Obviously games will look impressive on the PS4 and the upcoming new Xbox, but don’t expect the same sort of graphical leap we’ve seen in the past.
The reason, according to BioWare’s director of art and animation Neil Thompson, is that the expenditure needed to do so is simply too high.
“In the last generation the perception was that it was going to be a ten times improvement over the previous generation,” he told OXM. “For the next generation there will be a big leap, but it won't be as obvious.
“People will do things in a cleverer fashion – and I have to be careful here as there are non-disclosure agreements involved. I think they'll be better prepared, shall we say – but we can't see a ten-fold team increase again as the budgets would just be ridiculous. You'd have to sell 20-30 million copies before you broke even.”
Indeed, Thompson also warns developers that they should be preparing themselves now for the financial challenges that await.
“Clearly we still hammer up against the limitations of the hardware on a daily basis and if you push those parameters back, as I'm sure the next-gen will do, we'll hit them again,” he added.
“I think the main thing is that the industry doesn't get itself into a corner where it becomes economically unviable to make a game. The last technology iteration caught folks by surprise - especially the number of people you needed and the skillset jump that was required to do the work that people expected.”