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Ex-PlayStation boss predicts Sony's PS5 games will cost $200m to make

"If we can't stop the cost curve from going up, all we can do is try to de-risk it."

The former boss of PlayStation has predicted PlayStation 5 games will cost $200m to make.

Shawn Layden, who held various executive roles at PlayStation before leaving in October 2019, told Bloomberg the cost of game development doubles with every platform.

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Budgets for PlayStation 4 games Layden spearheaded each hit $100m, and, Bloomberg reports, Layden predicts PS5 games will each cost $200m to make and prices will only increase from there.

Big game companies will combat this exponential development cost by employing a "de-risk" strategy, Layden suggested, which in turn causes triple-A publishers to become "incentivised toward sequels".

Bloomberg points to publishers chasing trends, quoting Layden as saying: "What happens there is you end up with three to four silos of games or game types that continue to exist, and variety is squeezed out."

Sony is working on a raft of big-budget sequels for PS5 - although most are cross-gen titles that also have a PS4 version. Titles include Guerrilla's Horizon Forbidden West, Polyphony's Gran Turismo 7, and the next God of War from Sony Santa Monica.

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Meanwhile, Days Gone developer Bend Studio is working on a new IP, and Uncharted and The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog is working on a standalone multiplayer game, as well as, reportedly, a remake of The Last of Us.

Bloomberg did question Layden about his own role in the creation of this sustainability issue while at PlayStation - after all, the former exec was chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios up to late 2019, before which PlayStation had released a number of eye-catching PS4 exclusives, such as Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Days Gone and Marvel's Spider-Man.

"I think I contributed a part into showing the world what amazing gameplay can look like," Layden responded.

Sony is of course set to unveil a "look into the future of PS5" this week during a PlayStation Showcase livestream that features news from PlayStation studios, as well as "some of the industry's most imaginative developers", on games releasing this year "and beyond".

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