‘It’s possible to make many things more realistic.’
The imminent arrival of the Next Gen consoles will signal an upsurge a rise in development costs to unprecedented levels, so much so that sales numbers need be at least in the millions to brake even. According to Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, the episodic model could possibly help developers deal with such issues.
In an interview with EDGE, when asked whether the next generation could lead to even bigger development costs and resources, Kojima had this to say:
“It’s possible to make many things more realistic, but that doesn’t mean you should. You have to prioritise, and that is what’s going to separate the teams that succeed from the teams that don’t. A very deep, 20-30 hour game might need a bigger team and take three or four years.”
Kojima suggested that the episodic model would help developers take experimental risks without investing a substantial sum of money. And if it proves successful, the developers can pursue their projects knowing well that there’s already an established audience who are willing to delve deeper into their products.
“[But] I think there’s a different way of tackling this problem: something similar to a TV series, where you can use pilot episodes to test the waters before you jump completely into the project… It can be distributed via download channels, so the player can try it out before production continues. Something like that wouldn’t take that long to create, maybe a year, and if it’s successful, you can continue.”
Kojima believes that interaction between the developer and consumer will play an integral role in the next generation.
“I think there’ll be a social aspect to game creation, because it will be more interactive. You’ll get user feedback, and I think there’ll be this back-and-forth between users and creators,” he said.
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