Scribblenauts developer 5th Cell, which is working on Xbox Live Arcade shooter Hybrid, states that the $60 retail game model is "broken", and is even more broken now "because games cost so much to develop, produce and market."
In an interview with Game Informer, Slaczka stated, "Before the model was tolerable, because the cost was reasonable enough to allow mediocre selling games to make money. Now it's just insane. If you aren't going to be a mega hit at $60, you might as well give up before you even try, because it's tens of millions down the hole."
Slackza then pointed to Homefront, which almost singlehandedly shut down developer Kaos, "Homefront was an okay FPS - not great, not terrible, just okay. But as a consumer, why would I want to play an okay FPS when I can play a bunch of great FPS titles for the same price? While over 13 million people bought Black Ops last year in the US alone, smashing records, less than just one million people bought Homefront in the US. The consumer voted with their wallet, right?"
The developer proposed selling games in installments, suggesting, "What if you could rent Homefront for $4.99 for 24 hours from your console? What if Homefront was only $30 dollars upfront for the single player and if you liked it you could buy the multiplayer for an additional $30? All of the sudden it's not a binary purchase option anymore."
Slaczka then amended, "That doesn't mean all games have to go this route. There's still room for the AAA only, but a lot of titles should try a different method. It's a win-win scenario for everyone involved."
It could be that the developer is conscious of the crowded shooter market, because he added, "The shooter genre is really hard because there's such a high bar for quality to compete against. Even harder still is that that bar is defined by nuance and subtlety. It's a genre where something as simple as aiming and shooting take months of work to get right."
Hybrid is due to be released on Xbox Live Arcade sometime in 2012.
5th Cell: $60 game model is "broken"
26 November 2011 | By JonahFalcon