Development of games for Nintendo’s Wii console will apparently only be a fraction (half to even 1/4th) of the costs involved in making a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 game. THQ’s CEO, Brian Farell, said:
“We showed in a press event recently a SpongeBob game using the Nintendo Wii and Wii controller,” Farrell said, “and standing there watching very jaded game journalists hoot and holler on a SpongeBob game was actually quite relieving. One of the things we like about that platform is the development costs… on the Wii are nowhere near what they are on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
That’s something that’s quite encouraging. As you probably know, our portfolio maps very, very well to what we think the Wii demographic is going to be.
The Wii wasn’t a whole new programming environment,” Farrell said. “So we had a lot of tools and tech that work in that environment. So those costs–and again, I hate these broad generalizations–but they could be as little as a third of the high-end next-gen titles… Maybe the range is a quarter to a half.”
This is especially interesting, because it allows startup game developers to have a shot at getting their games out on a console, without high financial risks anyway.