Take-Two: next-gen development may be easier

Grand Theft Auto parent publisher boss claims next-generation game development not necessarily more expensive or complicated than it is on current tech.

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According to Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, it may be a myth that next-generation game development will be more expensive and complicated than it currently is. Speaking during a post-earnings conference call recently, Zelnick said Take-Two is not expecting to book additional expenses with the forthcoming arrival of new consoles.

"We don't have a ramp up of operating expenses for next-generation," Zelnick said. "Do we believe the titles to be a whole lot more expensive to make for next-gen? And the answer is we do not. In many instances we believe that it may be somewhat easier to make titles for next-gen, depending on how the technology comes together."

Elsewhere during the call, Zelnick responded to a question regarding when next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony will arrive. He did not offer a specific window, but made clear that Take-Two is expecting a console transition sooner rather than later.

"We are very mindful of an upcoming transition and the consumer behavior puts a fine point on that," he said. "Because as we head into the maturation of the cycle, we see tie ratios [games sold per console] come down, and you've seen what happens when that happens."

Zelnick added that the maturation of the current console cycle will have a minimal impact on Take-Two because gamers will buy high-quality titles no matter how late in the console cycle it may be.

"It fits very well with our stated strategy, which is we try really hard to do only the highest quality titles; the titles consumers will show up for without regarding to where you are in the hardware cycle," he said. "And that way we can really benefit from a large install base, which we already have, [and] which will grow larger through the holidays."

Zelnick concluded by saying it is paramount that Take-Two develops "must-have" games, because if it doesn't, consumers will seek out other titles from competitors.

"And we are, while not immune, we are less at risk for the lower tie ratios because we are putting out must-have products," Zelnick said. "If we don't put out must-have products, we too will be hurt by the fact that people are more selective with their purchases as we head into the end of the cycle. And everyone in our company is mindful of that, not the least our creative teams."

Discussion

0 comments
abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

Current gen is maxed out. There is plenty of more room for graphics to get better and I dont know if games will be much more expensive then they are now I mean nothing but the graphics will probably really change which doesnt cost that much.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

You have "next-gen" on PC, you prick! No matter how "next-gen" your precious consoles will come with at their launch day, the next one will have PCs with better hardware.

Orgil220
Orgil220

Or it could be we are just behind, never seen this long console cycle

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

yes, it will be easier because developers don't have to spend hours trying to downgrade the game so that it runs on consoles. Instead they can develop as they seem fit and not worry about limited RAM or complicated CPU cores and whatnot. Graphically, next-gen consoles will look identical which means the only thing that will make them stand out is something new. 

 

1. Either it's new exclusive software/games (Sony's doing that with games while Microsoft is doing it with Xbox Live/Music/TV)

 

2. or it's a new kind of hardware introduced to the market (Nintendo is doing that)

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

I've heard a lot about how Unreal Engine 4 is specifically designed to require less man-hours and specifically less code-inputting-hours, allowing people with little/no code experience to made significant changes and see their effect in near-real-time without waiting for compiling.  Now; since everyone was aware about how each new console generation was making their respective games more expensive... it makes a lot of sense that if Unreal Engine 4, in fact, DOESN'T make game designing cheaper that someone out there WILL make something that DOES.  They'd make a mint since their engine would save every company out there millions and millions.....

 

In short: there will most likely be, not just one, but several game designing engines that cut costs while increasing game quality.  That's the wonderful thing about capitalism: where there is a problem, there is a solution (because that solution will make it's inventor LOTS of money).  So..... I believe Take-Two is right.  Many companies have been silent about this issue... or even taking the other side... but I heard about Unreal Engine 4 and it's goal to cut development costs quiet a while ago... and I doubt they are the only people seeing a gold-mine here.  Never fear my fellow gamers!  Capitalism, for all the commies out there saying how terrible it is (Waahh!  Banks bad!  Hedge-funds bad!!) is a system that self-corrects and fixes it's own problems.  We'll all be fine and console gaming will also be so. 

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

It's because the next gen consoles really aren't going to be very different from the ones we already have.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

could mean that there isnt that big of a jump from the wii u

Borrizee
Borrizee

They say ps3is a pain in the ass,a monster to handle. Its maybe shortsided buts thats your job guys.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

he seems to make sense. I'm ready to embrace the next wave of consoles, although i really dont want to see the support dwindle away for current gen either.I want my cake and eat it to.

onixevil
onixevil

Yaye good for emulators .

Gen007
Gen007

IDk how it wont go up. People keep demanding higher quality and they are def gonna want it higher for next gen or people wont see the point in getting new consoles. Higher quality on all fronts just has to = more money. Yeah the multiplatform situation may become better but games are still gonna cost all around more money to make.

cheamo
cheamo

If Sony ditches the cell processor in favor of something more traditional I'm sure everything will be a whole lot easier for cross-platform developers everywhere.

tightwad34
tightwad34

I sure would hope technolgy get easier to grasp as we rapidly move along in the digital age. My gut also tells me there will a major downfall from the rapid development, if not more than one downfall.

soulless4now
soulless4now

I would hope not since that means we'll have even less games next gen than the current one. 

swyg
swyg

If one of the objectives of Sony, Microsoft, and third party developers is to make better graphics with the next-gen consoles, then how in the world is it going to be less expensive?  It might be easier to develop if the First party company's make the consoles easier to develop for, but less expensive?  I don't see it.

obsequies
obsequies

of course it will be...consoles are paralelling pc's more and more..not sure if its a good thing..eventually consoles will be if not already cheap pc's because of this

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

I can see costs being cheaper of both MS and Sony have hardware that run off similar architectures.  If that's the case then they don't need two entirely different development teams aiming for the lowest common denominator in terms of graphics.

