A few weeks ago, Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, told a crowd at the Develop Conference that the company has begun examining whether its next-generation games could be made shorter and more sustainable.
Last week, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House spoke to the latest issue of EDGE Magazine about the future of the PlayStation brand. In the interview, he stated that the goal for every piece of software released for the PlayStation 4 is to be as “AAA” as possible. He further stated that “AAA games, in my opinion, are generally shorter, more sustainable, and they are more creative. And I think when you try to do that on every single title, it ends up not being as good as it can be.”
Last week, the former CEO of PlayStation shared his views on the status of the AAA games industry at the GameLab Live conference. The increasing expenses of game production with each generation, according to Shawn Layden, Chairman of PlayStation Worldwide Studios, are “simply not sustainable.”
During a wide-ranging discussion on his 25-year tenure at Sony, the topic came to The Last of Us Part 2, which spent the bulk of its development period when Layden was chairman. Despite the fact that Layden left PlayStation before the game’s release this month, he praised it, calling it “the greatest example” of a story-driven video game in the PlayStation 4 era.
While The Last of Us Part 2 was hailed as a watershed moment in emotionally charged narrative experiences, there was some criticism of the game’s length and pace, as well as the amount of money and effort put into its creation. The Last of Us Part 2 is expected to take 25 hours to complete, compared to 15 hours for the first. Naughty Dog also spent almost twice as much time creating it. Despite this, the game is still $60.
“The issue with that approach is that it’s simply not sustainable,” Layden said of the increasing expenses, noting that most AAA games now cost between $80 and $150 million, not including marketing expenditures. “I don’t believe you can take those statistics and increase them by two and expect to develop in the following generation, “he said “‘Alright, what are we building?’ the industry as a whole has to ask.
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