David DeMartini, VP and group GM of EA Partners, believes that the days of blockbuster game budgets have jumped the shark. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at Gamescom, DeMartini summed up decreasing budget trends by stating, “I think budgets for games have actually peaked and are starting to move in the reverse direction again. I don’t think there’s any one right budget for any game. It kind of depends on how big the idea is and what the team needs to be able to make a 90 percent-rated game with the idea that they’re working on.”
He also credited consumers’ heightened ability to detect bad product as a key driver for producing less of it. “Consumers are so much more informed. Before you occasionally used to be able to slide a clunker out there and still do well, but now people are so informed by the various outlets that I don’t think anybody makes an uninformed purchase anymore.”
This higher standard to perform has impacted studio development choices triggering “more and more pressure, I think, to sign only the best” and that selecting proven studios was, “the best predictor of future success.”
Evidenced by the recent Crysis 2 statement of “another 90-rated game from Crytek,” DeMartini is fond of predicting future success.