News Article

3DS Development Could Cost Triple That of DS Software

Posted by James Newton

Will the extra cost be passed onto consumers?

Earlier this year, Satoru Iwata stated 3DS games may cost as much to develop as Wii titles, something that has now been backed up by Japanese studio Marvelous Interactive who's given some frightening figures for studios wanting to get into this potentially explosively lucrative market.

The studio revealed at an investors' meeting that its development budget per title would range between 50 million and 150 million yen, roughly equivalent to $600,000 to $1.8m USD, a sharp increase from the average DS development cost of between 4.4 million and 43.9 million yen ($53,000 - $527,000). In fact, these figures are closer to the development costs for home consoles, with Wii games costing up to 116 million yen ($1.4m) to develop.

Will we see the standard software price increase for 3DS retail games?

[via 1up.com]

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User Comments (68)

Aronos

#1

Aronos said:

I wonder if this will cause the games to be priced higher, like say instead of $30-40 they will now be around $40-50 a peace. I always liked my portable games because they were near half the cost as console games, but who knows.

SuperPeach

#2

SuperPeach said:

I believe that it cost more and yes they probably will be a little more evpensive to buy. Hopefully not too much though, I'd prefer to pay no more that $40-45 dollars for a portable game unless they are spectacular.

blink83

#6

blink83 said:

Ocarina of time and metal gear solid 3 or both worth 50 dollers and the 3d would add to cost so I think...... Its fine. wtf does it matter if you play it on a 40 inch screen or a 3 inch one itll still be amazing!!!

kurtasbestos

#7

kurtasbestos said:

If this means there's less shovelware for the 3DS than there is for the DS, then I'd be okay with this. I just won't be able to afford to buy any games.

LordJumpMad

#11

LordJumpMad said:

I'm not a Fan of paying too much money for a games.

I like it better when they were 30 bucks

dizzy_boy

#12

dizzy_boy said:

maybe the dev's will think twice before shoveling onto the 3ds.
probably explains why the majoriity of the release day line up looks promising

Peznaze

#14

Peznaze said:

Yup, 3DS games will cost more... Hopefully not too much... I'm not a huge fan on multi-million dollar game budgets, but then, these days, a dollar really doesn't go near as far. Such is life.

JackMack

#15

JackMack said:

I'm sure that its possible download/wiiware like service games will cost less and make up for high priced retail games. Still, does this deter anyone from getting their hands on 3-D Zelda? Because it shouldn't.

shinesprite

#16

shinesprite said:

Speaking from a developer's standpoint (I'm not a developer, not yet anyways) it is very inexpensive to make a 3d environment (like OOT) display in 3D.

It is merely a matter of locking a second camera onto the first camera or character and then routing the separate images to the display. If Nintendo did it right, either the firmware would take it from there, or the top screen would be built like two intertwined displays.

Making games display in 3D isn't hard, its creating the environments which take most of the effort.

Token_Girl

#17

Token_Girl said:

I'm sure costs will go up, especially in the US, given how weak our dollar is right now. Unfortunately, that's just what happens. If games can be the size of Wii games with the graphics of Wii games (plus 3D), it makes sense that they'd cost about the same.

That being said, I'm sure there'll be a large range. I'd be willing to bet that there will be a lot of "portable" type puzzle games and such that won't need 3D (or even could be run on the DS). The AAA games will be more expensive to develop for but not the shovelware. 3DSWare will probably have lots of puzzle games and such that won't need 3D, so those prices will probably not go up too.

It's also a new system. It would be interesting to see what it cost to make a game for the DS when it was first released. Once game companies are familiar with the hardware, coding 3D graphics, get a few engines built for their biggest franchises, development costs will decrease.

BulbasaurusRex

#18

BulbasaurusRex said:

The games will have groundbreaking 3D effects with graphics at least on par with the Wii. It's only fair that they cost more than DS games do now.

warioswoods

#19

warioswoods said:

Costs are not only offset by the price per game but more importantly by the volume of sales. The added cost of development just means that less titles will be made for smaller or niche audiences (or, as Token Girl noted, smaller and niche games will simply appear on 3DSWare instead of retail).

gatygun

#20

gatygun said:

Its funny how nobody here realises that iwata is simple checking out the market on what there solution for a problem would be, which isn´t there.

They are just testing out the market to see how far they can raise the prices, and how people would react on it.

Even if the 3DS cost 10 times more money to develop, 40 euro and 50 dollars for a game is still ridicilous high.

They just turn the whole reality around. Instead of admitting that the games on the DS costed ridicilous much for what you got. They just turn stuff around with. Well 3DS costs are tripled.

Just good marketting if you ask me.

Even if the games costed 10 times more to create, and if they would sell for 20 euro´s. They wouldn´t really have a problem creating it.

