OmniGamer

Will the price of next generation games increase?

We are now in the seventh year of the Xbox 360, and six year of the PS3 and the first wave of next generation consoles has arrived in the form of the Wii U, this article will dive into the software that will dazzle our eyes when the next generation is in full swing.

I will discuss the prices that gamers around the world will have to pay to see all those pixels, my previous article gave a brief look at possible architecture of Sony and Microsoft next generation offerings and we took a look at the Wii U.

This article will go into the software side of the games and services that the next generation will possibly offer. Some developers have made comments on how much it would cost to make next generation games, some developers have stated that they don’t see much of difference in the cost, while engine creators like Unreal have estimated that it might be 4 times the cost of a current generation game.

Let’s look at some of the possibilities of the next generation of gaming, at this time we will look at the art assets and the different software components that could possibly go into making a next generation game, since a lot of the R&D budget is spend on it.

A recent interview with IO, the creators of the new Hitman games, discuss how the developers felt constraint by current generation technology, what this means is that corners had to be cut to fit the developers goal of making AAA game.

With the limited amount of Ram that the current consoles have game developers have to spend time creating new techniques and engines to squeeze every last drop of processing power from the PS3 and the Xbox360; time equals money when it comes to making games, so the more time you spend trying to make a pig fit into a dress, the more money you spend buying new dresses when it rips.

If developers had 4 to 8 gigs of ram to work with in a console environment there would be no need for them to try and figure out how to fit their game into the small amount of space that the current consoles gives them.

This means more power which equals to prettier visuals, better AI, better physics, and an overall better game in the hands of the right developers.

Now developers will say with next generation power, gamers are going to want the bridge to the uncanny crossed and that will take more artists, programmers and bigger assets to make those kinds of visuals come true. PC games like Battlefield 3 are looking pretty damn good; sure it could look better but again will better mean more money coming out of our pockets?

The reason I bring up Battlefield 3 is because the frostbite technology is really impressive and EA has access to that technology, what this does is spread the cost of next generation development evenly, EA does not have to licenses Unreal engine 4 for some of their games and Crytek 3 for others, they can use in-house technology for all of their games and save on that licenses fees.

The expensive part of change from current generation technology to next generation technology is creating that wow factor, developers think ‘I’ve got make my game look as close to CGI quality as possible.’ That can be an expensive and that’s why developers use or create their own game engines.

Creating a game engines is expensive proposition, it takes time and man power, the reason the unreal engine is so popular this generation is the cost of creating a new engine.  R&D for game engines is time consuming and can command a lot of man power but a AAA game needs a good engine.

So far all the possible next generation games look stunning, does that mean the price for these games will stun us as well?  When I think next generation I think current generation cut scene as in-game action.

Let’s look at what tools developers will possibly use to give us those visuals. First we will discuss lighting, one of the possible technique that developers might be using is Ray tracing, Ray Tracing is when an image is generated by tracing the a path of light through pixels in an image plane.

This technique is capable of producing very realistic visuals. The problem with ray tracing is the computational drawback; ray tracing at this time is best suited for still images and film. If the next generation has the muscle to make ray tracing a real application in game design we will have one of the equation for creating toy story like graphics in game.

The next lighting technique is global illumination, global illumination are group of algorithms used in 3D graphics, in other words images using global illumination algorithms gives a more photorealistic visual.

There is a debate of which solution will work best for next generation gaming, but both give a realistic feel when it comes to giving more realistically illuminated scene. These lighting techniques have been around for a while and developers won’t have to invent the wheel; the use of these techniques will be adopted if the hardware has the juice to make it happen.

So it might cost the game developers extra or it might not cost them anything if the engine they are using has the right lighting solution, by the way BF3 use geometrics enlighten engine, which is the global illumination technique.

A recent interview with geomerics stated that the next generation consoles are coming close to avatar like lighting. On a side note unreal refers to the lighting source on unreal engine 4 as, dynamic global illumination.

The reason why I focused on lighting solution, in next generation of games, is that lighting will be a big part of giving next generation games that CGI look. Yes there will be polygon counts, but with tessellation and other techniques you can cheat on the geometry.

The real question is, will all this new technology, and in game assets cost us gamers more money?  My answer is yes and no, depending on how the developers tackle our expectation of visual in a next generation games.

Will EA, Ubisoft, Activison and Take Two create visuals that cause developers to go all out when comes to graphics?  Developers that have in-house gaming engines ready to scale up to next generation graphics will have R&D costs already budgeted, but the developers that don’t have their gaming engines ready to go will have to spend the initial cost of licensing or creating an engine.

Games with better visuals can be a great source for advertisement dollars, this can also create new ways for developers to make money by selling virtual spaces in games, I’m not talking a full on commercial in a game, but a realistic looking coke machine.

If developers don’t have a game engine, get one, it seems that next generation visuals will be at certain standard, as the games at E3 looked fantastic.

That means the bar is going to be set high for visuals, it seems that having a good engine will keep cost down.  I would like to see in game cutscenes almost live action like, but I don’t want to have to get a second job to buy a next generation games.

