Unreal Engine 5

PS5 game development will be slightly more expensive, says Jim Ryan

Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan believes that AAA development on the PS5 will prove to be more expensive than it is currently.

This comes via a conversation with gamesindustry.biz, in which Ryan states that the kind of next-generation gameplay seen in the recent Unreal Engine 5 tech demo, Lumen in the Land of Nanite, will prove expensive to reproduce.

“I think, to the extent that the technology enables the graphics side of it to become more interesting and life-like, [the games] will become slightly more human intensive and capital intensive to produce,” Ryan notes. “So yes, we think there probably will be an increase in development budgets. We don’t see it as being a massive increase, and that’s why we want to do more faster than we have ever done before, to provide a fertile install base for people who make games to be able to monetise against. If we can keep pace with a likely increase in development costs, then the industry can continue to prosper.”

Sony is aiming for a faster shift between console generations than has previously been seen, and Ryan states that this is in order to “provide a fertile install base for people who make games to be able to monetise against.”

Ryan hopes that the increased cost of development in the next generation will be offset by an increase in early adopters buying these games: “If we can keep pace with a likely increase in development costs, then the industry can continue to prosper.”

While Ryan states that graphics on the level of the Unreal Engine 5 tech demo may be expensive to reproduce, Epic maintains that next generation games can absolutely emulate the visuals seen in Lumen in the Land of Nanite. Speaking to MCV/DEVELOP as part of our wide-ranging interview with Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri and Epic Games VP of engineering Nick Penwarden, Libreri stated:

“I’m pretty certain that next generation games on Unreal Engine can look like that. This is not a smoke and mirrors act. Once this is out in customers’ hands, we’re super excited to see what they discover and how they want to evolve it. It’s exciting, something that looks as good as that. The next year is going to be amazing.”

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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