@16
all nice and stuff that you are learning for development. But its not only a matter of a second camera onto a first camera. That matter is like 0.001% of the entire difference of a 2D game towards a 3D game.

Its not that a flat pacman game starts to become a compleet 3D game if you place just another camera point in it.

edit:

raising the price = more piracy less sales
lowering the price = more sales lesser piracy

1,8m for a game = ridicilous low for development

MasterGraveheart

#21

MasterGraveheart said:

I can live with a standard $40 price tag for games with some of the premiums being $50 like Final Fantasy ($40 on DS). If they're willing to develop for the HD lugnuts at a higher cost, they should develop for the 3Demon no problemo.

shinesprite

#22

shinesprite said:

@20 Sorry if my post was misunderstood, I was mainly referring to already 3d games like OOT. (I know about the other changes to the game.)

Edit:
@gaty I agree its More's Law not More Law! As technology ages, it should decrease in value so that when new technology comes out, it isn't outrageously expensive. How expensive could it be to make games with post N64-pre Gamecube graphics?

SolarJetman

#23

SolarJetman said:

Geez, you guys at Nintendo Life are usually pretty good at providing details, but really, could you find no one to explain WHY the development costs may be so much higher?

It's like reading a story that says, "32 people died in a freak accident in Milwaukee today." And then the story ends.

I probably would have held off on running this story until some detail could be provided.

Oscarsome

#24

Oscarsome said:

I doubt that 3DS games will end up being more expensive than DS games. Maybe they'll be $5.00 more.

Spoony_Tech

#26

Spoony_Tech said:

Yeah seen that coming. Keep it under 45 Nintendo and you will be alright. However with that said you will still need plenty of 30 dollar games for the parents that don't want to spend a lot of money. They also better have some type of way to make sure that young children can't access the 3d feature or big time lawsuits will happen years down the road.

V8_Ninja

#28

V8_Ninja said:

Then I expect the games on the handheld to be absolutely spectacular. Make me proud for owning a 3DS, game developers. Make me proud.

Link-Hero

#29

Link-Hero said:

People have been saying that the graphics power of the 3DS is somewhere between the Wii-360/PS3, the cartridges are as big as 1-2GB at launch, it has new 3D technology (well, at least here in America), 3D camera, tilt sensors, ect.

So 3DS games being $40-$50 is not surprising.

Varoennauraa

#30

Varoennauraa said:

So thats what 3DS stands for; 3 times developers system. I just thought it would be much more expensive.

WaLzgiStaff

#31

WaLzgi said:

@SolarJetman: And why do you think they are more expensive? The answer should be fairly obvious: better tech, 3D, better tech, 3D, etc.

Need I go on?

Arcanum

#32

Arcanum said:

Perhaps now bad games will not see the light of day since those games were made on a low budget.

NintyMan

#33

NintyMan said:

This shouldn't surprise anyone. Better graphics and 3D would have to contribute to a more expensive development. The 3DS games are going to cost more than DS games anyway, but hopefully they won't be $50. I think $40 sounds fair enough.

miletich3

#34

miletich3 said:

If that were to happen, wouldn't that put quite a strain on the US economy as well as Nintendo itself?

Stuffgamer1

#35

Stuffgamer1 said:

I wouldn't go assuming this would keep shovelware off the system...if development prices rise to match Wii, then shovelware should obviously still exist, just as it does on the Wii itself.

I could see the standard software price creeping up to $40, but probably not more. The development costs shouldn't really be any higher than they are for PSP, and that caps at $40. Any more would feel like a ripoff to a lot of people.

Varoennauraa

#37

Varoennauraa said:

I'm much more interested about the prices of carts. (I hope there is option to download games, but that might be wishfull thinking)

fishman100

#40

fishman100 said:

honestly they probably don't care too much; I think they'll sell it for a lot of money and hope to get truckloads of money (because they will make a profit for each model sold) like they did with the latest models of the DS.

ianmage1

#41

ianmage1 said:

If it's going to cost them $1.8 million to make a game, then I'm sure Nintendo will make them good enough for the consumers to want to buy them. I don't think they would spend so much money on a game that no one will want to buy.

RedYoshi999

#42

RedYoshi999 said:

There's no way I'm paying over $70 for a 3DS game in Australia. $70 for DS games is bad enough already. I might as well buy a Wii game instead.

Kid_A

#43

Kid_A said:

If they have to go $50+ for 3DS games it'll be a tough sell for consumers, especially if the system will, in fact, cost $299. If they're able to drop it down to a cozy $199 I wouldn't mind the increased game price tag.

Iggy

#44

Iggy said:

I had a feeling they were going to up the price.I thought they might up it to 40-45 which i would totally be okay with hell 50 wouldnt be to big of a deal. But if its 60-80 bucks i might not be buying a 3ds right away thats for sure.

