Erik Aston said:
Static, you're arguing these little points and missing the big picture.
If a developer wants to make the same game they made for PS2 a few years ago for PS3 today, its a far, far, far riskier proposition. They've got 1/50th of the installed base. They've got less knowledge of the hardware. Less middleware solutions and engines have been developed. The expensive hardware has sped up the graphical arms race. The audience is becoming more and more conditioned to expecting more and more content in each subsequent game, and expecting a MAJOR jump for "next-gen", especially if they're going to shell out so much money.
When a developer comes out and talks about it being too expensive to develop for PS3 or 360 (and lots of devs are doing so), this is what they're talking about. Now, they might say "cost to develop in HD," which I guess the surface observation, and is only partially true. But costs ARE climbing. We can see the rising costs in game prices--both the console makers and game developers need the 20% more per game to keep having the same kind of profits.
As for Gears only costing 10 million to make... Well, obviously there's a special situation with the engine there... As well as with the marketing, which was probably way above average... Still, no doubt a hugely profitable game, but a system's best-seller this far into its cycle better be.
Make the same game? Not possible for it to cost "more". Somewhere along the line they are going to want to push a boundary. New AI, Physics, tools, textures or techniques. And this all falls under choice I am well aware of the guidelines MS and Sony put forth on thier games so that also affects what you market a game as to a publisher.
And you have inadvertantly made my point. There have been more middleware solutions that the next gen systems can take advantage of where thier previous entry's could not.
And why is it do you think capcom and SE licensed the unreal engine?
HappySqurriel, in postmortem roboblitz is an example of what I am talking about. Utilizing a next gen engine, team of 12 done in 11 months.
"With that said, when people are talking about "Next Generation Games" they do not mean Capcom vs. SNK ..."
And that is a problem. Who is defining what next generation is? Because geometry wars, zelda and MGS are all going to be next generation games. What I think is being referred to here is next generation AAA title. Yes it is going to be expensive if you want to make the next MGS, FFXIII or DMC. But if you were a small developer would you be trying to make such a game? Even if you were, how long would that take to complete?
When you worked on a game, happy, who set the tone and the direction of the development? Who made the call of quality? Who set the deadline?
Am I really that far off in saying that cost ultimately is choice. It has not been a result but a factor in the equasion.
Let us try this. I would like people to make a list of developers complaining about how expensive it is to go next gen. Next I want you to see what they are trying to do while making this game. Anything new? Innovative? Making their own engine? Have they ever worked on the system before? Do they normally work on consoles?
I don't want to sound like a nutcase but this sounds like the growing pains. I am sure devs balked at the cost of making a PS2 game or an Xbox game but as time progressed did the average game get more expensive or less expensive to make?