As Video Game Costs Rise, Industry Seeks Savings

For years, video game companies have envied Hollywood moviemakers for their glamorous stars, gee-whiz special effects and mass-market appeal -- but now they are learning that these things can come at a high price. Behind the scenes, video game production for top titles like "Grand Theft Auto" and "Madden NFL" is starting to look a lot like film production: spiraling costs, the need for many more people to bring a project to screens, and a growing sense of panic about how to keep those factors in check.

"Team sizes have grown, technology costs are up, salaries have risen since there aren't enough potential employees out there," said Alexander Seropian, founder and former chief executive of noted game developer Bungie Software. "Five years ago you could make a AAA game with eight people in a year," he said. "Now it takes three years and 50 people." At a recent conference in San Jose, publishers, developers and hardware makers all raised the specter of a new generation of games so expensive as to be almost cost-prohibitive. And they all stressed the need to control expenses for the business to survive.

News source: Reuters

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