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Epic Games: 'Next-gen games will cost double to develop'

Company founder Tim Sweeney fears budgets will climb even further

The cost of developing games at the start of the next-generation of consoles will double next to spending during the same period on current-gen hardware, Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney has predicted.

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Speaking during a presentation at the Montreal International Game Summit, Sweeney cited huge costs developing the Samaritan Unreal Engine 3 tech demo, which took four months to finish with a team of 30 people involved.

"If we extrapolate that [Samaritan development] into creating an entire game, we were worried that the cost would go up by a factor of three or four or even five in the next generation," he said, via Gamasutra. "And of course, we felt that was not acceptable."

Samaritan's resource consuming development led the company to fine tune its content and production tools, said Sweeney, and it tripled the number of people working on tools in the process of building UE4, and produced another tech demo, "Elemental."

Although not going in to specifics, Sweeney said the Elemental UE4 demo proved that Epic's tools investment was paying off, and that it was developed at a "very rapid pace."

"But budgets are always going to continue marching upwards," Sweeney said.

"We are hoping costs at the start of the next generation to only be double the cost of the start of the previous generation."

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