Former People Can Fly developer Adrian Chmielarz, who served as creative director for Bulletstorm and went on to co-found The Astronauts which is working on The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, recently shared his thoughts on the current pricing for AAA games these days. Speaking to Games Industry International, Chmierlarz feels that if you charge that much for a game, the player should feel as though the actual value is far greater.
“Everybody is smart in retrospect, and looking back I do think that we were possibly among the first victims of this giant shift in gaming, where the middle-class AAA games began to die – not ‘middle-class’ by quality, but we didn’t have ten multiplayer modes and co-op and all of that.”
“The saying in the industry right now is, ‘If you want to sell a game for $60, to the player it has to feel like $200.’
“Bulletstorm was a $60 game for $60. And these days $60 for a game sounds basically crazy, when there are literally hundreds of high quality games out there for a much smaller price–even on console. In 2014, $60 for a game is a little insane.”
Much of that extra value is provided by adding filler to an experience, something The Vanishing of Ethan Carter will be avoiding “There is a necessity to add filler in AAA games, whether it be collectibles or one more wave of enemies. It’s unfortunate, and it’s also proof that the world is insane.” This is especially so when “70 or 80 percent of people never finish the game.”
Do you agree with Chmierlarz’s views? Let us know in the comments.