Video game budgets continue to grow larger in the gaming industry. Fans demand more content, better visuals, and high-quality gameplay with each new release. As such, the cost of producing new games has grown significantly in the past decade. Games like Star Citizen, which is currently in development, already have a total funding of over 420 million.
Regarding the subject, industry insider Jeff Grubb recently reported that modern games need to aim for 10 million units sold to succeed.
I mean, I know what it's happening. I've been flat out told: big games need to get to as close to 10 million units sold as possible, and that is easier to do with a license. I don't know. To me, that's another checkmark in the "this is all unsustainable" column.
— Grubb (@JeffGrubb) February 6, 2023
The Callisto Protocol was developed with a budget of $162 million. Despite the massive budget and anticipation, critical and public reception for the game was underwhelming. As such, The Callisto Protocol was declared a financial letdown by publisher Krafton.
Jeff further said reaching bigger numbers with a licensed game is relatively easier. Licensed games have recently made a remarkable comeback, with IPs like Spider-Man and Star Wars seeing success in the industry. A game like Hogwart Legacy, which is coming out in three days, has received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and the game stands at number 1 on Steam and Amazon, which shows how successful licensed properties can be.
EA Motive is also working on an Iron Man game, which could be based on Unreal Engine. Capitalizing on the popularity of Marvel characters could be a great strategy to target a broader audience for gaming publishers.
As games grow more ambitious, publishers will feel more concerned about a potential loss on a huge investment, and licensed IPs could be the key to a more measured approach to new game releases. What are your thoughts on this? Please let us know in the comments.
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