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Customer Discussions > Video Games forum

Epic Games CTO expects next-gen game development costs to double

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Showing 1-25 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2012 10:34:28 AM PST

Games for the next-generation consoles and PCs will come with suitably next-generation price tags. In a keynote address at the Montreal International Game Summit today, attended by GamesIndustry International, Epic Games chief technology officer Tim Sweeney said he expects Epic to be able to build next-gen titles for "only about double the cost" of games from the start of the current generation.

While the bump in budget is significant, Sweeney said it could have been worse. He talked about Epic's first next-gen tech demo, a 2011 clip called Samaritan that showed off Direct X 11 technology in a modified version of Unreal Engine 3. While Sweeney said Epic was enthusiastic about the results, the company was "greatly worried" about the cost. Although the clip was just under three minutes in length, it took four months and a team of 30 people to create.

"If we extrapolate that into creating an entire game, we were worried that the cost would go up by a factor of three or four or even five in the next generation," Sweeney said. "And of course, we felt that was not acceptable."

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:39:41 AM PST
JJ4prez says:


PC has been in the next generation since the Xbox and PS3 came And since then have probably gone through 3-4 different generations. If we are talking gpu/cpu power.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:40:38 AM PST
Epic games are big budget, but they lack heart and soul.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:41:29 AM PST
JO MOMMA says:
i would buy a game if it was that Epic

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:52:38 AM PST
"If we extrapolate that into creating an entire game"

My 8 month old daughter is 18 1/2 lbs right now, if I extrapolate that to 12 years old, she should weigh 333 lbs! Dumb people are dumb.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:53:50 AM PST
Anthony says:
This just in: Epic is full of Morons.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:54:34 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
Cool, because:

bigger budget = more awesome game


Posted on Nov 13, 2012 11:54:56 AM PST
Didn't we recently have an article on how the next gen could actually help development cost because of better production tools?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:55:26 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
I'm guessing Sweeney had watched The 40 Year Old Virgin right before this interview.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:56:29 AM PST
MrFoxhound says:
Yah, like in the past, so it's like old and gross. Now, like, we're in the present and development costs just like skyrocketed to give developers more latitude when putting content behind paywalls and adding superfluous DLC. Get with it, Mog.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 11:56:43 AM PST
How does this compare to every subsequent gen?

And there was someone else a few weeks ago who said the exact opposite.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:57:24 AM PST

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:57:34 AM PST
My bad.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 12:07:30 PM PST
Cyberphobia says:
An economics question many companies fail to ask themselves: how much can you raise the price of a product before less sales outweighs more profit?

A question I was thinking about for next gen games, how much would I be willing to spend on a new game? They WILL increase, but by $10? If we start seeing games at $74.99, $79.99, will pre-order sales drop for all but AAA+ games?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 12:11:38 PM PST
MrFoxhound says:
EA has already answered that question because Dead Space 3 is already in the hole for 5 million copies and the game is still months away.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 12:14:10 PM PST
Well hopefully the jump to the next gen wont change development costs too much. There were a lot of costs jumping from last gen to current. Quality voice acting became the norm, HD required a lot more work and money into the assets and some other yadda yadda yadda.

Movie dev cost has sort of leveled off and is really just increasing with inflation, no reason games shouldn't be the same way.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 12:14:40 PM PST
We'll probably see price jumps for AAA games and we'll be nickle and dimed to death on DLC.
However, companies interested in gameplay vs graphics can squeeze by with today's standards in visuals.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 12:16:23 PM PST
Well when adjusting for inflation the cost of gaming hasn't been going up in the past so why would it suddenly start now?

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 12:18:06 PM PST
Anthony says:
honestly, i've already reached my limit. if they increase the price point from $60, i'll never be buying a video game when it first comes out ever again.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 12:26:28 PM PST
This is so laughable.

It's amazing what small development teams with a clear goal are going with budgets a fraction the size of these AAA studios are doing. Perhaps if you weren't so invested in eye melting visuals which leaves gameplay on the back burner you might see a smaller budget and a bigger return on your products.

Of course it isn't like many small developers have seen massive success crowdfunding titles and going directly after what fans want.

Whenever I see a company talk about increasing budgets because they have to I just make a mental note to enjoy games because they offer amazing gameplay and not because they offer amazing visuals. Minecraft is one of the ugliest games I've ever played (I play vanilla graphics because I like the look) and it has given me more entertainment and bang for my buck than any other title I've bought in the last 15 years.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 1:01:12 PM PST
Amazing, isn't it?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 1:01:40 PM PST
Is this true?

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 1:02:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 1:02:32 PM PST
elect Tron says:
I'm almost positive it was Sweeney, or somebody from Epic, who was saying in one of those Unreal 4 articles that the engine was going to cut development time and budget significantly.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 4:30:45 PM PST
It wasn't.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 4:46:56 PM PST
Yeah, when adjust for inflation a lot of older games are actually closer to $80. Development costs have gone up since than but so has market size.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  30
Initial post:  Nov 13, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 14, 2012

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