Durango Model Development Costs Double That Of Xbox 360

An anonymous source (is there any other type?) has told GamesIndustry.Biz that the development costs for Microsoft’s next-gen console, codename Durango, are double the cost of developing for the Xbox 360.

The sharp increase in cost is due to the higher polygon counts and better textures.


“I’m having to double my budget for models,” said the source who is working on ‘a sequel to an earlier title that appeared on Xbox 360 and PS3.’

We shall just pause while you all try and work out the mystery game –  my money is on GTAV. Everyone had a think? Good, let’s continue.

So, next gen games are going to cost more to make, how will publishers recoup the costs? Well there are rumours of both Sony and Microsoft ‘locking’ a game to a console, effectively killing the pre-owned market. Subscription models such as Call Of Duty Elite may be another way to generate revenue.

Whatever happens, consumers are going to have to pay for the increased cost of game development. I doubt we will be paying £80 per title, perhaps £65 per game?

Source: GamesIndustry.Biz



  1. I’m out.

  2. I remember the mega drive days where games were 50 or 60 odd quid! i dont think people would pay that these days surely ?

    • Well I just paid 66p for a packet of Fruit Pastilles. Given that these used to be about 26p twenty years ago, the game price hike almost seems reasonable. :(

      • Ah, another sweetie connoisseur – You me & McProley really should talk sometime. :)

      • Lol, it’s meant to happen.

  3. Double the budget for models, half it for AI, or soundtrack, or middleware, or…

    Price will remain the same.

    • How cna you half the soundtrack? User half an Orchestra for the Killzone 4 theme? Middleware will cost more as it’s all going to be brand new version, AI is going to HAVE to improve of the thickies of this gen.

      • License half the amount of music (see: FIFA on Vita).

        Middleware won’t cost twice as much, people will just use Unreal Engine 3 for another 5 years.

        AI? We’ll see.

  4. Would be interesting to see the average development cost increase compared to the increase in sales over each generation.

    It’d also be interesting to know how much wastage there is in development and if there’s anything studios could do to reduce that.

  5. If a game costs £65 then there HAS to be a minimum play time of 50 hours without re-runs. Otherwise what is the point of paying for any of it.

    • I know what you are getting at but it needs to be a more general increase of quality not just quantity. Take a game like Uncharted 3; I could name dozens of games that cost the same, have a longer story but are nowhere near as good.

    • But that’s where the balance comes in – If i saw a title that would eat up that much of my time, i would be more likley to give it a miss, as i just don’t have that sort of time to put in these days.

      I am a lot happier with games around the 10-20 hr mark.

      Cost doesn’t really come into that if i am honest (from my point of view at least), as i am not paying to have a certain amount of my time occupied. I am looking for an experience that i am going to enjoy & where i see things that i simply cannot see anywhere else or that simply cannot be done anywhere else.

      • I see, and I agree with that. Continuing with the U3 example, I actually put a lot more time in because it was so good. I played through the single player fully 3 times as well as dipping into some levels to pick up the last trophies or just cos I enjoyed them.
        I hope we don’t get flooded with long, drawn out stories just as much as I hope we don’t just get ‘shiny shiny whizz bang shooter 57’ with even more brown gritty locations.

      • Yeah, that’s definitely what it’s about – Have a shorter gamespan, but much much more replayability. if a game is fun to play, you don’t mind going through it 2 or 3 times. You may even want to. Am i likely to replay an epic RPG which has eaten up 100+ hours of my life already? Not so much.

        I also agree on the variation aspect – Unfortunately though, some gamers this gen are far too reluctant to support new IP & instead just fall back onto the reliable ‘me too’ shooter (or whatever), so i think new experiences are going to be quite few & far between going forwards (we have started to see a bit of this already). More so that you or i would like it would seem!

  6. I dunno, I hope they balance it with greater sales. That’s how it works for films after all. A DVD or Blu Ray of a hugely expensive blockbuster costs about the same as a much cheaper film, it is just likely to sell more.

    Gaming is already very expensive so I hope we don’t see a jump in price next gen.

    • This. The volume of games sold now is greater than it ever has been and surely as more people buy games the increase budget will be absorbed.

    • Also, look back at the likes of the Super NES. New games of the time weren’t much cheaper then than they are now. As I recall N64 games were at least £40 a pop.

      • Street Fighter 2 on the SNES was £60 if I remember rightly :)

      • £80 for the World Warrior edition

  7. Does this mean GTA 5 on this could cost $200 million?
    But seriously, one of the most disappointing games for me last year was Battlefield 3, i.e the one with the “best” graphics/sound etc. Do developers/publishers REALLY think that we all want more graphics, less gameplay? Judging by the sales figures, the answers probably yes…

    • I wouldn’t say BF3 has less gameplay. I still play it now & there are a few of us that play each week.

      In fact, it may even be more enjoyable since the patch. I would need another session to confirm for definite though.

      • Maybe, I haven’t played it for a long time now. But you have to agree, the single-player was atrocious…

      • Umm, pass – Never tried it. :S

        I just play the multiplayer. That’s what i bought it for & in that respect, i believe it to be a great game. I actually see the co-op & singleplayer modes as nothing but add ons/freebies that I can get around to if I feel like it one day! :)

  8. this cost will surely decrease with the development of better technology and tools to creat said models. I hope companies dont use this as an excuse for a giant price hike.

    • P.S. Perhaps this is what that AAAA Microsoft title was refering too. Massively inflated costs making them AAAA

      • Absolutely Astronomical Anti Aliasing

    • Hmm lets think, when has a new generation of games been cheaper than the previous one.. or even the asme price?? Hmm… never.

      • Gamecube games were cheaper than N64 games.

      • PSVita? Some were more, but things like Little Deviants could maybe be equated to Ape Academy for psp…

  9. I imagine that if this game is in development now then its aim is for a day one release alongside the console, and surely if your developing for a a brand new console then the development cost would tend to creep up a bit more than if you were developing for a systems that you had previously already released on.

    Also, I am totally mystified by this industry sometimes, developers are shutting down literally on a weekly basis, at least 1 big dev a month for past year, I would say, but gaming has never made so much money as proven by the TSA story a couple of weeks ago highlighting how it surpassed the movie industry in this country for the 1st time ever…where is all that money going????

    • The problem is that the majority of the money goes to a few already well off people *cough* activision *cough* rather than being distributed around more evenly.

      • haha!! smooth ;-) I don’t think anyone noticed

      • LOL thanks ;)

  10. Are we really going to have this same story with every generation of consoles? ;)

    Seriously though, when the PS3/360 rumours were flying around i’m sure some random dev commented that it costs twice as much to develop for and then someone decides that means the games are going to be more expensive. The games will then inevitably be slightly more expensive at launch (£45) but are actually just being charged at RRP, then they’ll drop to normal levels again…

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