Originally Posted by salamachaa
If anything, making decent looking games is getting cheaper with Cryengine and Unreal Engine duking it out. The biggest cost of making the game is hiring the people if you don't plan on doing some crazy in house stuff. Heck look at the indie scene. Some of the best looking games out there are from them and I don't think any of them had over a 20 million dollar budget. Lichdom Battlemage, ARMA 2, ARMA 3, hard reset, shadow warrior, serious sam 3, the witcher 2 (cost 10 million to make), The witcher 3 is costing 15 million to make. You don't need crazy budgets for games, the problem is just poor management by big publishers including too much advertising to sell stuff on consoles.
The problem is when game studios don't make good games and spend a lot of money on advertising without the product to back it up.
The biggest "cost" these days is huge bloated developers that are likely full of institutionalized inefficiency and executives that know very little to nothing about actually making video games and instead have a worthless piece of paper from a school that says they're good at making a load of money for investors using short term strategies. Nothing is about long term vision, its about NOW NOW NOW, And thats a problem.
Its a common trend in many industries and can be traced to 1990s thinking being applied to the 2010 world and it just not working anymore... Its also due to CEOs who want huge salaries for supposedly bearing all responsibility but at the end of the day have little to no personal accountability if their decisions tank the business (Oh? Game sold like crap? Not my fault, Those guys who labored for years on the project that we kept making them start over or shoehorn things focus groups liked into it, thats your problem) Too much focus grouping BS and "appealing to new market demographics" in sequels, not to mention the completely asinine idea that a sequel has to outsell its predecessor....
I'd also perhaps wager that despite the fact doing multiplatform potentially "Sells" more copies of a game its in the end a bad move because, and there are big name developers who agree with me on this, Developing for everything means the experience is going to be compromised (IE, current games coming out for the Xbox One and PS4 are getting saddled with crappy 360 and PS3 versions and in some cases design choices are showing that they had to keep the aging hardware in mind when designing maps and levels as size constraints are an issue on the older hardware)
I do agree that marketing is what eats a huge deal of budget for a lot of games, CoD, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Battlefield 4 all had way too much advertising time, and all three games had issues (BF4 was OK, CoD Ghosts was crap and Warfighter still puts me into a rage rant mode)
But i also am not really sure this is a new issue necessarily, The infamous Daikatana advert anyone?