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Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

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Print Edition

Opinion: Video games should downsize their budgets

Opinion%3A+Video+games+should+downsize+their+budgets
Images from PlayStation and Nintendo

With the advancement of the video game industry, game development has become increasingly more expensive and time-consuming. Video games budgets have ballooned to millions of dollars, producing a path to unsustainable development practices. The industry needs to scale back its ambition and budgets, as video games do not need massive budgets to be fun and flashy, nor impressive or innovative.

In December 2023, game studio Insomniac was hit with a devastating cyberattack that leaked large amounts of its confidential information to the public. “Spider-Man 2” for the PlayStation 5 had a total budget of $315 million to make and produce. This type of budget is ludicrously excessive, and shows how much money is being wasted. Eastern development studios, such as Nintendo and Sega, use a much smaller budget, and are able to sell just as well.

One of the primary reasons for downsizing budgets is to encourage innovation and risk-taking. When developers are working with limited resources, they are forced to think outside the box and find creative solutions for design challenges. A prime example of this kind of design philosophy is seen with “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask,” which was developed under a short time span while borrowing assets from “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” 

“Majora’s Mask” has gone on to be a standout title in “The Legend of Zelda” series from its creative ideas and unique atmosphere, one that could only be born from its unique development cycle. In contrast, bloated budgets can lead to a risk-averse mindset, where studios prioritize safe bets over daring experimentation. 

Another compelling reason to downsize budgets is to combat the growth of predatory monetization practices. In an effort to recoup massive development costs, developers have turned to exploitative tactics such as loot boxes, microtransactions and pay-to-win mechanics.These practices have only grown over the past few console generations. These methods of generating money not only alienate players, but also undermine the integrity of the gaming experience by pushing itself as products rather than experiences. By scaling back on spending, developers can focus on creating games that prioritize player enjoyment over scrambling to recoup development costs.

The video game industry would benefit greatly from downsizing its budgets. By encouraging innovation, supporting indie developers, combating predatory monetization practices and promoting long-term sustainability, the industry can create a brighter future for itself and for gamers around the world. It’s time to prioritize creativity and sustainability over extravagance and excess.Images from PlayStation and Nintendo

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About the Contributor
Alexander Cha
Alexander Cha, Reporter
Senior Alexander Cha is a reporter and this is his third year on staff. His favorite subject is English and his hobbies include writing stories and playing video games.

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