Stuffgamer1

#47

Stuffgamer1 said:

@supernin10do: As far as game development as a whole goes, $1.8 million isn't all that much...some developers spend upwards of $5 million on games that turn out not to sell very well! Not because they're TRYING to make a flop, of course, but because that just happens sometimes for a variety of reasons. Anyway, the point is that a high development cost does in no way guarantee high returns. The two are really unrelated.

triforceofcourage

#48

triforceofcourage said:

well, if devs have to pay way more money to make each game they will make higher quality games as to not waste their money. i highly doubt that the price will be higher than $45. why is everyone freaking out about the 3ds price? to me it looks like the tech definately would back up any price less than $320. the games are the same way. if we see the 3ds pushed to its limit (which far surpasses the ds' limit that rarely was met), why cry about paying just a few extra bucks for that much more entertainment?

komicturtle

#50

komicturtle said:

Eh, pirates are cheapstakes and lie about "buying the game... eventually"
I don't buy it.

Anyways, this won't really bother me. I've always been a handheld gamer and this whole thing about 3DS games being pricey won't bother me in the least. I'll make sure to get games I KNOW I'll like.

I mean, with all the 3DS has, isn't it worth the asking price and people are just being a bit too selfish and childish about the price?

VGC

#51

VGC said:

I just wanna pay 40 or so for my game.... Kill the price.

GamerZack87

#52

GamerZack87 said:

Eh, it doesn't bother me either way. I'm happy to pay $100 AUD for my 3DS games...though I wish that our games would become cheaper since the Aussie dollar is on par with the US dollar now...

WiiLovePeace

#53

WiiLovePeace said:

Heh, so this is why they'll continue to support the DS, because they know that some consumers & publishers won't be willing to jump into the new luxury boat that is the 3DS straight away. I hope it's region free so I can continue to import games.

FJOJR

#55

FJOJR said:

I'm sure the smaller studios can be more cost effective by working on 3DSWare.

StarDust4Ever

#56

StarDust4Ever said:

@wiilovepeace: Well, there are a small handful of DSi-aware DS import games that work properly on a domestic DS but not the DSi. These type games generally have extra features that support only the DSi, which sadly is not Region-Free. To date, I don't know of any DSi-exclusive cart based games that may exist, but this mode is definitely supported on the DSI. This would allow games to take advantage of the extra RAM and CPU muscle. If it hasn't been used already, I doubt it ever will, in light of 3DS.

Hardy83

#57

Hardy83 said:

All this means is that retail games will most likely cost around 5 bucks more, and they'll be more shovelware (if that's even possible) on Nintendo's digital platform, assuming they don't botch it up like DSiWare.

outrun2sp

#58

outrun2sp said:

N fanboys who buy Zelda and Mario games will ensure they make a profit which is lucky because they will face stiff competition from Apple its true. Games go on the store for far less money and some are at the level of retail games. look at GTA chinatown wars.

Its good that the 3DS has some decent developers on board.

Pod

#60

Pod said:

Games are not automatically more expensive to make on 3DS. It just allows for more detailed models and textures.

If developers CHOOSE to make more detailed ("better looking") games, then they will have to spend more time, and thus spend more money.

Token_Girl

#61

Token_Girl said:

@Outrun
You make a good point. If you're seriously worried about the price, buy an iTouch. Sure, it's not in 3D, but probably all the good 3rd party games will get ported over to the app store when 3DS prices are too high for them to sell enough.

LuWiiGi

#62

LuWiiGi said:

Can we have the amounts in pounds and euros as well please? Seems strange that the amounts in British money weren't mentioned in the article, considering that James wrote it.

RyuZebian

#63

RyuZebian said:

The games will be bargains in a matter of time. If the games do well (first party titles will without a doubt) the price will decrease soon after release!

Alfred_ENG

#64

Alfred_ENG said:

I will not pay any more than £30.00 for a 3DS game. In fact games should be from £4.99 - £24.99. I can and will wait for prices to go down. I can buy second hand games too. I buy cheap games on internet all the time. I can get good games for low as £1.99. Time is on my side. I am starting to hate their greed. I will never be conned again. Lower your prices.

Phobos

#66

Phobos said:

Are you telling me a 3DS game may be from £40 - £60?! Gosh darn you, Ninty! :O

Stuffgamer1

#67

Stuffgamer1 said:

@StarDust: There are an even smaller handful of DSi-exclusive cart games. They come in white boxes and have "DSi-only" or something similar plastered all over them to try to make sure nobody with a DS Lite buys them by mistake. I'm sure they're every bit as region-locked as the DSi-enhanced titles.

taffy

#68

taffy said:

Wait, didn't they say that games would have a retail price the same on the 3ds as on the original ds?

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