Epic Expects Next-Gen Development Costs To Double

Epic Games chief technology officer Tim Sweeney has told Games Industry International that he expects development costs of next generation games to double those of the current generation. Sweeney said that his development studio expect be able to build next-gen titles for “only about double the cost” of games from the start of the current generation. If development costs rise so significantly, it could ultimately bump up the pricing of video games to the consumer.


123 thoughts on “Epic Expects Next-Gen Development Costs To Double”

      1. the reason game sales is down 25% is because of the price.if they make games cheaper more people will buy.raising prices will kill the game industry!

          1. and what the consumer doesnt pay bills do you honestly think that people will be ok with buying a game for more then $60. i think today’s games is over priced,games should be max $50. if prices on games go up i guaranty you that home console gaming will die.and its already dying due to lack of game sales cause $60plus tax is too damn much for a game.

            1. If costs are that big of a problem then that is why people wait for sales. For example I’ve seen about once a month where either target, toys r us, or best buy have buy 2 games get one free. So $120 for 3 games. There are also black friday sales as well. The consumer does not have to acquire the game day one, especially if money is a problem.

              I do agree with your stance, that was just a further explanation. I think anything over $60 is too much. Originally I felt $40 was too much for 3DS games as I was used to paying $30-35.

              If the developers don’t make money or at least break even, then there won’t be any games to play at all.

      1. Yeah… no. Games can be priced at less than half the current model and still remain very profitable. This has been demonstrated repeatedly.

    1. Are you blind? The Zelda Demo for Wii U could not be run on any other console and many third party developers have said that their games look best on Wii U! I agreed with on the last article, but this time you are just being a asshurt troll. What’s wrong? Is your mom not gonna be able to buy you $70 games?

  1. Higher development cost leads to more expensive games, which leads to less people buying less games than they used to. People become less likely to buy games they don’t normally play, but might’ve tried if the game was cheaper. If a game doesn’t sell well, it will be terrible for the developer/publisher, and smaller developers will have no chance.

    Summary: High development cost is generally a bad thing.

    1. nope not at all, they will still see wii u expensive console while a $800 ps4 or xbox 720 is a worth price because its “next gen” and they will buy it to outsell nintendo ……to the fools who think this is a good idea, how is the vitanic sales doing, who really kept there promised.

      1. That isn’t true either. Most expensive or best Graphics has never been the winner of the day. Remember the 3DO and Atari jaguar? Both were more powerful then Snes, Genesis, PSX and N64. Still their games and prices were horrible. But Nintendo and Sega kept prices affordable and provided great games. Which put the new guys out of business. Flash forward to now when so many people are living on welfare and prices for games are already 60 to 70 bucks. The average American isn’t going to buy the next gen PS4 or Xbox in drones. Because they have no money or full time job to pay for it. I doubt any NEW system is going to reach over 50 Million world wide this Gen including the Wii U. People don’t have that kind of money, that’s just the reality of the world we live in.

  2. How about you just fo the best you can with a set and resonable price and stop trying to shoehorn forward unnecesary industry visual standards ??

    Everyone is happy with todays graphics , if they were just a bit better (1080p 60fps , DX11)
    Looking at games like Halo4 and Uncharted etc etc etc.

    I can say with confidence that – I don’t care for graphics being any better than that, it’s just a video game :/.
    I would rather have Halo 4 style graphics (1080p 60fps slightly enhanced) for the next 6 years at a reasonable price , than some stupid looking bullshit for more!

    With 3ds , I am happy with Resident evil level graphics , with Wiiu I will be happy with what ever level graphics. Anything more is a ”gimmik” becuase it’s not even needed.

      1. The world is a mess , rainforest’ fall and children starve , yet it so important for epic and loads of butthurt dickheads to try and force technology forward at a pace that goes beyond econonimic viability :S. just stop……

        People aren’t desperate for ps2-ps3 leap in graphics. Just refine what we have today , up the resoloution and performance of the game gradualy at a pace that doesn’t cause people to go bankrupt.

        This is why Nintendo are doing things at their own pace , becuase they don’t want to lose money and they don’t want themselves or others to be overwhelmed with DEV costs.

        1. I just hope for magnificent art styles, I personally would love to see how far they can push realistic graphics though, I don’t care if they don’t, but fuck would it be interesting to see :D

          1. It is very interesting to see. But why force it ahead of its self unnaturaly ? Just let visual technology evolve at a rate which doesn’t brake the bank.

