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Just Cause dev predicts less big budget games in next-gen

Wednesday, 3rd April 2013 12:58 GMT By Dave Cook

Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has predicted that next-gen formats will play home to less mammoth-budget releases and CEO Stefan Ljungqvist added, “Maybe we don’t need forty first-person shooters.” He has a point.

It comes as development budgets are spiralling out of control and studios are finding it hard to recoup the cost. Exhibit A: Tomb Raider was branded a failure recently by Square-Enix despite having the strongest start in the franchise’s history. There’s clearly something wrong in development today.

Speaking with Gamasutra, Ljungqvist said “I don’t think big-budget games are going away. There’s going to be less of them. But that’s a good thing, because maybe we don’t need forty first-person shooters. I don’t want to play them all, but maybe we need one, two or three.”

Regardless, financial risk is a prevalent issue that isn’t going anywhere soon, but if developers were to curb costs then they’d be able to take greater risks without potentially ruining themselves in the process.

Ljungqvist added, “Maybe over the course of the past five years, developers have pitched creative or more artistic games, but publishers had been more careful of betting a lot on those games, because they’re associated with some risk. But maybe now they can [take more risks] because they need to be more unique in the marketplace.

“You ask, ‘What’s the future of consoles,’ but maybe there’s no console any more. This is convergence — Smart TV, Netflix is on PS3. It’s already happening. I don’t think we should disregard that ‘consoles,’ or whatever we call them, as they will be important to living room entertainment.

“But there is risk. Will the hardware install base grow as fast as the last generation?”

Well, well. What do you all make of that then? Lower costs, greater ambition and less risk? Sounds like a perfect storm of circumstances doesn’t it? Should more devs embrace this approach? Let us know below.

Thanks OXM.

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9 Comments

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  1. OmegaSlayer

    I hope to see less games and more quality.
    There’s stuff that shouldn’t really be released, like Army Of Two for example.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. PC_PlayBoy

    From the article link you forgot to add:

    Commercially, the market is certainly pointing toward a direction that is not favorable for consoles

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Lengendaryboss

    @1 I want to see more quality in games even if that means less of them coming out, ever since the start of this gen i have been trading in games with quality not there.
    @4 Unfortunately business wise its rakes in a lot of money for Ubisoft and the Devil, so they will keep milking until the cash cow is dry.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. K-V-C

    yeah i totally agree with #1 and hope activision & ubisoft stop with yearly releases no innovation at all gameplay wise all they change is the setting

    #4 1 year ago
  5. deathm00n

    The situation that is happening now can be resumed with the Assassin’s Creed franchise. The first one had a good idea, the second implemented this idea well, brotherhood perfected the implementation, the rest was not needed. The majority of game genres are already at the perfect implementation level, first person shooters being the big example. We already have what we need, but then there’s always someone trying to sell it to you again with little or no modifications at all.

    If things doesn’t change next gen I think we are going to see a collapse of the industry, Brenna linked the first collapse in her article of microtransactions, I think the same applies here.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. UuBuU

    Good ~ bigger budget almost always means worse game, as the developers have to appeal to far too broad an audience in order to be profitable.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. blackdreamhunk

    smart I think games will get short too if they are big bugget.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. OlderGamer

    The problem tho, with less releases is that you have less choice. And that is bad if you are not a major fan of the name brand franchises.

    I fit that build a lot.

    The other problem ofc, is that with bigger budjets come less risk and less inovation. Meaning that the few new trip A blockbuster will prety much be the same as old ones. I honestly think that oversaturation amoung franchise brands is already a large problem. It creates consumer fatigue.

    But in balance of all of that, i expect to see a influx of lower budget titles much like we now have in the Indie seen. Lots of XBLA level stuff.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. viralshag

    I just think developers and publishers need to stop thinking like every game is going to be the next big thing or a trip-A hit.

    @1, I totally disagree and I actually think EA know this. The new Army of Two felt like some good old fashioned filler. There wasn’t a huge amount of advertising and based on the game, it was fun and worth a play but if they told me it had stupidly high production level I would laugh. In their face. And then laugh some more.

    There are so many game released now marketed like they are something super-hot and special. Just go back to the old days where everyone knew you were going to have a limited audience because it was going to be a mediocre game at best. We all generally know when a game will be kinda crappy, I think they should stop trying to bullshit us.

    #9 1 year ago