Games are too expensive now, and yes, I willing to pay full price for AAA title.  But if developers try to get an extra 20 dollars for a game, and think when hardcore gamers see the games they’ll pay the extra money that will be a mistake.

This is my opinion of course and we don’t know if it’s going to cost more money but if it is, Mr. Developer I might give an extra 10 dollars, but for 80 dollars I might have to pass.

Written by

Rickey is a gamer to the core, He can remember at the early stages of his life playing pong, for every generation that has been, He has owned a console in that generation, He likes to study the architecture, the structure,and the software of every system that he has owned. From Atari, to Sega, to Nintendo,to Sony, and his favorite company Microsoft, he has been there gaming.

5 Comments to “Will the price of next generation games increase?”

  1. dakan45 says:

    It is really quite simple. Games used to be 30 and 40 bucks, now everything MUST cost 60. Its more of a trick rather a reason. Games sell 10 times more of what they did in the past, increasing the price is a trick justified by poor “high development costs” excuses. If that was true, ps3 games would be more expensive, blu ray is very expensive.

    When you buy a 60 bucks game, 10 go to the developer, 10 to the marketing, 10 to the seller, eg local shop, gamestop or steam and the rest are 20 to the publisher and 10 for the royality fees, eg sony and ms. Pc has no royality fees so why games cost 60 bucks? I mean they are obviously not the versions that the game was intended for, just a cheap port. However game companies charge 60 bucks becasue they CAN. Same reason games are more expensive in Australia, the price of the Australian dollar fell, so they upped the prices, people kept on buying so there was no reason to lower the price.

    On top of that, games nowadays can be completed in a few hours and half the game is missing to be sold as day 1 dlc. EA has stated they love day 1 dlc becasue it turns day 1 60 bucks sales into 70 and 80 bucks sales. Also games are aimed to “appeal to a broader audience” So no one should use excuses like “thed evelopment costs are high” the truth is “we are gready bastards” and the gamers should know this.

    I just love how many bazzilions sales ea says that are required for games to break even, 3 million for kingdom’s of amalaur, 5 for dead space 3, if they dont seel atleast that, either the costs aint covered or the series does not worth pursuing.

    SERIOSULY?

    They are lying through their teeth. MS and sony could EASILLY promote their own games, eg gears of war, halo or uncharted by not pricing them 60 bucks. Their are the publishers, they PAY for the damn games to be made so no royality fees, but hey…. they are greedy bastards. Infact did you know that MS paid rockstar 50 million for TIMED exclusivity for gta iv dlcs? i am not maknig this up, look it up.

    Yet more bazzilion sales are required and more dlcs and more expensive games and the need to appeal to every gamer and non gamer in the whole planet is also required.

    GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEED

    The cheap bastards want to ban used game sales, because they dont get anything out of them. Essentially having a monopoly and perfect control of who plays the game. Its a dream really, owning the product you sold even after you sold it. The european court has ruled that digital goods should be able to be re-sold by the buyer. However NONE of the companies have complied with that, if you buy a pc game, digital or boxed copy, the game is bound to your acount, you cant sell it.

    So in al this injustice, indie release cheap games, without bazzilions of dlc and riddiculous development costs and sales requirements. Hell, games that got turned down by publishers, who woud propably require a bazillion of sales from the publishers, are getting fan funded for a million or two, some times only thousands of dollars.

    Vote with your wallet, i do.

  2. Logan says:

    Used games sales hurt everyone but the retailer that gets the traded in games at a good deal for their business, which hurts the dev and hurts the consumer. So no, they’re not greedy for wanting to eliminate used game sales. In Canada most games are $59-$69 range so I kinda hope they prices don’t go up but I am thinking if they are smart they’ll try and drop the price $10 at the most, but I fear they may justify new powerful tech by saying the entry price for a game is $69 resulting in a $10 increase in standard price.

    Just watch, I really hope it doesn’t go up, but I’m worried that it will at least be 70% likely

    • dakan45 says:

      When you buy a used car, the companies that first sold them, dont get anything, they can be supported though with sellign parts for maintance.

      Same could be done for dlc. Truth is they are greedy, that is all.

  3. Josh Gordon says:

    Id happy pay 100 pounds for a game on the caliber of Versus 13, I know it isnt even out yet but i can tell its going to be amazing. If they started making games the gamers actually wanted. Id pay how ever much the asking price. But if the game isnt a 9 out of 10 minimum then its unfortunate for them next time round, The dearer the price the less games get bought. Unless they step up

  4. The Truth says:

    I don’t understand why they don’t make smaller games or parts of games for $25. For example, a new Battlefield comes out where you only get a 1/2 of the campaign and a lite multiplayer for $25. Then, if you want more campaign and multiplayer levels/modes. You pay another $25. It’s a win win. That way, if part 1 flops, the developer can cut their losses right then and there and move onto another game. Also, if you think the games sucks, you didn’t blow $60.

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