            Epic saying ”We just need to double the cost’s of development” is basically no cleverer than a caveman. You can leave development costs the same and just let technology evolve at a a natural pace. Shenmue on dreamcast cost more than 30Mill to make lol. Look what you can make with 30Mill today.

            Me personally , just think it’s stupid. ”for twice as much money you can have twice as fast a car!!!!!” yeh , but …… I don’t have twice as much money.

            Video game graphics is hitting a saturation point like Cars. Mid 90 mclaren F1 sets road speed record. Bugatti veyron just recently broke that record , becuase there is not much more you can do with cars in terms of going in a straight line fast….

        2. Exactly, this is why I’m confident that Nintendo will do well this gen when it comes to third party support. They are well positioned when it comes to power. It is marginally better than PS3/Xbox 360 which means we’ll have slightly enhanced graphics, which is really all we need right now. What we need most is gameplay innovation, and Wii U is perfectly positioned for that.

    1. I will be happy if the WiiU can handle Watch Dogs graphics, i’ll be really really happy if in 2 years or less, WiiU can do that; that’s the level of graphics i would need to be satisfied in the next-gen; then i’ll need fun and unique games with better gameplay than this gen. And a Pokémon online!

  3. Doube the price 200$ in Australia?120$ here?Now that crap is insane who would buy a game for that ammount of money?Even now games are quite expensive, 180$ for 3 new games are a bit over the top.

    1. I’m in Australia too but you need to read the headline a bit more carefully. The cost to the make the games will be double, not the retail price, though there will be a slight increase in the actual retail price if this happens.

  4. U know, there’s a simple way to prevent all this: Just don’t develope Games with Super Advance Realistic Graphics!!! Wait until Next-Gen Developement costs go down in the Future. People have to stop Demanding Better graphics, especially now when the Economy is in the Shitter. I Am Still Fine with Current-Gen Graphics as they are now, I can wait. >_>

      1. Let’s just stick to maxing out UE3 for next gen… then we’ll still get great games, at competitive prices…
        It could work…?

  5. lol. Then why don’t we tone things down a bit. Huh, Epic?

    The game industry would be much better off if these companies would progress their technology at a reasonable and affordable rate. This is not NASA, this is a consumer market. We don’t need to be pushing boundaries like this. Make this stuff affordable or get out.

  6. That’s unacceptable. $70 dollars for a game is bullshit. Games are expensive enough as it is. Do they really need to go that far with the graphics for next gen consoles? I think not. Leave luck to heaven.

      1. I know what you mean. Here in Trinidad & Tobago, games cost $350-$500. The Wii U Deluxe Package is almost $4000. I’m gonna be importing most of my stuff from the US as well.

        1. WTF!!!!!! dude….. what’s the deal on importing from US. do you get hit with tax ?? and all that ? Maaaaan. I will send you some cheap games and you can sell them and make a fortune :D!!!! the conduit for wii in UK is £3 you sell for £40 equivalent!!! (just kidding , but serious!!!)

          I seriously can’t comprehend those price tags, basically only the super rich of T&T can afford a wiiu ?

          1. I know it’s going to take me a while to save up for it. I estimate by the middle of next year I should have it. At the latest the end of the next year, but here’s the kicker, I also need to get a new HDTV. I already priced it. It’s $5000 TT.

            If I didn’t have to pay bills and whatever, it would be no problem. But alas…

            1. I feel for you bro. I noticed some of your comment’s being conservative about buying wiiu, such as ”hopefully by next summer” etc etc. But now I realize you are just hit by local economics and has nothing to do with your desire to gain a wiiu as quicly as possible!

              I’ve been to Cuba and Whilst a packet of 20 smokes works out at 20pence there and they are 600pence here in the UK (everything is really cheap). But the guy at my hotel noticed I had loats of football shirts on (soccer) and was admiring them and he said ”In cuba a Manchester City shirt is worth like a months wage” and my other shirts etc.

              It’s crazy how it works :S. But I have him an England Shirt and a Man city shirt and he was crying :) becuase I said I had made him very happy. When I left he gave me 5 HUGE bottles of Havana Club white and dark rum :)

              1. That was very nice of you. In the Caribbean people love football and those team jerseys (the authentic ones) are pretty damn expensive. About a month’s salary is right.

                I prefer to spend mine on technology and get years worth of value out them.

                    1. So is Manches………. Oh wait, I wish I was still in the Caribbean !!!!!

                      The Cocunut trees surround the Hotel would just drop coconuts regularly and you take them to the bar and they make you a Penocolada !!!!!

                      I will return to the Carribean soon!

