It’s not a mystery to anyone: since the takeover of a certain Jim Ryan within Sony Interactive Entertainment and the hasty departure of Shawn Layden, opinions have divided between the two men, and the ex no longer deprives himself of a designer who is now striving to do everything to devour whatever gets in his way.
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Questioned for a long time by our colleagues Games industry, Shawn Layden has once again shared his analysis of a highly concentrated market with rising production costs:
Development costs are doubled with each generation of consoles. The games cost between $ 100 million and $ 150 million on PS4, so I think they’re over $ 200 million on PS5. This means that the number of potential competitors is very small.
Last year Layden pleaded for a shortening of the lifespan of the video game, hoping to reduce costs and keep the selling price relatively stable.
As a result, as it becomes increasingly difficult to find the funding to start working on an AAA that is so expensive for the industry, independence also seems very difficult to maintain as the various manufacturers now constantly strive to buy each studio that would go through history to secure another exclusivity. But the prospect of a video game arms race doesn’t seem to resonate in the eyes of the former leader:
During the same period we saw further consolidation. In a sense, consolidation is the enemy of diversity: parts are pulled away while they are absorbed by conglomerates.
This strategy is understood by financial managers: we monopolize all resources to rob the competition, but all of this at the expense of diversity. This is my biggest fear: the industry will die and in the end everything will be the same.
It must be said that his presidency was indeed characterized by a proactive policy given the delay in initiating independent games, a strategy that now seems a long way from Ryan’s battle plan, which is geared towards obviously expensive blockbusters.
As a member of the Streamline Media Group’s Board of Directors, will Layden now turn his vision for video games into reality? Interest is waning, not without delivering a final prophecy of our own:
Video games are nearing the end of their second period, which will last 25 or 30 years and which will consist of having consoles everywhere.
What do you think of the model that Layden defended? Should the games get shorter again to find a balance? Let us know your expert opinions in the comments below.