We’ve certainly seen a lot of massive AAA behemoths recently, like the fantastic The Witcher 3 or Red Dead Redemption 2, to the many open-world Ubisoft titles Assassins Creed: Odyssey. And whilst these styles might be popular right, a former PlayStation Executive has just recently called for more shorter games, as the prices of games remain unchanged for years but development costs are increasing at an astounding rate.

The former PlayStation exec Shawn Layden was speaking at the Gamelab Live conference when he expressed his concern for the cost of developing next-gen games:

It's hard for every adventure game to shoot for the 50 to 60 hour gameplay milestone, because that's gonna be so much more expensive to achieve. And in the end you may close some interesting creators and their stories out of the market if that's the kind of threshold they have to meet... We have to reevaluate that.

We recently talked about whether next-gen games will increase in price, which most of you responded with a resounding “no”, but the logic of increasing the price of games was certainly reflected in our discussion area.

And players these days are also looking for more content for their money, which is starting to present an issue with what kind of titles they’re looking for in the AAA market. 

So how can we look at that and say: Is there another answer? Instead of spending five years making an 80 hour game, what does three years and a 15 hour game look like? What would be the cost around that? Is that a full-throated experience?” 

Layden spoke up about the possibilities of shorter AAA experiences, which would result in less ‘crunch’ time for developers, as well as preventing the issue of delays like the recent Cyberpunk 2077 game delay, which saw Cyberpunk 2077's release date pushed back a second time, no doubt due to the large scale and complexity of it's design.

Personally, as an older gamer... I would welcome a return to the 12 to 15 hour [AAA] game. I would finish more games, first of all, and just like a well edited piece of literature or a movie, looking at the discipline around that could give us tighter, more compelling content. It's something I'd like to see a return to in this business.

What do you think? Do you agree with Layden here? Would you welcome more 12-15 hour AAA titles? Would that be a fulfilling experience for you? Let us know your thoughts!