they can try to monetize it on the backend through microtransactions etc. Most of the studios MS bought were AA level studios to begin with.
Bethesda AA?..playground AA? coalition aa? let's say that from the countless acquisitions just a couple of them was doing high aa profile games
 
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SLB1904

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The point is companies are spending excessive amounts of money on a known super star to either voice over the be scanned in the game.
There is no telling how much Norman Reedus cost for death Stranding.
Imagine spending money for multiple high end actors.

I also call bs on budgets doubling every generation.
Newer engines improve productivity and practicality do half the work with but not limited to procedural generation in open world games.
That's a lot assumptions. If actors were getting pay that much you would get a queue of them to work in the industry
 

Knightime_X

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marketing is a competition; You want that advertising spot but that another guy also want it too. Advertising costs will grow more and more. As an example, a 30 seconds long commercial during super bowl did cost $700 000 in 1990 but $5 600 000 in 2020 which is x2 every ten years.
Just "leak" it on youtube or twitter for free.
Word of mouth will spread faster than a call of duty virus.
It's safe to say the greater majority targeted audience doesn't watch tv anyways.
 
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Swoopsail

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Then let's revert to simpler platforms, so we can churn out games with content/quality over OMGADMOREGRAPHICS.
 

b6a6es

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He can't really have said this...

"Favourites like my own, like Parappa and Vib-Ribbon, those things don't seem to get a chance to come out on stage. That's bad for the industry and for fans." - Sean Layden

Jim Ryan should have had his job 5 years sooner if this is really what he believes. My God.
Meanwhile, Friday night funkin smashes it’s kickstarter goal in hours, and over 4x the amount needed

On second thought, Maybe Layden should’ve greenlit a new parappa instead of over budgeted trash like the tomorrow children that nobody played.

 

Yoboman

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Maybe it will be a good thing if the whole AAA system is unsustainable and implodes during this generation. Could be a way for publishers to rethink a model that is now falling into the same bet-all-money-into-1-blockbuster that Hollywood is trapped in. Maybe then we get away from the obsession to emulate the movie business and start giving alternative projects the spotlight they deserve.
Lol if the "AAA" model dies then all we will be left with is monetised free 2 play crap

I'll quit gaming if that's the future
 

Hobbygaming

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All are 3rd person action adventure.


I don't see fps games or proper rpg, rts nd all. Sony games are mostly feel same.
Because 3rd person is a genre and not a camera view right? Lol

Sackboy
Demon Souls
Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart
FIST
Returnal
Guilty Gear Strive
Astro's Playroom

3 platformers
1 action RPG
1 side scroller
1 rogue shooter with horror
1 fighting game
 

Gameplaylover

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Because 3rd person is a genre and not a camera view right? Lol

Sackboy
Demon Souls
Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart
FIST
Returnal
Guilty Gear Strive
Astro's Playroom

3 platformers
1 action RPG
1 side scroller
1 rogue shooter with horror
1 fighting game
Aren't we in a thread about 200m dollar games? I don't see any of those even pass 50m. Most if not all of Sony's big hitters are cinematic 3rd person action adventures.
 

Bernd Lauert

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Unsustainable imo. Nintendo is doing it right, I'd be surprised if they spend more than $30m per game. The one exception is BotW.
 
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SaucyJack

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The point is companies are spending excessive amounts of money on a known super star to either voice over the be scanned in the game.
There is no telling how much Norman Reedus cost for death Stranding.
Imagine spending money for multiple high end actors.

I also call bs on budgets doubling every generation.
Newer engines improve productivity and practicality do half the work with but not limited to procedural generation in open world games.

One could make an educated guess. He got $1 million/episode for the last season of Walking Dead, up from $8,500/episode in season 2. He was on $350k per episode a few years back when Death Stranding was in development.

Safe to say that Walking Dead is his highest paying gig.

I would suggest that the cast of death stranding were maybe getting a couple of hundred thousand each. Total actor budget, $1-2 million.
 
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reksveks

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One could make an educated guess. He got $1 million/episode for the last season of Walking Dead, up from $8,500/episode in season 2. He was on $350k per episode a few years back when Death Stranding was in development.

Safe to say that Walking Dead is his highest paying gig.

I would suggest that the cast of death stranding were maybe getting a couple of hundred thousand each. Total actor budget, $1-2 million.
Listen to the latest playwatchlisten podcast if you want some additional insights, they are talking in the context of 12 minutes.

Motion capture is the really costly part, no massive voice capture however no one knows about specific Hollywood/TV actors.

Also mentioned that Hollywood costs are inflated cause those studios are paying for alot more like the press tour and boring stuff like your appearance.
 

Hobbygaming

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Aren't we in a thread about 200m dollar games? I don't see any of those even pass 50m. Most if not all of Sony's big hitters are cinematic 3rd person action adventures.
That's helping my point, you'll still have these smaller AAA games from PS so there will still be a lot of variety
 

Gameplaylover

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That's helping my point, you'll still have these smaller AAA games from PS so there will still be a lot of variety
Well, i wouldn't call them all AAA, but of course Sony also has many non cinematic 3rd person action adventures. But some more variety in the high end AAA area would be nice.
 

Hobbygaming

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Unsustainable imo. Nintendo is doing it right, I'd be surprised if they spend more than $30m per game. The one exception is BotW.
PS and Xbox could never get away with only having 30 million dollar games

Graphics and other things would have to be dialed back tremendously
 

Yoboman

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Well, i wouldn't call them all AAA, but of course Sony also has many non cinematic 3rd person action adventures. But some more variety in the high end AAA area would be nice.
You are instantly writing off very high production value games like Ratchet and Clank, Returnal and Demons Souls as not AAA because they aren't third person action adventure
 
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SaucyJack

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Funny how Eurogamer aren't even interested in reporting facts.

