Shawn Layden Thinks Games Need to Be Shorter

Former PlayStation Executive Thinks Long Games Are Unsustainable

The former president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, Shawn Layden, thinks that games need to become shorter to be sustainable. With the rising cost of gaming production, Layden argues that making long, expansive games will become a thing of the past. Shawn Layden believes that huge open world games with lengthy campaigns results in bloating budgets and less return. His solution would be to reduce the length and overall size of a game to get a bigger return. PlayStation recently released The Last of Us Part II, a lengthy story with a large world to explore that’s available exclusively for the PS4, with a PS5 version expected later this year.

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“I don’t think that, in the next generation, you can take those numbers and multiply them by two and think that you can grow,” said Shawn Layden. “I think the industry as a whole needs to sit back and go, ‘Alright, what are we building? What’s the audience’s expectation?’ 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.”

While many lengthy games with large worlds have become major successes this generation, such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and The Witcher 3, Shawn Layden suggests that consistently making these games is unsustainable and that studios need to move towards smaller games. A large production requires more funding than smaller titles and if developers want a bigger return, Layden recommends reevaluating whether or not the lengthy gameplay is necessary.

Do you think games need to be shorter to be sustainable? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Game Rant