Activision Boss Predicts Rising Game Development Costs

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Well, yeah. That is quite obvious. As technology progresses forward, it becomes more expensive and difficult to program a game. Back in the 80s a company could shit out a game in a couple of weeks. Now a game that doesn't spend years in development just can't compete in today's modern market.

I should really care what some one from Activision says for what legit reason??? I can not even remember the last game they released that didn't involve map pack dlc/zombies.

Covarr:
I think the biggest technical cause for higher development costs is probably going to be in threading for these monster processors with so many cores. The vast majority of PC software uses a maximum of two cores, even if it would benefit from more, simply because it's so time consuming (and therefore expensive) to write adequate sync code for threading to work correctly and actually give a performance boost. But with modern architectures valuing more cores over faster cores, this problem is only going to become more prevalent.

Interesting point. I wonder if there's been a move to use more functional languages in game design, that are better suited to run in parallel, and can be more easily optimized. I know that graphics rendering has been something that has always been well-suited to parallelization. (Thus why companies like Pixar have massive render farms working in parallel on scenes.)

I'd imagine this is an area where it will make a difference how the APIs for the next gen consoles are designed. If developers are given tools to easily take advantage of the parallel processing and spin off worker threads, it will make a big difference in development and debugging. (Oh, the joys of debugging threading issues.)

It would be interesting to see a project plan for a major AAA game, and find out what the "long poles" are in development. I know that a lot has to happen in parallel for a game to be created, but I don't have a good sense of the total hours spent on modeling & animation vs. coding the AI logic, as 2 random examples.

Thanks for your thoughts, Covarr.

they spend more on development because THEY GET MORE.

If anything else,they shouldn't ask for a price raise to get even more than the already more they get.

$5 says that this announcement was only made so that there is less of an explosion of hate when next-gen games from Activision retail at $100 a shot.

Because, you know, solid gold toilets.

This is funny to me because it seems all the games I want to play cost less than $5M to make (Project Eternity, Wastelands 2, Star Citizen). Maybe if they didn't do so much marketing campaigns on big billboards or hire Hollywood actors for voice over they'd save some money.

Game do not get more expensive to make, they just keep spending tons and tons of money on their advertising. New engines can be expensive, but not many companies make new engines, nd if they do they use it for a long time recouping costs. This is just Kotick trying to jack the prices of games up to 70 dollars for the new generation.

Ympulse:
$5 says that this announcement was only made so that there is less of an explosion of hate when next-gen games from Activision retail at $100 a shot.

Because, you know, solid gold toilets.

They did the same thing last generation so that they could mark up the price of games to 60 Instead of 50.

Happiness Assassin:
Well, yeah. That is quite obvious. As technology progresses forward, it becomes more expensive and difficult to program a game. Back in the 80s a company could shit out a game in a couple of weeks. Now a game that doesn't spend years in development just can't compete in today's modern market.

Not true. Games could take just as long, and often did.

Well, I am no expert, but let me say this:
Old games - crappy graphics, mediocre gameplay (for the most part) <=> cheap costs
Modern games - better graphics, better gameplay (for the most part) <=> higher costs.
New generation equipment - better graphics, better gameplay (I hope) <=> even higher costs.

Isn't it like gamer greed? I mean we (as gamers) want more of everything, immersions, pixels, story, etc, etc, etc. It costs more to add those extra details. That plus the costs of training staff with new equipment and there you go. I think it's common sense for prices to go up, not endorsing it, but it's the "greed for more details" that's making this emerge.

WHAAAT?!

Do you...mean to say...that considering console generations' consistent history of rising development costs...

...

...this generation will result in...YET HIGHER DEVELOPMENT COSTS?!

No shit, my dog could've told me that.

A lot of folks commenting on the fact that this is "obvious". Well yes, it is, but you need to realize he's not saying it because it's obvious....he's saying it to justify an upcoming price hike on video games.

Better get ready for $70 video games, folks. "At some point, ya know, games have to make money" and all that bull.

image

No shit the cost of development is going to increase. It's not like we're, you know, moving on to more complex and advanced technology and therefore must have more complex and advanced code as well or anything.

Th37thTrump3t:
image

No shit the cost of development is going to increase. It's not like we're, you know, moving on to more complex and advanced technology and therefore must have more complex and advanced code as well or anything.

Nothing is faster than the speed of stupid.

OT: I love how the article points out that Activision had $4.8 Billion in revenues last year. How about telling us what their profit margin was? You know, how much they made per dollar spent? That would be a more telling figure in my opinion.

And why must costs go up? Are your in-house developers not capable of learning the new hardware/software? Does that require that more developers be hired? Will it take longer to code? I might understand if they were talking PCs since there is great variety of specs from one unit to the next and the software must work adequately on all (or at least a majority) of them. But console specs don't really change over the life of the device. The console I buy on launch day will have the same specs as the one bought a month before the next generation is released. Add to that the fact that console specs typically lag PC specs by at least three years....

If the games you are creating for PCs now have not required massive increases in development costs and most of the code is the same(beyond the bits that tune it for specific consoles) then where is this massive cost increase coming from? The need to incorporate more heavy-handed and useless DRM that does nothing but piss off legitimate customers?

Maybe Kotick should refrain from using 90 Million or so on overblown PR?

Then again, this way has been proven to be successful for the companys wallet so why should he.

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