Shawn Layden was never "boss" of PlayStation. He was never CEO.

Indeed. He was CEO of SCEA then Chairman of 1st party.

And that’s not even the the worst problem with the article that cherry picks and misrepresents the original interview that was in Bloomberg.
 
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GymWolf

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After the news that horizon 1 costed only 50 mil to make, i don't know how they can make the jump from 50 to 200...

Also ssd and new tech is gonna make devs work easier so probably less money wasted.

Only rockstar spend those numbers for their games.

Tlou2 was 100 milions and it is arguably the biggest sony game to date.

But i prefer when the money are spended on games and not in fucking rappers or sneakers to publicize your console...
 
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Gameplaylover

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After the news that horizon 1 costed only 50 mil to make, i don't know how they can make the jump from 50 to 200...

Also ssd and new tech is gonna make devs work easier so probably less money wasted.

Only rockstar spend those numbers for their games.

Tlou2 was 100 milions and it is arguably the biggest sony game to date.

But i prefer when the money are spended on games and not in fucking rappers or snickers to publicize your console...
Marketing, marketing, marketing. Even my suburban town in Europe is completey littered with billboards when Sony makes a new cinematic AAA + tv spots + radio + the Sony truck + printed ads + internet ads + sending countless copies to Youtubers and so on. Now imagine that worldwide, it all adds up to a lot.

Just to give you a number: A Spider-Man tv spot in the USA was almost 10 million dollars (“Be Greater” featuring Francis Magee).
 
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GymWolf

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Marketing, marketing, marketing. Even my suburban town in Europe is completey littered with billboards when Sony makes a new cinematic AAA + tv spots + radio + the Sony truck + printed ads + internet ads + sending countless copies to Youtubers and so on. Now imagine that worldwide, it all adds up to a lot.

Just to give you a number: A Spider-Man tv spot in the USA was almost 10 million dollars (“Be Greater” featuring Francis Magee).
Ps4 games were heavily publicized as well but they were still far from 200 mil budget tho.

It's not like people created new more pricey way to publicize stuff compared to ps4 times...
 

Gameplaylover

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Ps4 games were heavily publicized as well but they were still far from 200 mil budget tho.

It's not like people created new more pricey way to publicize stuff compared to ps4 times...
But some were not that far away from it. I would say the biggest all easily passed the 100m with marketing.
 
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rofif

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After the news that horizon 1 costed only 50 mil to make, i don't know how they can make the jump from 50 to 200...

Also ssd and new tech is gonna make devs work easier so probably less money wasted.

Only rockstar spend those numbers for their games.

Tlou2 was 100 milions and it is arguably the biggest sony game to date.

But i prefer when the money are spended on games and not in fucking rappers or sneakers to publicize your console...
Usually, the $$$ prices come from big name actors and licensed music. Gta iv famously costed 100mil back in the day.
I would much prefer a game without hollywood actors anyway. Except Kojima.... he gets a pass
 
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Connxtion

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I always thought it was the marketing that cost most of these big ass budgets.

30mil for the game & 170mil for a billboard and some adverts on TV 🤷‍♂️
 

GymWolf

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Usually, the $$$ prices come from big name actors and licensed music. Gta iv famously costed 100mil back in the day.
I would much prefer a game without hollywood actors anyway. Except Kojima.... he gets a pass
So we need to put a leash on kojima, if this was not already clear after DS i don't know what to say...
 

rofif

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So we need to put a leash on kojima, if this was not already clear after DS i don't know what to say...
I wonder how expensive DS was to make. Amazing production values, long, polished, great marketing, hollywood actors...
 

GymWolf

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I wonder how expensive DS was to make. Amazing production values, long, polished, great marketing, hollywood actors...
It was also barren as fuck and more lifeless than almost every open world in the market, people told that it was way less pricey than you can imagine.
 

YeulEmeralda

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I think he's wrong, I doubt budgets are going to hit $200 million for most games and Sony is still making smaller titles as well.

Define "most games". The big triple A hype games will definitely get up there. Look at Cyberpunk 2077: how much did Keneau Reeves cost?
 

rofif

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It was also barren as fuck and more lifeless than almost every open world in the market, people told that it was way less pricey than you can imagine.
Nah. It was the most beautiful open world. Amazing looking, full of details, amazing ideas and creativity.
I wish it was MORE EMPTY. less BTs, less mules... so I can focus on surival traversal. Amazing game.
Every rock, hill, moss patches, rivers. Best "empty" world I've seen
 
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GymWolf

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Nah. It was the most beautiful open world. Amazing looking, full of details, amazing ideas and creativity.
I wish it was MORE EMPTY. less BTs, less mules... so I can focus on surival traversal. Amazing game
Lmao...i mean sure thing.
 
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rofif

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Lmao...i mean sure thing.
Don't get me wrong. I am not arguing... I can 100% see why many people would hate this game. This is eactly the reason why I love it :p
But setting that aside - I think the production values are quite exceptional and it looks like an expensive game... barren world or not, graphics are great, actors, music, hours of mocap etc
 
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Shmunter

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After the news that horizon 1 costed only 50 mil to make, i don't know how they can make the jump from 50 to 200...

Also ssd and new tech is gonna make devs work easier so probably less money wasted.

Only rockstar spend those numbers for their games.

Tlou2 was 100 milions and it is arguably the biggest sony game to date.

But i prefer when the money are spended on games and not in fucking rappers or sneakers to publicize your console...
Yeah. And franchises with established characters & mechanics lend themselves to refinement as opposed to ground up reinventing effort. Coupled with a built in audience for predictable sales.

All this crying and moaning smells like corp victimhood, all the rage these days.