The video game industry has witnessed a surge in the development of triple-A games, with RPGs like Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout, and Mass Effect leading the pack.
However, with the development of games becoming more time-consuming and expensive, game developers have to constantly push their skills and creativity to new limits. Microsoft’s upcoming RPG Starfield also aims to raise the bar in terms of standards.
In a roundtable discussion hosted by PC Gamer, game designers from Yellow Brick Games, CD Projekt Red, Obsidian, and Hidden Path Entertainment shared their experiences and insights on the challenges of developing these massive triple-A games.
One of the key issues discussed was the rising cost of development, which remains a significant concern for game developers.
Paweł Sasko, the Quest Director at CD Projekt Red, shed some light on the reasons behind the high development cost of Cyberpunk 2077 compared to their previous project, The Witcher 3.
According to Sasko, the expectations of players were much higher for Cyberpunk, and the game’s immersive first-person perspective added to the development cost.
By the time of its release, Cyberpunk 2077 had cost a staggering $174 million, which is more than twice the cost of The Witcher 3, which had a budget of $81 million. Sasko explained that the absence of cuts or black screens in Cyberpunk, as seen in The Witcher 3, added to the development cost.
The first-person perspective without cuts is a vital component of Cyberpunk’s immersive experience, which also made it prohibitively expensive to add new story branches.
Despite the high cost of development, game developers strive to create a seamless and immersive experience for players. Sasko noted that in The Witcher 3, the developers used a black screen while traveling between areas or quests, allowing objects to appear, disappear, or weather to change.
However, this approach was not feasible for Cyberpunk, which aimed to provide a more immersive experience without cuts or black screens.
The development of massive triple-A games like Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout 4, and others is a complex process that involves numerous challenges and risks.
The industry roundtable discussed many other factors that contributed to the high development cost of Cyberpunk, including the game’s gigantic open world, cutting-edge technology, and high player expectations.
In conclusion, the development of triple-A games, especially RPGs, remains a challenging and time-consuming process. However, game developers continue to push their limits to create immersive and unforgettable experiences for players, despite the rising cost of development.
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