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Former Sony Exec: ‘More Short AAA Games Are Better Than One Long One’

Former PlayStation executive, Shawn Layden, has spoken about the “unsustainable” model that AAA games now strive for.

In an interview with Gamelab Live [via GamesIndustry.biz], Layden discussed the future of gaming, and the missteps that longer AAA games make in comparison to shorter experiences.

Credit: Naughty Dog

Speaking about the days when a $1 million budget was the height of excess, he reflected on whether or not long game development periods and huge expenses are really worth the turnaround.

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“The problem with that model is it’s just not sustainable,” he said, citing that the current-gen of gaming has seen development costs hit anywhere from $80 million to $150 million for many AAA games, and could then take five or more years to finish.

Credit: Santa Monica Studio

“I don’t think that, in the next generation, you can take those numbers and multiply them by two and think that you can grow,

“I think the industry as a whole needs to sit back and go, ‘Alright, what are we building? What’s the audience expectation? What is the best way to get our story across, and say what we need to say?’

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Credit: Rockstar Games

“It’s hard for every adventure game to shoot for the 50 to 60 hour gameplay milestone, because that’s gonna be so much more expensive to achieve. And in the end you may close some interesting creators and their stories out of the market if that’s the kind of threshold they have to meet… We have to reevaluate that.”

He went on to add: “Personally, as an older gamer… I would welcome a return to the 12 to 15 hour [AAA] game. I would finish more games, first of all, and just like a well edited piece of literature or a movie, looking at the discipline around that could give us tighter, more compelling content.

Credit: Naughty Dog

“It’s something I’d like to see a return to in this business.”

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Would you like to see more frequent – but shorter – AAA games on the market?

Featured Image Credit: Sony