                    2. Glad you like it. I don’t drink alcohol but I do love coconut water. The best time to come to T&T is for our Carnival in February. If you like those kinds of celebrations, you should definitely check it out.

    1. You are welcome our new friend. Only nonsense spewing posters on our site are dudes named : Aeolus, Von scrontum( lost xbot) and on occasion the smaller gamer not me, the GAMER the original. Enjoy and let us enjoy nintendo wonders.

  7. yep, has to go up, to cover the cost off all that highend graphics. Gamers want next gen with better graphics, well, they have to pay for it. Dont see the need for next gen of consoles.

  8. that’s what nintendo has always been trying to stop from happening, the wii was right on the note with the power, ps3-360 were overpowered and caused ravage with 3rd party devs mostly in the indie scene (not only that but they also break a lot more easily than any nintendo console or their own predecessors)

  9. This will NOT affect the price as much as you guys think. The game prices does not really get alot higher as prices for dev rise.

    It affects the industry negatively in other ways however. It forces all developers to do games they know will sell instand of doing innovative games. So in the end all this will make is to make so that a higher percentage of all games released are FPS and terrabad WRPGs. Sad but true..

  10. Epic will not be the engine of choice this Gen, I believe the Developer where not blown away by the engine and won’t cough of the money for it, there going to build their own or go else where

    1. You are wise, AnvilNext, Luminous, Frostbite are about to hit the unreal Engine4 hard real hard. With the Wii U sold out and major middle and low end developers all placing content on the Wii U epic has to comply as give the gamer worth while content.

      1. I watched his video he posted on this site and it was amusing. But shouldn’t he be called ”Level Headed Gamer” cus ‘Leveled head gamer’ sounds like you have just been smacked on the head with a shovel XD!

        1. Yeah, the Level Headed Gamer Show is a must watch for all Nintendo fans. As is the Eccentric Gamer Show. I recommend everyone check them out on Youtube.

    1. ^this. It’s funny how people think Nintendo is going to suffer and ‘go down the same route of Sega’, when it’s actually the hardware companies and dev teams that push for realistic graphics that are on an unsustainable business model – wasting a ton of cash and resources for minimal gains in visuals. What a sensible and logical plan…

  11. Like the Republicans, EPIC should awaken to the voice of the wise majority, us the true gamers. Fully support the Wii U or you like these past weeks elections shall be relegated to observers. Am so delighted at Ubisoft and their gracious backing of the Wii U, also Capcom, cause monster hunter tri Ultimate is a pleasure to await. Costs of game development shall increase for non smart studios only mark my words.

    1. True!!! Expect many 3rd parties to back the WiiU due to cheaper costs to make their games. Nintendo will have ALL the 3rd party support they want this time around!!!

    2. Correct the Wii U is sold out in pre-orders. Gamestop has 250 000 on their wish list after the pre-ordered Wii are given to their owners. When the other people that don’t know about the Wii U catch wind ( mothers and fathers, busy working people, former gamers that will see a nintendo next generation HD console ), third party games and ports from the 360/ps3 and the ps4/xbox720 are all going to be on the Wii U. Halo 4 is great by the way. Made by 343 employees for nintendo employees that borrowed Samu’s visor tech.

  12. Wii proved that with less you could do more, Epic Yarn, Zelda, DKC, Xenoblade… they were not HD but they were beautiful. So that would mean that next Xbox720 and PS4 would be for rich people lol

  13. So if Xbox and Sony start pushing games for $120 dollars approx. than they would be doomed, however I don’t think they would do that. They aren’t stupid. They know what consumers are willing to pay. $60 now, maybe $70 or $80 for their next gen games. Any higher and I don’t see it working out too well for them…

  14. You know what they say in game magazine graphics hasn’t changes in the last 4 years COD is still charging full price but they haven’t updated their graphics in last 4 years so why are we still paying full price for a same exact graphics and this is why it’s pissing me off they should be charging only 40 dollar now inexhaustible graphics change a bit they all use the fucking Unreal graphics in almost every game so why are we paying 60 instead we should be paying 40 for all our game

  15. Well it will also probably mean hiring more people as well for programming and such. I was reading an old Game Fan and there was an interview about Sega Falcom and at that time there were only like 12 people on team Sega Falcom…. Now n days that’d be a pitiful game crew… There are 100+ working on a single title anymore. I’m sure it’ll take 200+ now…. This is why the Wii-U might destroy others with lower developement costs.

