Next-generation development will come at a price. Epic Games chief technology officer Tim Sweeney said at the Montreal International Game Summit (attended by GamesIndustry International) that he anticipates Epic will be able to make future platform games for "only about double the cost" of current-generation titles.
And it could have been higher. Sweeney added that Epic's first next-gen technology demo, the 2011 "Samaritan" video, took four months and a squad of 30 developers to create. This led Sweeney to be "greatly worried" about the cost associated with this kind of development.
“If we extrapolate that into creating an entire game, we were worried that the cost would go up by a factor of three or four or even five in the next generation,” Sweeney added. “And of course, we felt that was not acceptable.”
To fight this, Epic modified its content and production tools, boosting efficiency and lessening the total development cost along the way.
Sweeney's comments are in stark contrast to what Take-Two Interactive boss Strauss Zelnick said earlier this month. The Grand Theft Auto parent publisher executive said next-generation development may not necessarily be more expensive or complicated than it is on current tech.
"Do we believe the titles to be a whole lot more expensive to make for next-gen? And the answer is we do not," Zelnick said. "In many instances, we believe that it may be somewhat easier to make titles for next-gen, depending on how the technology comes together."