Polygon recently sat down to chat with founder of Campo Santo, the studio behind Firewatch Sean Vanaman and Amy Hennig from Uncharted fame. The interview (which you should absolutely read in full, here) covers the state of the industry and the challenges developers are facing in 2018.

During the interview, Vanaman and Hennig talked team sizes, personal expectations and the projects they have been working on over the last few years. The conversation quickly turned to the cancelled unnamed Star Wars game which Hennig was heading up at Visceral games. She downplayed the idea that linear games, stating:

“I think we’re in an inflection point right now. Obviously what happened with our Star Wars project didn’t come out of the blue. A lot of too-dramatic articles were written about it — the death of linear story games and all that kind of stuff”.

She went on to add that while this is the case, rising development costs are definitely becoming a problem and dictating a move towards games with a longer tail.

“but look, there is a real problem: this line we’ve been running up to for a lot of years, which is the rising cost of development, and the desires, or the demands even, of players in terms of hours of gameplay, fidelity, production values, additional modes, all these things. Those pressures end up very real internally. If it costs you, say, $100 million or more to make a game, how are you making that money back, and making a profit?

And the $60 price point can’t change, right? There’s a lot of negative press around monetization, loot boxes, games as a service, etc., but these things are trending now in the industry, especially for larger publishers, as an answer to the problem of rising development costs. Budgets keep going up, the bar keeps getting raised, and it starts making less and less sense to make these games.”

Amy Hennig also commented on the lower sales figures for single player experiences, saying “people aren’t necessarily buying them. They’re watching somebody else play them online.”

Be sure to check out the full article in which the duo talk Campo Santo’s upcoming title In the Valley of Gods. Also, speaking of Star Wars and disappointments, why not check out our Last Jedi review which is saltier than the planet Crait.

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