  16. If the Wii U’s games don’t cost double, that proves the Wii U isn’t next-gen.

    HAHAHAHA

    You can’t have it both ways! If you want the Wii U’s games to be the same price as this gen, you will have to admit that the Wii U is not next-gen!

    I’m just kidding, of course. The Wii U is still next-gen regardless of anything that would make it seem current-gen. I’m just pointing out that, should Wii U’s games be this gen’s current price, then it might make a killing. And if not (I can’t imagine why not, though), it could totally bomb.

  17. Looks like everyone will be switching to CryEngine rather than Unreal :D Not that anyone really needs to push beyond what we have now in terms of graphics tech. The thing keeping us from photorealism is not the current graphics engines, it’s things like RAM, memory bandwidth, and the sheer effort required. What we have, and the standards that have been achieved are more than good enough, with only the nuances of facial and idle animations preventing many games from emerging from the right side of the uncanny valley.

    Heck, you know what games I got the most pleasure out of in the last few years? The original Left 4 Dead and the Mass Effect Series. Mass Effect had great graphics most of the time, but was full of aliens, so the only time we could really discern a lack of ‘reality’ was in the humans, and Left 4 Dead was graphically significantly behind the curve even back when it was released. The fact of the matter is that great games are not all about graphics – long gone are the days of crude polygonal models with faces drawn on (Resident Evil 1 – 3, FFVII, all amazing games in spite of the graphics of the time), the base level of acceptable graphics for high levels of realism has already been reached. The only reason the current gen will start to seem unacceptable it if the next generation is that much more impressive, meaning that the only problem with current graphics standards is that some obsessive idiots will push ahead for the hell of it, ignoring the unsustainable rise in costs, and ruin it for everyone else.

    I’ve fought dragons believable enough to make me jump when they suddenly land next to me (and giant spiders realistic enough to freak me the hell out), I’ve watched B.O.Ws mutate in exquisite detail in real time, heck, in the few minutes I played of Farcry 2, I experienced powerful nostalgia for my childhood in Africa simply because of how beautifully realised the environment was (and graphics have improved vastly since even then, within the same console generation). What we need now isn’t higher fidelity graphics, it’s the memory to do more with them.

  18. So, if the Epic is right about the development costs for the “Next-gen”, it means there’s at least 5 years of “Current-gen” material ready for the Wii U at a very cheap price!!! Unreal Engine 4? No thanks! Give me the Unreal Engine 3 for much less money and I’m absolutely fine! Cry Engine 3? Yes, please! Unity 3D? Yes, please!

  19. Argh, I hate this. Why do developers insist on making super high-definition titles with zillions (yeah, I’m not technical) particles and crazy lighting effects? I’d like to see more inspiration and innovation in video gaming. Like, for example, I recently picked up 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors for my DS and, while it’s certainly not a technical marvel, I’m having a better time playing it than I do with most AAA blockbuster titles. I dunno, maybe I just see video games as more of an art than a science.

  20. i don’t

    a PC exclusive game with fancy graphics doesn’t cost any more than a last gen console game
    witcher 2: 6 million
    and now chris roberts is developing an absolutely gorgeous space sim which he claims will cost about 14 million
    how is that more than the average console game?

    most developers and publishers will have to cut back on extra costs (such as getting high profile celebs to speak for their roles.. that’s just completely unecessary).. they’re already pretty much at their limits as this has been getting out of hand since the last console gen started and has been responsible for quite a big chunk of the increase in development costs

    with higher powered machines there will also be new APIs, new tools and more processing resources to facilitate development and optimisation, but the ridiculous extra expenditure will have to stop

    1. my mistake, witcher 2 cost about 11 million

      another reason why costs explode on consoles is the ever ongoing goal of achieving better and better graphics on outdated hardware

      if the hardware isn’t pushed to its absolute limit less optimisation is necessary which will reduce costs
      maybe someday developers will just stop trying to push the boundaries and wait for the next generation instead.. might even help us get to see a new console generation more frequently than every 7-8 years

  21. This philosophy is what made the PS3 come in last place this generation. I want the best video games but I don’t want them to be expensive. This trend is why developer studios have been going out of business. AAA big budget games are not going to sell more because of graphics, Minecraft and Angry Birds are big huge hits and they are not AAA big budget games.

  22. The moment the Wii U releases, it will be the new Current Gen, and everything before it will be considered last-gen.[or previous-gen, if that sounds better to some of you out there]

  23. if wii-u is current gen (but its not),you know what funny is that the rumored spec of ps4 and xbox720 is not a big jump from wii-u so that makes ps and xbox next console current gen as well.

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