It’s a fact that plenty of studios have been closed this gen. Mid-tier development is disappearing because it is incredibly hard to sustain it with mediocre sales. If a project isn’t successful, chances are that the studio does not get another chance to prove themselves.
Microsoft has the same dilemma with Halo 4, we really don’t know what the next-gen budget would be for an ambitious first-party game like that. However, Xbox India chief Anshu Mor had some things to say about this.
“It’s a very subjective thing to define the cost of development. Now, just kind of speculating, the next Halo version…our intent could be to just take the storyline further, with the same functionalities and people would love that because the storyline, especially with titles like Halo, is very strong with the characters in it,” he said.
“We could choose to define the experience across different screens, a very different experience across different screens, or we could define the integration levels to be far bigger or higher with the next Halo game, or for that matter, the next Gears of War game. It depends on what I want to do with the game.
“If I just want to carry a franchise with the storyline, where the basic construct of the game remains the same, development costs could go lower because we already own the IP, the royalties don’t work that way, there is a set module of development for that particular game. But if I want to add innovation in terms of multiple devices or multiple UI, or multiple experiences, then the costs could go up. It depends on the franchise.”
He mentioned that it is also subjective: “Halo is a big enough franchise – very profitable franchise – and to look at the next version and say, “Hey, what could we do different?”…there could be some studios which are looking to just make good money and not risking too much of development cost to do too much with their franchise, because that’s what the consumers want. Fairly subjective in that sense, but I think both modules would exist…depends on which franchise you want to look at.”
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