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Former PlayStation boss claims rising development costs mean franchises will own the future

One-time PlayStation chief Shawn Layden believes burgeoning production costs will incentivise developers and publishers towards sequels.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 6, 2021

1 Min Read

Former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden believes the cost of making some PlayStation 5 titles could rise to as much as $200 million, and is concerned game development is becoming unsustainable

Layden left Sony Interactive Entertainment back in September 2019, stepping down from his role of chairman after over three decades at the company. During that time, he also served as CEO of SIE Worldwide Studios.

Speaking to Bloomberg about his time at Sony and the financial realities of triple-A development, Layden suggested the cost of production has been growing exponentially, and revealed the budgets for some big PlayStation 4 releases during his tenure totalled $100 million.

Making games, he claimed, "seems to double in cost every platform." As such, Layden wouldn't be surprised if we eventually see a PlayStation 5 project with a budget in the $200 million ballpark.

"If we can’t stop the cost curve from going up, all we can do is try to de-risk it. That puts you in a place where you’re incentivized toward sequels," he added, explaining what that means for consumers and creatives alike. "What happens there is you end up with 3-4 silos of games or game types that continue to exist, and variety is squeezed out."

You can hear more from Layden by checking out the full interview at Bloomberg.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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