There's no "right budget" for a game says DeMartini, as it depends on the idea. You can't "slide a clunker" out now without consumers knowing.
"I think budgets for games have actually peaked and are starting to move in the reverse direction again," commented DeMartini. "I don’t think there’s any one right budget for any game. It kind of depends on how big the idea is and what the team needs to be able to make a 90 percent-rated game with the idea that they’re working on."
Consumers today are far more aware of the quality coming out from studios through critical reception before they go and spend their cash. We no longer 'buy blind' en mass.
"Consumers are so much more informed. Before you occasionally used to be able to slide a clunker out there and still do well, but now people are so informed by the various outlets that I don’t think anybody makes an uninformed purchase anymore."
This means for EA Partners "more and more pressure, I think, to sign only the best." That's why they're after studios like Valve, Crytek and Insomniac because they're the "best predictor of future success."
"There’s different ways to make games. I’ve been doing this for 12 years in the industry and there’s cycles, internal development, now we go offshore, now we come onshore, now we’re back…" continued DeMartini, talking about 'rolling back' budgets.
"There’s no one way to do this. You just need to make sure that you pick a path that’s going to get you there." Currently EA Partners into letting them publish the upcoming Portal 2 which is due early February 2011.