I am doing a school project and I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me. Would it be possible to get statistics on how much it cost to produce a console video game, and how much the expected profit would be? Also, do you know the average length it takes to produce a console game? If you are unable to answer these questions I understand. Thank you for your time.
First I’d like to point out couple of resources:
How to produce a Playstation 3 game?
Mike Acton recently gave couple of links for people interested in PS3 development:
Tapping the Power of Cell: Interview with Mike Acton on Cell development
Tapping the Power of Cell: Slides from the Austin Game Conference
CellPerformance: The unofficial stopping place for performance related articles and discussions on the Cell Broadband Engineâ„¢ (CBE) processor.
How to produce a Xbox 360 game?
XNA Game Studio Express is a new offering, targeted at students and hobbyists for game development. XNA Game Studio Express is based on Visual C# Express 2005 and lets developers target both Windows and Xbox 360. XNA Game Studio Express contains the following:
* The XNA Framework, a set of managed code development libraries that make it possible for game developers to be more productive when creating games for Windows and the Xbox 360.
* The XNA Framework Content Pipeline, which is a set of tools that allow developers to more easily incorporate 3D content into their games.
* XNA Game Studio Express also contains a full set of documentation, how-tos, and starter kits that demonstrate how best to use the content pipeline and XNA Framework.
The beta of XNA Game Studio Express has now been released, and can be found here. It currently supports Windows game development only.
The costs of a console game production
I haven’t produced or participated in production of a single console game, so I cannot tell what the reality is, but I would expect the costs of a console game production to be similar to those of PC game production. Basically you have a number of tasks that take X man hours. Your crew members have hourly salary of Y dollars. Estimating the game project duration and then calculating X*Y should give you a rough estimate on how many hours and how many dollars it would take.
I believe there are differences in console worlds (for example, these might be some differences when dealing with the console licenses), but generally speaking I believe the costs of a console game won’t differ much. Scott Miller said in the interview that the console version of their Prey game very little impact on the production.