As video game technology advances, it’s natural for their budget and development efforts to increase. This is especially true for well-known, prominent franchises, as loyal players have come to expect nothing short of excellence from these.
Take Shadow of the Tomb Raider as a prime example of just how expensive video games have gotten to develop. According to Eidos Montréal boss David Anfossi, the upcoming juggernaut has taken anywhere from $75-$100 million to develop – and this doesn’t account for the game’s marketing budget, by the way.
Anfossi explained to GamesIndustry.biz: “Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and other different AAA single-player games, cost $75 million to $100 million. And that’s production only; it’s close to $35 million on the promotion. So there’s definitely a pressure. We cannot avoid it. But, at the same time, for us to have these incubation projects and to try small things…that gives us the opportunity to test, prepare and secure some stuff, and remove some risk.”
The new Tomb Raider’s costly development also involves the experimentation of new models, or game mechanics, in order to keep the experience fresh and highly rewarding.
This means game studios take a monumental risk with these games and, similarly to a popular Hollywood film, a single title can easily make or break the company behind it.
In fact, it wasn’t long ago that Eidos Montréal released Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to mediocre sales despite positive critical reception. Anfossi’s best guess lies in a combination of good timing and hitting a trend while it’s still hot.
Speaking of trends, the big man acknowledges that single-player experiences may be slowly losing to social, multiplayer offerings. Yet, despite Tomb Raider being primarily a single-player title, he believes its strong storytelling can keep it above water much like the renewed God of War franchise has done.
“There are these trends every year, or every two years. Whether it is multiplayer, co-op, MMO or single player. If you deliver the right quality experience, you will reach the audience you want,” Anfossi stated.
“That being said, I believe that the story-driven experience is going through a generational change. Especially for people like me, the old guys… people who are 25 or older. Looking at God of War, that’s a pretty good example of a great single-player experience.”
Will you help support the increasingly competitive games industry? If so, keep an eye on Shadow of the Tomb Raider when it releases on September 14 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Meanwhile, check out our extensive Shadow of the Tomb Raider preview to learn much more about the game.