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

If it's easier, can the cost of games go down? Because back when the price was hiked up, developers whined and cried that it had to happen because "it was too hard" to make games. Some even playing that "I can barely feed my kids" card.

firedrakes
firedrakes

yes making games for console are easier. but dev them are much harder do to the odd tech used in it. cell cpu on ps3 are still hard to dev and costly and the xbox 360 much easier to make but  odd chip to

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Hopefully developmental costs for games on Xbox 720 and Playstation 4 do remain reasonable. It is very difficult to make your money back on a game that cost $60 Million dollars to create. Only 11% of all videogames ever turn a profit. So if PS4 and Xbox 720 games do not skyrocket in Developmental costs. Then the industry can continue beyond the eight generation.

toshineon
toshineon

Whoa... Someone makes sense here. Of course, EA will find a way to up the retail price of a game to 99$ due to higher developement costs (read: greediness).

JudgementEden
JudgementEden

 @xsonicchaos Why do you stupid PC fanboys persist on touting this supposed superiority? No one gives a flying damn, shut up. You're just obnoxious.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

 @Thanatos2k As long as we can play games in actual 1080p I'll be content. All these years and my PC is still the only thing hooked up to my TV that I really use.

r1g0
r1g0

 @Borrizee well, they are doing it i think, at least i remember seeing games for the PS3, so they are at it.

 

Also you are looking at it the wrong way, the harder it is the more money is used on things like optimizing and getting it to work instead of the important things, like mechanics or arts or game story, think that every penny that it goes to making it work (instead of being "easy") is less money to what we actually enjoy, this makes the games extremely expensive to produce and this means less games of this level are available. 

 

"thats your job" thats childish

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

 @Gen007 why  would it go up? pc versions of the games are better looking and generally cost 10-20$ less. people pay more for console version of games cause it more conveniant  platform. only reason console games prices keeping going up is cause people will pay it.

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

 @cheamo 

 

Cell was a horrible idea to use in gaming from the get go. Sure it's fantastic for straight number crunching, but with the way most games are designed having a multitude of slow running processes is simply inferior to having 4 very fast running ones.

rarson
rarson

 @doraemonllh1989 

 

Ironically, the PC is stronger than ever; with the 7-year-old consoles severely hindering their usability by bumbling around with OS and game updates, it's actually easier for me to buy and play games via Steam than it is with a console, and they play better and cost less money.

ryzarts
ryzarts

 @doraemonllh1989 hahaha! your "next-gen" is 5 years late son.  PC gamers like me actually love that console kiddies finally get to move on to better hardware. 

 

why? so game developers wont have to lower their standards anymore. then again, give it 3 more years and consoles will once again be left behind. 

 

 

uHavBieberFever
uHavBieberFever

 @doraemonllh1989 You can keep patiently waiting for your "next gen" consoles. I've already been playing next gen games for a few years now on my PC which is literally at least 20x as powerful as your kiddie console.

Orgil220
Orgil220

@swyg when they say next gen, youre thinkin some bad ass high end machine, in reality nextgen consoles spec will be same as average nowadays pc, so i guess game developers already know what they are doing

rarson
rarson

 @swyg 

Better development tools save more time, which means saving more money.

expeditopaz2008
expeditopaz2008

 @crunchb3rry I have already read some articles about prices going up. Instead of $60, the AAA games would cost between 70 and 75 dollars. Without DLCs.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

 @crunchb3rry Nope.  You see all the DLC/preorder scam/project $10 stuff that's going on these days?  It's because game developers WANT to charge more than $60 but CAN'T.  So they sleaze people into it.

davedrastic
davedrastic

 @crunchb3rry The cost of development is unlikely to come down, I believe, because even if it is easier to develop, they will be developing better and bigger games - so their overall budgets will probably remain roughly the same.

 

Even if the cost of development is cheaper they'd be unlikely to decrease the price unless there is increased competition, which there might be. Perhaps those developers making iOS / Android games can step up to making games for the next gen of consoles fairly easily. That could change things.

uHavBieberFever
uHavBieberFever

 @toshineon The full retail price of EA games is already in excess of $100:

 

$60 cost up front

Usually an additional $50 for all the Disc Locked Content.

 

Borrizee
Borrizee

@r1g0 noted. I realise its a job you love otherwise you don't do it. Making games is a hell of a job and costs a lot of money,time and effort. That said i still believe when you do the job you have the handle the goods as good as possible. This generation consoles i don't see much of that,most of the games are on every console the same and there are to few creatif games öre people to do something different.

ekalbtwin
ekalbtwin

 @tsunami2311  @Gen007 It will go up if Devs are going to make games look and play better than they do now on the future consoles, simple as that.  And PC games have to be cheaper or they will not sell and people will find other ways to play them, often in shady ways.  I think the jump between this gen and next is not going to be  large as from last gen to this one.

Borrizee
Borrizee

@r1g0 true,but i never said it was easy. In fact i find every game bad or good a little miracle. I still sit and wonder how they sometimes do it and make it all work. Lets hope in general its better for us and them that work on it in years to come. Thanks for your opinion.

r1g0
r1g0

 @Borrizee i've noticed they say that is really hard make them look the same on every console and seems you are taking it for granted like if its that easy. Also is the job of the console-makers to create a good development enviroment so the people developing the games can do it the best they can, otherwise they will waste time on doing that.

toshineon
toshineon

 @MiltoxBeyond  @uHavBieberFever No, I don't. But other people will, and I can't stop them either. Which will lead EA to believe that they are doing something people like. Stop using the fucking "derp... you dont have to buy" excuse, because it's pathetic. With that logic, companies can do whatever the fuck they want.