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AAA game business 'not healthy' says Just Cause dev

Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg weighs in on risk-heavy industry

Just Cause creator and Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg says the AAA game development business is "not healthy", despite two strong console launches.

"It's really not healthy at the moment," he said when asked to weigh in on the state of the AAA game business.

"Games have evolved, technology has evolved but as businesses we're still stuck where we were 15 years ago. As budgets grow, risks increase," said Sundberg, reports Gamespot.


"The publishers are nervous because they have to project a game being a massive hit three years into the future and the developers are frustrated because they need to be flexible to every move the publishers make," Sundberg added. "It's impossible to make everyone happy in the current equation."

Publishers are on edge because it's tough to make a profit in today's climate, he argues.

"Very few traditional $60 games make any money, and what used to make sense doesn't any more," he said. "Publishers and developers very rarely see a return of investment from a 5-8 hour long game."

Sundberg goes on to say that, despite the successful launch of the Xbox One and PS4, the new consoles are "maybe not saving the industry," but adds more positively, "I hope and think we will see improvements over time."

Avalanche Studios is working on Mad Max, an open-world action tie-in set to launch in 2014 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.

The open-world action game was announced at E3 via a brief CGI trailer, showing Max running over a wounded man on the side of a desert road. The first Mad Max gameplay trailer was released in July 2013.