Warren Spector, the lead designer of the Epic Mickey franchise, is worried about the potential high production values associated with the next-generation of consoles.
During an interview with Digital Spy, Spector admitted that he's "a little scared" about "Pixar-quality graphics with interactivity" being achieved, which would result in development costs exceeded $200 million.
"Honestly? I don’t care much about hardware. Nintendo games are some of the best games in the world and from a more graphical standpoint, the Wii can’t do what a PS3 or 360 can do. It’s about design and not so much about tech for me. Honestly, I’m more scared about what will come next than I am excited."
"Once we can do Pixar-quality graphics rendered in real time with interactivity, I could see games costing $200 million to make and all of a sudden you have to sell a lot of games just to break even, so I’m a little worried someone’s going to do that," said Spector.
"Someone’s going to spend… well, there are already people spending $100 million on games, that’s not even insane anymore. $200, 300 million games, I’m a little scared about that, there aren’t a lot of companies that have the resources or the courage to spend that much. So my gut’s in a bit of a knot about that but whatever comes along I’ll just make games that work on that platform, I don’t think about hardware too much."
Spector continued to say how such large budgets may warrant a $150 price tag for next-generation games, which is simply too much to charge the general consumer.
"If you’re spending $200 million on a game and you’re making $60 on 20 million copies sold, oh wait, you’re losing money if you’re the best-selling game of all time basically, right? I don’t know how the business works anymore, that’s the problem," Spector said. "It already takes three years to make a game, when all of a sudden creating assets at an even higher level of quality and animations that are even a higher level of quality, I don’t know how we’re going to do it. We’ll figure it out but right now I’m content where I am."
The industry veteran, who was one of the designers behind the original Deus Ex, is currently working on Epic Mickey 2. The sequel is due for a September 2012 release on the Nintendo Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360.