The Ex-PlayStation Exec Would Like To See Shorter And More Expensive Games

In this generation, games of previously unprecedented size have appeared, such as Red Dead Redemption 2 or Witcher III (not to mention Assassin’s Creed titles), but at the same time the costs have skyrocketed, we have seen ugly delays and more and more they whisper more about the burnout out of developers. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X is upon us, which will bring us even more expensive, even more sophisticated worlds. In this context, the question arises: can the obsession of the industry continue with size and scale?

At the Gamelab Live conference, Shawn Layden, the former PlayStation exec expressed concern about the cost of next-gen titles and said that if things go on like this, the cost of developing AAA games could easily reach beyond the already huge 80-150 million dollars. They can go way over it! And Layden came up with a special idea to solve the situation: let’s take it back a little! Let’s get back to the length of 12-15 hours of AAA games like the ones we’ve seen in the PS1-PS2 era!

„It’s hard for every adventure game to shoot for the 50 to 60 hour gameplay milestone, because that’s gonna be so much more expensive to achieve.” – Layden said.


„Personally, as an older gamer…I would welcome a return to the 12 to 15 hour [AAA] game. I would finish more games, first of all, and just like a well edited piece of literature or a movie, looking at the discipline around that could give us tighter, more compelling content.”


Layden, however, also touched on another very hot topic, namely the pricing of games. For years now, the $ 60 price tag has been on the box of the biggest games as well, while development costs have increased tenfold. According to Layden, prices may need o have “elasticity”.


„It’s been $59.99 since I started in this business, but the cost of games have gone up ten times. If you don’t have elasticity on the price-point, but you have huge volatility on the cost line, the model becomes more difficult. I think this generation is going to see those two imperatives collide.”


Although it depends on the game, open world games will obviously stay longer, but for more linear titles, the old method may be ideal with its own 12, maximum 15 hours. Less filler, more essential content.

Source: WCCFTech

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Praesagus is a Role-Playing enthusiast and a huge fan of most story-driven games. He's also a diehard fan of everything related to Star Wars, Star Trek, or Fallout and likes to divide his free time between his beloved girlfriend and the retro games he loves so much.

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