The cost of game development has already spiraled out of control for some studios, but Shawn Layden, the former boss of PlayStation, has warned that things are only going to get worse.
In an interview with Bloomberg regarding the sustainability of the games industry, Layden offered the troubling prediction that PS5 games will cost an exorbitant $200 million to make. This is based on his experience of game development doubling in cost with every platform; Layden’s budgets for recent big PlayStation 4 titles had each hit $100 million.
“If we can’t stop the cost curve from going up, all we can do is try to de-risk it,” Layden said, bringing attention to one of his major concerns: developers releasing the same old games in order to minimize risk. “That puts you in a place where you’re incentivized toward sequels,” he explained.
“What happens there is you end up with 3 to 4 silos of games or game types that continue to exist, and variety is squeezed out.”
Layden currently serves as an advisor to Streamline Media Group, an entertainment and enterprise company that aims to facilitate game development around the world. He stepped down from his position as CEO of SIE Worldwide Studios in 2019.
[…] Layden and Streamline CEO Alexander Fernandez talked about how the company is aiming to promote diversity by recruiting talent remotely across the world. The pair discussed their attempts to chase the elusive “metaverse,” a buzzword referring to the intersection of video games and other media. And Layden sounded an alarm about the video game industry heading down an unsustainable path.