Guerrilla Games: Budgets and Risk Continue to Rise
As each disc-based generation was introduced, with it came increased prices on the gamers. Remember when Sony’s first-party games retailed for $39.99 upon release for the PlayStation 2? Thanks to the high definition era and increased technical limitations with hardware, developers and publishers alike are forced to drastically raise their budgets in order to meet and exceed expectations.
Developer of the upcoming PS3 exclusive, Killzone 3, is one of the developers that is undoubtedly facing the financial heat in order to craft the best looking first-person shooter on the console. While certain publishers believe video game development budgets have reached the top of its mountain, producer of Killzone 3 believes otherwise. According to Steven Ter Heide:
“There’ll certainly always be big budget titles because audiences will always want to see these over-the-top kind of no-holds-barred titles. I don’t know where the budgets are going but they’ll probably continue to rise for the next couple of years because the amount of stuff that you need to put into games, the stuff that the audience is expecting, that’s still growing as well. I don’t see it levelling out – both spectrums are going to continue to grow, from top to bottom.”
One thing for sure is that a higher budget comes with it a higher risk due to the cost involved. On top of this, however, the lead producer at Guerrilla Games makes it a point to mention that developers should not forget to take creative risks. Ter Heide also makes it a point to mention the invaluable support from a larger publisher. As stated by Mr. Ter Heide:
“It’s very tempting to start small, and work on smaller games and slowly grow, but you have to have an end-goal in sight and say ‘how do I get there, what steps do I have to take, how do I build my engine, how do I make my technology positions, what’s my artistic vision, what kind of talent do I need to attract?’. I know it’s risky, but I don’t think there’s any other way. Playing it safe doesn’t hack it, you have to be able to take risks. It’s easier said than done, and it’s easier for me to say when I’m working with a big publisher and having that support, but I think for an indie developer it’s really important to aim high and take that risk.”
While this comment pertains mainly to aspiring independent developers without the guidance of a publisher, for the consumers, this is a great indication that Killzone 3 truly will prove to be the most ambitious project from Guerrilla Games to date. Killzone 3 launches this coming February, 2011.