Author Topic: Expanded Game Dev Time  (Read 599 times)

telekill

Expanded Game Dev Time
« on: April 04, 2023, 08:44:06 am »
At some point during the last generation of gaming development time doubled going from 2 - 3 years, to 5+ years per game. What does that mean?

Well, it means less games for one. Remember how Naughty Dog used to put out three games per gen of the series they were making? Now they can't be fussed to bother making a new IP for the PS5?.. opting instead to just "remake" the first Last of Us game. Maybe they're a bad example as they used to be top tier... and now... well... aren't.

How about Resident Evil? How is Capcom doing? Their stock is apparently through the roof this year, making them probably the only ones with decent stock at the time of this writing. What have they released recently. Oh yeah, Resident Evil 2, 3, 4 remakes. Last gen they switched to first person for RE7. Then eventually made first person RE8 for PS5. Then Monster Hunter is still big.

Capcom at least is releasing games for their various series. How about Rockstar? They used to release 3+ games per year during the PS1 and PS2 gen. How many non-ports have they released since 2013?... now 10 years ago? Oh... one... RDR2. Everything else from them has been GTA V. Rockstar has become pathetic.

You might be asking where I'm going with this. Well, I think we're now at a point where games that have been announced, could be taking such incredibly long times to make that they will skip entire generations.

Here's what's been announced that I have excitement for:
 - Mass Effect 5
 - Instinction
 - Tomb Raider next gen
 - Witcher 1 Remake (yes, there are some remakes I enjoy)
 - Witcher 4

Notice how none of the above are Playstation exclusives? Generally by the time a new Playstation launched, there were at least four exclusives that I was hyped for coming down the pipe. PS5 had two that I was ok on and they've already released two years into the life of the hardware. These long dev times, I feel, are why Sony has shut up completely. They don't announce anything anymore. They don't want to announce something for their current hardware only to see those games skip said hardware. Imagine each game having The Last Guardian dev times.

That's where we're at. The above mentioned games? I fully expect that half of those won't even touch PS5 or X1X. PC players aren't much safer as they'll need to upgrade their video cards before these games release. That is the reason we're seeing more ports of classic games and remakes. Time to expect announcements to come fewer and more far between. Time to expect AAA games to be even fewer.

Have you noticed this as well?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2023, 08:57:56 am by telekill »

telly

Re: Expanded Game Dev Time
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2023, 11:58:39 am »
There's a lot to discuss with this. It's largely because games are more expensive and resource intensive to produce than ever before, as AAA games continue to push for scope, realism and cutting edge graphics as a major selling point.

The original tradeoff of these unreasonable development times/costs was that game developers would suffer as a direct result. I don't know if you've read any of Jason Schreier's investigative work on the western game industry, but he's published a lot on how the volatile and unethical treatment of workers, developers and studios have undertaken to push these big games out the door to meet deadlines. That has thankfully come into the mainstream more with the horrible labor practices Rockstar, EA, Activision/Blizzard, and other companies.

I don't follow modern game development schedules, but if these longer development times are because of studios actually being given the time they need to make games, then I have no problem with that whatsoever. Of course companies will start pushing out remakes as a stop gap in order to keep making money in the meantime, but I have no problem with that either.

It's also worth noting that there is a huge push from company executives to develop games with mechanics that can be used to make money for years and years, rather than take a risk with new expensive-to-produce IPs which may or may not be successful, and if they are, they have limited profits because they are single player experiences that only make money on release day. That's precisely why GTA V is still being given new content and TES Online is being more supported over GTA 6/TES 6's development. It's why multiplayer games are far more prolific and are often shoehorned into traditionally single player experiences.

But this is not something that's new or a unique problem of western studios. Xenogears, Chrono Trigger, and Suikoden II are some that come to mind that had horrendous development periods because of tight deadlines. And there are many other beloved games that suffer from a similar fate.
Currently Playing:
Tunic (Switch)

My music collection | My Backloggery

dhaabi

Re: Expanded Game Dev Time
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2023, 05:44:39 pm »
What does that mean? Well, it means less games for one.

Regarding AAA titles, perhaps. But the means for developing games has only increased exponentially in the modern era. There are more games being developed now than ever before.

Quote
That's where we're at. The above mentioned games? I fully expect that half of those won't even touch PS5 or X1X. PC players aren't much safer as they'll need to upgrade their video cards before these games release. That is the reason we're seeing more ports of classic games and remakes.

I read somewhere that if a AAA project hasn't already started development, it will not likely release for this generation of consoles. Whether that statement is being exaggerated upon or not, I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it were true.

Since you've mentioned Capcom's latest efforts in modernizing the Resident Evil franchise, I i imagine that the biggest reason they're being made is that the demand for them is high. If there is demand and marketing knows the product will sell, they'll gladly push it. I'm assuming that the same game engine is being used alongside some recycled assets being present, so development time is likely shortened. Even so, the development time is still lengthy as a remake is far different than a remaster.


The original tradeoff of these unreasonable development times/costs was that game developers would suffer as a direct result. I don't follow modern game development schedules, but if these longer development times are because of studios actually being given the time they need to make games, then I have no problem with that whatsoever.

I'd like to think that such practice is actually happening, but I and probably you know that it isn't in most cases. Even when development times have been lengthened, more often than not, there will still always be development crunch and unrealistic milestone deadlines to meet.

pzeke

Re: Expanded Game Dev Time
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2023, 02:23:54 am »
Not trying to use the "AAA bad, indie good, ooga booga!" circlejerk, but there are plenty of great games out there that aren't made by big game companies. I mean, don't get me wrong, I get it, I waited a long time for Kingdom Hearts III to end in bitter disappointment, but gaming isn't just "AAA" games.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2023, 01:32:40 pm by pzeke »

I know your every move behind this face; I have control over expendable slaves.
When confrontation comes down to the wire, I'll use my cyclotrode to commence the fire.
You're never gonna get me!