PlayStation 4, Xbox 720 cheaper to make says 2K Games boss

two-two interactive

The world of console game development is very different today than it was just five years ago. In 2007, in the period when Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 were relatively new, it was still common for small developers with limited funds to develop and release full retail games for consoles. Not so much anymore. The rise of mobile devices like Apple’s iPhone, social networks like Facebook, and digital distribution channels of all stripes changed that ecosystem, but more than any other factor, the dramatic increases in development cost of high-definition video games crippled many studios. With the next generation of machines just around the corner, will the business of console game development contract even further?

Not according to Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick. Take-Two Interactive is the parent company of 2K Games, publisher of titles like Borderlands 2 and next year’s Grand Theft Auto V. Development costs for the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4, or Durango and Orbis if you prefer, may actually be lower than development costs for existing platforms.

“We don’t have a ramp-up of operating expenses for the next generation,” said Zelnick during an investor conference call following Take-Two’s recent earnings report having been asked how the transition will affect 2K Games’ costs, “I think I’ll answer a question you didn’t necessarily pose, which is, do we believe that 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.”

Sony is reportedly designing its next console specifically around affordability, a marked difference from the unwieldy, expensive proprietary technology that powered the PlayStation 3.

“In terms of timing, I think we are very mindful of the potential console transition. Of course, we rely on the information we receive from our hardware partners as does the market, and we typically don’t comment on it. We are very mindful of an upcoming transition and the consumer behavior puts a fine point on that, because as we head into the maturation of the cycle we see tie ratios come down and you’re see what happens when that happens.”

The video game industry likely can’t afford another increase in development costs like it did during the transition to current platforms. According to Ibis Capital, the average PlayStation 2, Gamecube, and Xbox game cost between $3 million and $5 million to develop. By 2010, though, the average console game cost between $18 million and $28 million, while blockbusters like Call of Duty cost as much as $50 million to develop. 

Mobile

Samsung says the Galaxy A9 won’t be its ‘best kept secret’ for much longer

The new Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 is different previous models, and with good reason: Samsung's strategy is changing, and it wants to provide better features and more value on its phones that cost less than the flagship S series.
Gaming

The PS5 rumors are heating up with reports of a potential 2020 release window

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.
Gaming

PlayStation is finally letting you change your terrible username

Sony is finally giving PlayStation 4 players the ability to change their PSN usernames. The first change will be free, while subsequent ones will cost between $5 or $10, depending on if you have a PS Plus membership.
Gaming

Yes, Sony is working on the PlayStation 5 — or whatever it’s called

Sony has finally confirmed that it is working on the next-generation successor to the PlayStation 4, though the company stopped short of revealing what the name would be. We have a pretty good guess.
Gaming

Cortana, meet Alexa: Buy an Xbox One from Amazon and get a free Echo Dot

If you buy an Xbox One S or Xbox One X bundle through Amazon right now, you'll also receive a free Echo Dot. The device features integration with Xbox One through the Alexa and Cortana assistants.
Deals

The Acer Predator 17 gaming laptop can replace your desktop PC for $999

Gaming laptops have come a long way, and the Acer Predator series is a shining example. The Acer Predator 17 can be yours for just $999 for a short time. With its beefy hardware and 17-inch display, it rivals many custom-build desktop PCs.
Gaming

W. Virginia isn’t for mutants, but its tourism board doesn’t mind if you think so

Bethesda and the state of West Virginia are partnering on a new tourism program intended to bring Fallout 76 fans to the state. Vault Boy sightings have been recorded across West Virginia already.
Gaming

Be the last player standing with our Call of Duty 4 Blackout mode survival tips

Battle Royale fans will find that lots of their strategies are skills carry over into the new Blackout mode in Call of Duty: Black Op 4. But with the franchise's signature perks, weapons, and equipment, there's still a lot of new stuff to…
Gaming

From Blackout to Zombies, here's everything we know about 'Black Ops 4'

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. Here's everything you need to know about the game, including info on multiplayer, Zombies, Blackout, and Signature Weapons.
Gaming

GameStop manager marks ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ launch by mimicking cover art

To celebrate the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, GameStop stores held midnight launch events across the United States. One manager even cosplayed as the cover star from the game, complete with an accurate haircut.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Mobile

Here’s our guide on how to get ‘Fortnite’ on your Android device

'Fortnite: Battle Royale' is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and it's finally on Android, even if getting set up is a bit long-winded. Here's how to play 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' on an Android device.
Product Review

'Black Ops 4' learns a few new tricks, but it's Call of Duty to the core

Despite nods to hero-based tactical gameplay, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s multiplayer feels as stable as ever -- even as the game trades in its story-driven campaign for the new Blackout mode.
Mobile

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.