The discussion about next-generation seems to be everywhere in the gaming industry, with publishers, developers and analysts all carrying their own opinions regarding when, what and how of the high-end consoles.
While the performance capabilities of the much-awaited consoles has been the most talked-about factor, the discussion has recently shifted to something that is of huge importance for both the company financing the project and the developers producing it, operational expenses.
Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft believes that the arrival of the new technology in the form of high-end consoles will not have any significant impact on the development cost of games.
Touching the issues of operation expenses during a conference call recently, Ubisoft’s chief executive Yves Guillemot conceded that the company plans on making games for both the current-generation as well as next-generation consoles simultaneously.
He explained that by focusing on consoles of both the generations for the first couple of years, which would make its development costs remain pretty close to what they are now.
However, once the development team gets used to the high-end hardware, it would want to unleash the consoles’ full potential, consequently making it uncertain if the development costs will increase, decrease of stay the same.
“For the first two years [of next gen development], because we are making our games on next gen and old gen at the same time, we expect the overall [development] costs will not increase. We don’t know about the third year, when we will take full advantage of the capacity of the consoles,” stated Guillemot.
Another thing that the publisher’s chief executive highlighted was the effect on revenue per product.
According to him, the trend of downloadable content (DLC) and the associated micro-transactions will allow game makers to earn more revenue on average off every user than what they are making right now.
The item-based content has been increasing in popularity over the years, making some publishers going as far as making the game available to gamers for free, while making the project profitable through premium content that range from new weapons, clothes, items to other enticing items and privileges.
Ubisoft is not the only company that feels the arrival of next-generation consoles will not cause the development costs to rise.
The CEO of Take-Two is also of the opinion that the development process will become easier and more convenient with the arrival of the next-generation hardware. In his opinion, the technology will even make the cost of working on a quality project decrease in some instances.
While Ubisoft has not yet openly talked about any title that it is developing for both the current and next generation of consoles, it seems highly likely that Watch Dog is one of the games that will be making its way to two different generation of technology.