The topic of game pricing has come up a few times during the last couple of months. Not too long ago, former PlayStation executive Shawn Layden spoke about the unsustainability of current AAA game development. He explained that perhaps instead of companies pouring many years and millions of dollars into game development, another option may exist. He stated that shorter games, which require less production time, could be the answer. A short time later, it was announced that both Xbox Series X and PS5 games might have their game prices increased.
People Can Fly game developer Bartosz Kmita recently gave an interview over at VGC and spoke about the matter. He has such credits as creative director for the forthcoming Outriders game, along with having worked on popular titles like Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgment. Cutting to the chase, he explains his belief regarding some statements that Mr. Layden had said.
Let’s be honest: games are not super cheap, so we have to give value for the money that people are paying…
This, at least, is something that both can agree on. Whether coming from the developer’s standpoint, or consumer, all agree on the expense. However, shortly after that, he expresses a different opinion.
Games that are short but still full price… I think that is not the way we should go in the industry overall.
Quality content above all else
He does not stop elaborating on the pricing dynamic there, either, as another issue has propagated in recent years. The idea of “games as a service” has become a contentious topic with online gaming becoming more popular. Using Outriders as an example, he explains how they’ve tried to deliver a complete, more story-driven game. More than a few companies have done the opposite with their own franchises, only to receive criticism from players that cited the lack of quality content and story. Adding content is not the only answer, either. Mr. Kmita also emphasizes quality is always of importance and that “filler” should not be used as a substitute. This, too, is something players have experienced, whether in the main campaign or some DLC added later on.