Tim Sweeney, the leading executive in charge of technology at Epic Games, believes that the future of AAA video games for the next generation of consoles is bright, but warns that the costs associated with their development will rise sharply.
Speaking at the Montreal International Game Summit and quoted by GamesIndustry.biz, the Epic Games developer said, “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. And of course, we felt that was not acceptable.”
Development teams need to find ways to eliminate costs and redundancies in order to make sure that they can create solid game projects without exposing themselves to risks if they fail.
Sweeney talked about the Samaritan tech demo that was delivered for Unreal Engine 4, explaining that it took 30 people four months to create the clip, which was not sustainable in the long term.
The Epic Games executive also talked about the competition between AAA titles, like the Gears of War or Unreal series, and free-to-play games.
He explained that, “If a user has world-class, AAA free-to-play games to choose from side-by-side with $60 games that are available only on a disc in a retail store, free-to-play games are very likely to win. So we need to really be mindful of this trend and start building games that have monetization and are designed to be piracy-proof.”
Neither Sony nor Microsoft has yet announced clear plans for the next generation of home gaming consoles, but they are expected to do so in the early months of 2013.
Epic Games is at the moment working on Unreal Engine 4 and on Fortnite, the first video games that will use it.
Fortnite will be launched next year, at the moment just on the PC.