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Next-gen development costs overstated - Rein

Actual costs may be only 50 per cent higher, according to Unreal Engine creators.

Large publishers such as Electronic Arts are "trying to scare people" with their quoted figures for next-generation game development, Epic Games vice president Mark Rein has accused in an exclusive interview with GamesIndustry.biz.

"We're going to make our next generation games for only 50 per cent more than our last generation games," Rein bullishly claimed, responding to suggestions from some companies that average next-gen budgets could run as high as $30 million.

"I guess they just don't have productive tools like we have," he went on to suggest. Epic Games will be demonstrating key new features of its next-generation Unreal Engine 3 technology at GDC this week, which it claims allow designers and artists to perform tasks which previously required programmers, thus speeding up the throughput of a studio significantly.

Rein also struck out at the "snobbish" approach to next-generation graphics, arguing that the improvement in graphical quality will be the single most important change to come about as a result of the next hardware transition.

"There's no question that the graphics are going to be a huge upgrade," he commented. "You know, people are such snobs, with this 'oh, it's not about graphics' thing. That's such nonsense. It's totally about graphics. What's the difference between the first Metal Gear Solid and the latest Metal Gear Solid? Right, it's - wow, the graphics!"

Click here to read the entire interview with Mark Rein, where he also discusses details of the company's new Unreal Engine 3 technology.