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$70 titles are doomed to go “the way of the dodo” says Saber Interactive CEO

$70 games with beaks and feathers? Sign me up!

The $70 release day price for standard AAA titles is both unsustainable and on the way out, claims Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch, via an interview with IGN reporter Rebekah Valentine.

Speaking to Valentine, Karch reckoned in public that the $70 game is “going to go the way of the dodo" because it isn't "sustainable". Here's the full chunk:

“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? 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.”

It's not entirely clear from the interview excerpt whether Karch thinks the $70 pricepoint itself is unsustainable, or just that projects of AAA scale that tend to be sold for 70 bucks are on their way out. According to Valentine, "he’s adamant that he doesn’t want to sell Space Marine 2 for $70, but is worried that audiences will see a cheaper price tag as emblematic of poor quality".

Karch also mused to IGN that “artificial intelligence might help lower costs and improve quality in the AAA space,” but he ultimately feels that “there's going to be a real shortage of game content over the coming few years,” citing layoffs and “games getting killed,” as reasons.

Saber are currently working on Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 aka Spice Maureen 2, which Karch says in the IGN interview is the "best thing Saber's ever done". He isn’t going to say, “easily the third best game we’ve ever made,” obviously, but it does look nice so far, doesn’t it? Good amount of ‘nids, if nothing else. Here's the latest trailer:

Saber themselves recently escaped the Embrace(r) of Death, taking studios such as 3D Realms, Slipgate Ironworks, and New World Interactive with them, while Embracer retained control of the likes of Tripwire, Beamdog, and Aspyr. Karch himself didn’t seem to have any ill will against Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors, though. This was part of Embracer’s restructure, which is now over, with the chirpy Death Cult saying they’re not ready to restart acquisitions or, as Graham put it, their bone thresher is not yet ready to thresh more bones.

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