Spector shares next-gen development cost concerns

Warren Spector

Junction Point Studios president and creative director Warren Spector has confessed that he is “scared” by the arrival of next-generation systems.

Believing industry progression will see an increased demand for “Pixar-quality graphics rendered in real time with interactivity”, he believes that costs will sky rocket and it’ll be far harder for studios to make profit.

“Honestly? I don’t care much about hardware,” Spector explained to Digital Spy. “Nintendo games are some of the best games in the world and from a more graphical standpoint, the Wii can’t do what a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 can do. It’s about design and not so much about tech for me. Honestly, I’m more scared about what will come next than I am excited.”

He continued, “Once we can do Pixar-quality graphics rendered in real time with interactivity, I could see games costing $200 million to make and all of a sudden you have to sell a lot of games just to break even, so I’m a little worried someone’s going to do that. Someone’s going to spend… well, there are already people spending $100 million on games, that’s not even insane anymore.

“$200, 300 million games, I’m a little scared about that, there aren’t a lot of companies that have the resources or the courage to spend that much. So my gut’s in a bit of a knot about that but whatever comes along I’ll just make games that work on that platform, I don’t think about hardware too much. I think the power of the platforms is outstripping the size of the audience.

“We can’t charge $150 for a game. And when the best-selling game of all time has sold only 20 million copies, at $60, do the math! If you’re spending $200 million on a game and you’re making $60 on 20 million copies sold, oh wait, you’re losing money if you’re the best-selling game of all time basically, right?”

He concluded, “I don’t know how the business works anymore, that’s the problem. It already takes three years to take a game, when all of a sudden creating assets at an even higher level of quality and animations that are even a higher level of quality, I don’t know how we’re going to do it. We’ll figure it out but right now I’m content where I am.”

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