Ever since its controversial trailer fired up 2005's Electronic Entertainment Expo, the forthcoming Killzone game for the PlayStation 3 has been missing in action. It was nowhere to be seen at a variety of high-profile events, including E3 2006 and the 2006 Tokyo Game Show. The shooter wasn't even mentioned at the Gamers' Day events Sony held to help hype the launch of the PS3.
Today, the long silence on the game was broken by the Dutch newspaper de Volksrant. In an article titled, "A video game more expensive than the most expensive film," the daily highlights the next-gen Killzone and its developer, Amsterdam-based and Sony-owned Guerilla Games. The piece's name comes from the fact that the game is costing more to develop than the priciest film in Dutch history, director Paul Verhoeven's World War II thriller Black Book (Zwartboek).
While Black Book cost more than 16 million euros (approximately $21 million), Guerilla won't mention specific numbers for Killzone's budget. "Our budget tops [the film]," said Killzone director Arjan Brussee. "We're working on the biggest multimedia project in Dutch history."
Killzone's high cost is due to the labor-intensive development nature of graphically demanding next-generation games. "Work that used to take someone a week now takes him a month," said Brussee. Currently, some 120 developers are working on Killzone--roughly three times the staff of the first Killzone. Interestingly, half of dev tem comes from outside the Netherlands, up from one third on the PlayStation 2 original.
Another factor driving up the game's price tag is localization, as the new Killzone will be fully translated in 20 different languages. This effort will pay off in the long run, Brussee thinks. "You sell 30 to 40 percent more [units] with a translated version," he said.
The Volksrant article also confirmed suspicions that Killzone will have downloadable content via the PS3's online PlayStation Store. "The Killzone that is in stores is only the beginning," promised Brussee. Though the developer did not go into specifics, the newspaper mentioned that new "chapters" will be downloadable, raising the prospect of episodic content.