Quantic Dream's Guillaume de Fondaumiere revealed to a Digital Dragons audience in Poland today that PlayStation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain cost just €16.7 million to make - even with all those emotional polygons stuffed in.
With Sony's marketing and distribution on top, the total spend looked something like €40 million. But, Fondaumiere said, "Sony earned more than €100 million with this game. It's very profitable."
His point, and he used the commercial successes of Journey to aid it - he doesn't know how much that game cost but he knows it made money - was that, "We should stop thinking that innovation rhymes with unprofitable." Heavy Rain, in other words, was more than a vanity project for Sony.
Experiences like Heavy Rain also alter the mainstream perception of games - games that were once toys for kids and then shooting galleries for teenagers. In 2004, Fondaumiere met actor Leonardo DiCaprio because he was interested in doing games. But he wouldn't take the plunge. "He made us understand that from an image perspective, this wasn't going to work."
Contrast that with Beyond: Two Souls, which stars acclaimed Hollywood talent Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, and you can see how things have changed. Doors don't slam shut any more.