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Saber CEO thinks $70 games will ‘go the way of the dodo’

Tired of paying $70 for your favorite big-name AAA video games? According to one industry head, exorbitantly priced video games which require massive development costs equal to Hollywood movies may soon be a thing of the past.

That’s according to Matthew Karch, former interim COO of Embracer and current CEO of Saber Interactive, the video game developer/publisher behind such games as World War Z, Snowrunner, the Crysis remasters and the upcoming A Quiet Place game. Karch, whose company recently seceded from former parent company Embracer Group recently sat down to talk about both the future of Saber and his thoughts on the gaming industry, including the eventual phasing out of high-priced video games.

“I think that as games become more expensive to make, the $70 title is going to go the way of the dodo. I do,” he told IGN, adding that the popular Helldivers 2 is an example of a “middle market” game they’d like to emulate.

Karch admitted than an upcoming game from Saber, Space Marine 2 will initially be marked with a $70 price tag but that only because at this point in time, people might see a lower price as being indicative of poorer quality.

Cyberpunk 2077 content amount

Cyberpunk 2077/CD Projekt Red

“I just don’t think it’s sustainable,” Karch continued. “Look, you remember the hype for Cyberpunk, which I think actually ultimately performed okay, but when the expectations are so high and so much money is put into one title, it’s hugely risky for the company that’s doing it. What if it fails?

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“You remember what happened when Ubisoft a couple of years ago, all their titles slipped out of the year, and then all of a sudden they were in an entirely different place? It’s hard to recover from that.

“I think the market is going to shift to development which is not necessarily lower quality, but there’s going to be an emphasis on trying to find ways to reduce costs.”

Karch brought up the recent layoffs in the video game industry, including AAA titles like EA/Respawn’s first-person Mandalorian game and Blizzard’s survival MMO being scrapped.

“I think that there’s going to be a real shortage of game content over the coming few years,” Karch added. “You’ve seen how many layoffs there’s been, you see how many games have gotten killed. But we have a lot of good projects going on that I’m proud of and that I feel really, really strongly about.”

Do you agree with the Saber CEO that $70 games will ‘go the way of the dodo’? Do you think the current AAA game model is sustainable or has spending on the development of video games gotten out of control? Let us know in the comments.

Written By

Ninja Gaiden was my rite of passage at an early age. After finally beating that game (and narrowly dodging carpal tunnel) I decided to write about my gaming exploits. These days I enjoy roguelikes and anything Pokemon but I'll always dust off Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country and StarFox 64 from time to time to bask in their glory.

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