Production costs of a video game these days can cost as much a full blown major motion picture. Of course we all love the graphics and the depth in the story we see in the end product, but what about the little guys?
The days where you could go out and start a game development company are almost over, unless you’re a freaking billionaire. Prime example of the underdog story: Insomniac Games.
The small company started out with a first person shooter on the original Playstation titled “Disruptor“, and are now credited with creating some of the most memorable franchises in Sony’s history: “Ratchet & Clank“, “Spyro“, and “Resistance“. I bring them up to validate my point, and my point is that while that was possible for them because of the lower cost of production value at the time, they were able to get there foot in the metaphorical door and get picked up by the parent company.
Ted Price is a hero in my eyes.
Stories like that are slowly dwindling, and while Microsoft is busy absorbing its satellite studios back into the belly of the beast, companies that want to stay independent for the mainstay of creative freedom are slowly being backed into the dreaded corner of bankruptcy.
On the other hand, with Natal and the Wand on the way, maybe some small game company will see some hidden potential and create something truly amazing, giving us yet another wave of fresh developers to sink our teeth into.
Until production values become cheaper, and people are feeling brave enough to step back out onto that plateau, we’re not going to be seeing any new developers coming onto the scene.