NEWS - Wednesday, September 20, 2006

XBLA Development Costs Rising

President of GarageGames, Jeff Tunnell, has revealed the costs associated with creating original IP for Xbox Live Arcade are rising due to the "industry standard arms race". Writing on his blog, Tunnell pointed out that what has previously been considered a high-end figure for development of games for the digital service, is soon likely to be considered the budget of a cheap product. "Creating an Xbox Live Arcade game is taking most studios 6-12 months. Costs are currently ranging from USD $100,000 to USD $300,000," revealed Tunnell. "The industry standard arms race will quickly make the top end $300,000 budget a cheap product." "Right now, I wouldn’t consider attempting to make an XBLA game with a USD $100,000 budget. Development kits and Certification would eat up half of that, not leaving much for the actual game development," he said. However high these costs might seem to independent developers, Tunnell also put them into perspective alongside development of a boxed title for retail. "While these budgets may seem high to indies, these budgets wouldn’t buy coffee on a triple-A console title for the retail box channel," he said. Tunnell also expressed his pleasure at the success of GarageGames’ title Marble Blast Ultra, stating: "I am extremely happy with our returns from Xbox Live Arcade, and I also know that we are not done yet. Marble Blast Ultra continues to sell extremely well."


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