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In an interview with Bloomberg, he explained that the cost of game development doubles with every platform noting that recent big PlayStation 4 titles have hit $100m. “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,” explained Layden.
As the Bloomberg article notes, higher budgets lead to the likes of “stale” annual releases such as Call of Duty and Madden. “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,” Layden said.
It’s not all bad news though for creativity with Layden also noting that he believes he contributed “a part into showing the world what amazing gameplay can look like” during his time at Sony.
In the same interview, Layden explained how he left the company to avoid burnout having previously called AAA development unsustainable. In the past, Layden oversaw some of the platform’s highest-rated games including Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War, he felt “that seemed like a good time to step off on top and allow another generation to take the PlayStation 5 to market”.
In related news, the PlayStation Showcase 2021 airs on September 9 and will offer a “look into the future of PS5” with the hope that a number of new games will be announced during the 40-minute broadcast.