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Enormous dev teams for next gen consoles

Posted by souri on Thu, 15/05/03 - 12:32 AM

I was reading the [url="…"]Gamers Pulse article[/url] that I posted on the main page, and I was taken back by Ross Symons' (CEO of Bullant Studios) comment on the number of developers expected to work on a Playstation 3 title.. 70 people!! That's such a large number of people to work on a title. Imagine the costs involved to keep them on the payroll for a couple of years. I used to work for a design company which had offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and I don't think it even had that many people (and that covered everyone from managers, programmers, designers, admins, directors etc the lot)..
Maybe we'll see more places like LastFun Studios popping up in the future, where game devs offload work to specialised 3D studios.

Submitted by Bite Me on Thu, 15/05/03 - 9:17 AM Permalink

70 sounds like an above-average staff-count aimed for development of big-licensed and high profile titles in the next season, - there will always be demand for better art, more effects, higher-detailed cutscenes and longer gameplay, none of which will come from extra-extra-overtime (everyone's already killng themselves to meet dealines). We all know that some games exceed that head count, but I'd imagine the mean number would still average 30, and I don't see that changing for a while. Some studios don't follow the rule, ie Krome, 70-ish on a project, most of the them are new guys happy to be in the industry on a sub-minimum wage.[B)]I think there'll be more 'small' teams making fun games on the low-price end of the market, using middleware to fill the dev-team gap.

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Thu, 15/05/03 - 9:36 PM Permalink

Not surprising really.

Most US teams seem to be between 50 - 80, with some over 100. A lot of the Japanese developers are already this size. Nintendo's teams sits at about 300 employees. Miyamoto's preferred method for game production is to get a game to beta stage then start again from scratch keeping only the best levels... if only more teams could afford to do that.

Submitted by Maitrek on Fri, 16/05/03 - 3:05 AM Permalink

Teams have been around that size for a long time on console titles. They tend to fly through the production process, so I doubt it would take two years to make a project, more likely 12-18 months...afaik. That helps make it possible....that and the employees get peanuts.

Submitted by Daemin on Fri, 16/05/03 - 8:32 AM Permalink

Well, probably what happens is that the teams start out as like 10 people - managers, designers, concept artists, producers... and then when the design is solidified somewhat more people are added until the project moves along, with more people being added when new things are required..

So even though you start out slowly you will fill up over time.

Submitted by Tim on Fri, 16/05/03 - 9:20 AM Permalink

I remember reading a newsletter from TiGA (The Independent Game Developers Trade Association UK back in early 2002 - the newsletter reported on a British government sponsored trade trip to Japan. A bunch of UK developers went over to smooch the key publishers and console makers, and I recall the article saying that it was not uncommon for Japan to have teams of 200 dedicated for 18 months to 2 years on major titles for the PS2.

Pretty amazing compared to the size of the developer industry in Oz - about 660 if you listen to the Vic state government. Enough for over 3 titles at once the Japanese Kaisha (company) way?