Epic: Next-Gen Development Costs to Double

by William D'Angelo, posted on 14 November 2012 / 8,134 Views

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney spoke at a keynote at the Montreal International Game Summit, which was attended by GamesIndustry International. The price of games for the next generation consoles and PC are expected to increase, due to the expectation that development costs will double.

Sweeney did say that it could have been worse. A 2011 demo clip which showed off Direct X 11 technology was just three minutes long and took four month and 30 people to create. "If we extrapolate that into creating an entire game, we were worried that the cost would go up by a factor of three or four or even five in the next generation," Sweeney said. "And of course, we felt that was not acceptable."

Epic Games since the demo has spent the time to double down on its content and improve its production tools. Epic was able to help offset some of the increase in the next generation costs with improved efficiency.

Sweeney also noted that games are coming out on more platforms than ever before. He mentions that cross platform games will become even more common than the current generation. He expects games to be available for consoles, handhelds, PC, mobile and even on the browser. This is all possible due to all the markets focuses on Direct X 11 and multicore CPUs.

"Free to play gaming is becoming more and more inevitable," Sweeney said. "If a user has world-class, AAA free-to-play games to choose from side-by-side with $60 games that are available only on a disc in a retail store, free-to-play games are very likely to win. So we need to really be mindful of this trend and start building games that have monetization and are designed to be piracy-proof."


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10 Comments

sethnintendo (on 14 November 2012)

I don't think free to play games are that popular of an idea with home console owners.


Barozi (on 14 November 2012)

Epic Games are pretty good at keeping costs low. Their next AAA game will probably cost $40m then ?


nicktwilight (on 14 November 2012)

Will any videogame company achieve to survive this time?


Naum (on 16 November 2012)

Double the costs ? so "PS4" games costs 2x of PS3 games wich was 2x the cost of PS2 games and so on....and still games have had the same pricetag in stores all these years... no wonder companies go bankrupt


thewastedyouth (on 14 November 2012)

we will have to wait and see


huiii (on 14 November 2012)

it say dubble the cost compared to games at the begin of this gen and im pretty sure must games comming out now already cost dubble of what the games at the beginnig of this gen... plus it's probably all PR bullshit for the UE4


cusman (on 17 November 2012)

Free-to-play is basically game developers/publishers giving up on fighting piracy and deciding to have the Whale gamers front the cost of all the free-loaders. They are also hoping/betting that some of those free-loaders might actually spend a few bucks on something menial like DLC/unlock crap they currently provide in those Freemium games. Lastly, they don't want the cost of physical distribution nor of making separate demos. Freemium games can be successful at drawing away audience from up-front fair price games. That has been proven... but exactly WTF is their plan when they are competing against other Freemium games? Oh yes, large % of those Freemium games will get completely 100% F'ed. The shift to Freemium is the worst trend in gaming publishers and only 10-20% of those that follow into that bloody red sea will survive.


Dangerousjo44 (on 16 November 2012)

what are they saying that a game would cost from 60 to 112 if that happends i well stick to the gen they have right now


hunter_alien (on 14 November 2012)

Expected. Hopefully some Japanese devs will try and expand the handheld market, anbd start supporting the Vita. Its either handhelds or FTP/iOS for them...


r3tr0gam3r1337 (on 14 November 2012)

development costs will double, hasn't that always been what happens every generation jump but yet the PC is already at the next gen if not at least 2 gens ahead of the current gen consoles so if EPIC believes development cost's will double i think they are talking a ton of bull, like i said PC games are at least 2 gens ahead of the current gen consoles so by rights PC games should be more expensive than the current gen consoles by quite a big margin, i think EPIC games needs to take a reality check and stop trying to charge console games so much for limited content that in reality cost no more than what it currently already costs them.


sethnintendo (on 14 November 2012)

2 gens ahead? I might let you slide with 1 but 2...


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teigaga (on 14 November 2012)

"2 gens ahead'.... You're implying that console games will only look as good a current high end PC games in 2020. I'm gonna leave you to think about that


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ufo8mycat (on 15 November 2012)

PC HARDWARE is 2 generations ahead. The games however are far from that. The only game that comes close would be BF3. The majority are just simply ports.

If developers REALLY wanted to take FULL advantage of PC hardware, I am pretty sure it's going to cost them a lot more, but they don't simply because of the low PC sales - it just ain't worth it.

It's common sense - if developers take advantage of next-gen consoles hardware, it's going to cost more.

It will be interesting to see what kind of games we get next-gen in regards to how well they are polished/bugs/gameplay quality due to the higher development csts. Shorter games?

Hopefully not.


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