Shawn Layden, one of the former execs in charge of the PlayStation family of consoles, said in a recent interview with Bloomberg that game budgets double with each generation and that the PS5 is in danger of exceeding $200 million.
The reason this is an issue, says Layden, is that it encourages stagnation since companies are “incentivized towards sequels” to lower risk. “What happens there is that you end up with 3-4 silos of games or game types that continue to exist, and variety is squeezed out,” worries Layden.
As interviewer Jason Schrier notes, the current triple-A games landscape is already playing out in exactly this way, with annualized sequels in franchises like Call of Duty and Madden papering the landscape. And as he also notes, Layden was one of the people at the helm while this trend was growing, though Layden isn’t forthcoming in claiming responsibility.