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Monday, August 22, 2005

Video game makers aim for new users

Video game makers aim for new users

"Makers of video games are seeking to attract new kinds of players beyond their traditional young, male audience to counter spiralling development costs for new-generation, high-definition games.

As Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all prepare to launch new games consoles capable of much better graphics, games software makers say their development costs will roughly double to meet the new specifications.

At Europe’s biggest computer-games fair, games companies said on Thursday they hoped the new consoles, which are capable of more lifelike representation, would lure players currently turned off by characters they consider cartoon-like.

“It will be a quantum leap in terms of graphics, in terms of the emotions you can experience,” said Gerhard Florin, European head of Electronic Arts, the world’s biggest video games publisher. “You will cry in front of your game.”

He added: “It will create new genres. We will attract whole new target groups.”

But Florin said the average cost today of $5 million to $10 million for developing each game would rise significantly as the information processing capacity of consoles roughly triples.

Costs will come down after an high initial outlay, Florin said, but he added: “After four years we still think they will be significantly higher.”" [more]

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