Shawn Layden, the former executive of Sony PlayStation, has made a statement that has caught the attention of the gaming world. Speaking to Bloomberg, he stated that the gaming industry is on its path down an unsustainable path. He said that game development “seems to double in cost every platform [generation].”

Layden revealed that the budgets for his recent PlayStation 4 titles reached 100 million USD each. This upward cost curve, he said, needs to be taken care of; else we are going to have the production costs even high. He has predicted that first-party PS5 games will reach up to 200 million USD in production. Additionally, Layden claims that the costs will only grow exponentially from there. This is just from taking full advantage of the PS5’s extra power and potential to host graphics.

This heightening cost results in stale releases in already famous games such as Call of Duty. While at the same time, publishers pursue the latest trends, as seen in Candy Crush and Fortnite.

“3-4 silos of games or game types that continue to exist, and variety is squeezed out,”  – Shawn Layden

Layden stated that development studios would have to deal with the situation by a “de-risk” strategy; which “puts you in a place where you’re incentivized toward sequels.”

PS5 Games Price Increase

With a console as powerful as the PS5, Sony will only be looking to harness its complete capacity. This cost recovery might flow down to increasing the cost of individual games. We have already seen a 10 USD price increase in the next-gen games over the previous last-gen games; which current PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan defends. Ryan said that the consolation that the hours of entertainment justify such an increase.

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