Former Sony Boss Criticizes Unsustainable “AAA” Game Development

Former Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden said some fairly correct things about the modern style of “AAA” game and the costs associated with said style.

Stating his preference for shorter games with tighter campaigns, Layden suggested the lavish thirty-hour “AAA” game just isn’t sustainable. He’s not really wrong… but it’s an issue the industry could easily correct if it cared to.

Unfortunately, most major publishers really aren’t interested in changing things. While what they’re doing isn’t sustainable, it’s making an incredible amount of money right now, and short-term is the only way these companies think.

#AAA #GameDevelopment #Sony #PlayStation #PS4 #XboxOne #PC #TheLastofUs2 #TLOUP2 #RedDeadRedemption2 #Microtransactions #Money #DLC #Greed #CAAApitalism #JimSterling #IndustryBS #ShawnLayden #Cost #Gameplay #GameLength #NaughtyDog #Rockstar #Editing


  1. It seemed that every game needed to have a lockpicking or hacking minigame, even though none of them were fun or interesting. Just there because other popular long games had them.

  2. Tea And Crumpets!

    It’s funny how we used to just play and enjoy games when we were younger and now discussing gaming is all about Microtransactions and business models + Corporate greed 🙂

  3. I have been trying to beat Assassins creed Odessy, Persona 5 and Red Dead 2 for far to long. I’d rather have a game with a great story that I can beat in 10 hours then a 100 hours of drawn out gameplay.

  4. “Let’s circle back …”

    Oh Jim … You right.

  5. RE: Editing French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal famously wrote: “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”

  6. “Are video games too long and etc.” sounds like something EA would say to justify their shitty business practices.
    There is some truth to games being too bloated, but it isn’t about sustainability. The capitalist idea of perpetual growth is poison when the money’s being funneled up to the top of the pyramid. We know that shortening games won’t pull out the microtransactions, and they won’t do it anyway because they want live services and movies now. What if shortening games made people realize how bullshit all the traditional arguments, like “games should cost more than $60,” fly out the window? Too bad we fell under the illusion that games had to hit a specific hour mark to be worth anything.
    But we don’t need devs slaving to give us realistic horse shitting.

  7. Ah, the good old “it’s expensive to make games” excuse rears its ugly head again.

  8. theres a game im playing called dragons dogma. its probably the best combat system ever made. i spent like 300 hours because it has REPLAY value. it doesnt take hollywood actors or the next gen graphics to make a good game.

  9. The way 2019-2020 is going they are struggling to match gameplay and content from games 10 years older than them. People are re-buying old game systems/pc’s just to get a fix of what a finished game feels like,

  10. The real question they should ask themselves: “Are we paying the CEOs too much??”

  11. “The moment there’s a game worth buying for $100, I’ll buy it for $100.”
    That’s pretty much every Aussie gamers conundrum since the majority of games sold here is $100.

  12. “34 hour campaigns aren’t sustainable.” Larian Studios: “Laughs in over 50 hour campaign”

  13. “The moment there is a game worth 100 bucks i will buy it”
    Try play divinity original sin 2 I would say its worth 100 bucks, giveing me the greatest gaming experience I have ever had.

  14. There’s an old word of wisdom for writers. “Kill your darlings.” It takes maturity and professionalism to CUT sentences or scenes or whatever for the betterment of the story.

  15. He’s John Boltoning. When he had the power to do something, he didn’t say a word. Now that he’s powerless to do anything, he won’t stop talking about how someone should do something. Cowards, all of them.

  16. Short answer: yes. Long answer: yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees.

  17. The funniest part of the “Games cost too much” excuse is most of it is their own fault. For years game companies have pushed visuals as the only thing that really matters. Make worlds bigger, more realistic and with more detail. When most people would be happy enough with decent graphics and better game play and story.

    Years of marketing has told us gamers that graphics are all that matter, things like games being in 8k is more important than having a good game come in under budget.

  18. How many triple A games with “rich, cinematic stories” actually tell stories that havent already been done to death in cinema?

  19. “we want shorter games but better experiences.”
    Me, a Nintendo fan: speak for yourself.

  20. “3 or 4 or 5 hours to make a game”
    Jim still on about the slaughtering grounds

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