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.