Ex PlayStation America Chairman Believes PS5 Games to Cost Up to $200 Million

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Shawn Layden worked at Sony for 32 years, covering roles like Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, and lastly President and Chairman of Sony Worldwide Studios before suddenly leaving in September 2019.

Bloomberg finally managed to talk to Layden about the split, rumored to be caused by strife with PlayStation boss Jim Ryan. However, the executive provided a different story.

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It's a young person's activity. I felt: this is a good time to put the pin in my legacy. That seemed like a good time to step off on top and allow another generation to take the PlayStation 5 to market.

I think I took my time at the moment I saw best to take it and I couldn't be happier.

Layden, who recently joined the advisory board of Streamline Media Group (a company whose objective is to develop 'Metaverse solutions' for industry brands), also told Bloomberg that game development costs double with every new console generation. Sony's own triple-A PS4 games each cost at least $100 million, apparently, and Layden fears PlayStation 5 games may go up to $200 million. This may have detrimental effects on innovation.

If we can’t stop the cost curve from going up, all we can do is try to de-risk it. That puts you in a place where you’re incentivized toward sequels. What happens there is you end up with 3-4 silos of games or game types that continue to exist, and variety is squeezed out.

Such a sizable increase in development costs may explain why PlayStation 5 games cost $10 more than PlayStation 4 titles. In fact, Sony recently came under fire because the standard PS4 edition of Horizon Forbidden West didn't include a free upgrade to PS5 despite having been already promised.

They eventually backtracked on this specific game, but they also clarified that all PS4 to PS5 upgrades for future PlayStation first-party exclusives will cost $10.

Products mentioned in this post

Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
USD 59.99

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