The $60, 50-Hour, Next-Gen AAA Blockbuster is Dying: Ex-PlayStation Boss

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The $60, 50-Hour, Next-Gen AAA Blockbuster is Dying: Ex-PlayStation Boss
  • Former SIE Worldwide Studios boss says the current AAA model is unsustainable.
  • Shawn Layden calls for developers to reevaluate the 50 to 60-hour gameplay standard to curb development costs.
  • The executive believes that the biggest hurdle to sustainability is the retail cost of games.

Former PlayStation executive Shawn Layden reckons the biggest hurdle to a sustainable AAA model is the immovable pricing of games.

Unsustainable AAA Model

Speaking during this year’s digital edition of the Gamelab Live conference, Layden notes that game development costs have increased exponentially, but the retail price of games has remained lodged at $59.99 for the better part of 25 years.

Layden harks back to the days when a $1 million budget sufficed to bring to market the industry’s biggest releases. Nowadays, budgets for AAA release quickly balloon to sums anywhere from $80 to $150 million.

echoing similar comments from current Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO, Jim Ryan. Something has to give for developers to keep churning out acclaimed big-budget games.

Price-point is a touchy subject for players. It’s one that neither the platform holders nor publishers have yet broached in regards to the next-gen.

Whether that silence means a continuation of the $60 status quo, or the quiet before the inevitable storm of a price bump announcement is unclear.

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