Next-Gen Technology Could Reduce The Cost Of Producing Video Games, Says Take-Two

The assumption I've always made is this: as games and technology becomes more advanced, production costs rise. PlayStation 3 games cost more to produce than PlayStation 2 games. And PlayStation 2 games cost more to make than, say, Nintendo 64 games. But Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick doesn't expect to see production costs rise when the next generation of consoles are released, he believes it might make things a little easier.

"We don't have a ramp up of operating expenses for next generation," said Zelnick, at a recent Take-Two earnings call. "Do we believe that titles will be a whole lot more expensive to make for next-gen? The answer is we do not."

According to Strauss, the technology itself may end up making things a little less difficult to produce.

"In many instances, we believe that it may be somewhat easier to make titles for next-gen depending on how the technology comes together."

It could be that Take-Two expects next generation technology to be a bit more user friendly for developers, or that processes will become easier to optimise. Either way, it's interesting. With the jump to high definition in the current generation of consoles, production costs rose exponentially. It's actually a relief to see that games production may make itself a little more streamlined this time round, mainly because it means more games can be produced!

Next-gen games could be easier to develop than present - Take-Two [CVG]


    Good news.

    Hmmm... I'd say that alot of games are simply expensive to make simply because they have a stupid amount of people working on them.

    Both Resident Evil 6 and Assassin's Creed 3 are supposed to have had over 500 people working on the title at anyone time.

    Obviously the argument can be made without all those people we wouldn't be playing these 2 games at this very moment and having a smaller team could end up costing more if there isn't regular output.

    Still, I don't think that many people are required in the first place, so many easier to make games will make teams smaller anyway.

    I think we'll never see it drop on AAA title - Hollywood has taught us that. But what we will see is a plateau and/or drop for all other titles as the ability to throw all the bits together become easier thanks in part to the ease of use of the bigger engines such as UE3. Only the biggest houses worry about building their own engione which is where a significant cross section of costs immediately disappear.

    Production costs will drop if the next Xbox and Playstation have x86 processors and off-the-shelf GPUs, instead of trying to be different and special in Quixotic attempts to 'win' the console war. The more that consoles are like PCs the easier it will be for devs to make games for them.

      This. The PS3's processor was apparently a nightmare for developers to adapt to, thanks to the whole asymmetric-multicore thing...

    I'd say they'll spend lest time working on multiple versions, as the hardware and operating systems should be similar. Also, it's likely that engine tech and middlewear will continue to improve, reducing time required and difficulty of use.

    Alternatively, it could be because their current toolsets work on the next generation.

    As a programmer, this almost makes me sad. I find drawing hard. Why shouldn't artists find my job hard too? :-)

      believe me artists are also clamouring for the new types of software being produced that make creating art easier for everyone.

    This sounds plausible. The technology iterations are providing less of a radical change each time so now we're getting to the point where it's more about fine tuning and integration of new technology rather than coming up with entirely new development practices.

    Probably talking about software and hardware that will help semi-automate or synthesize the process of object and land formation; creation, placement and assigning of textures, cutting down production time and employee count.

    But like all things, the price will end up the same and with no way to go back, like how LPG and diesel was supposed to make travel cheaper, with 'cheap' electric and hydrogen power soon to add to that pile of wrong.

    Whatever happened to the magical procedural texture stuff from a few years ago? Like that demo that was only a few hundred kb but rendered a whole city scene? Wasn't that supposed to make life easier for everybody?

    Consoles will someday cease to exist. What will remain is a television screen and a smartphone device that'll act as our personal computer. All we'll have to do is walk up to a screen and it'll autosync us with it with all our games, movies, music, documents, etc.

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