Video games have been steadily increasing in production cost for years. Budgets expand ever larger as developers fight to create the next AAA smash-hit. With the development budgets climbing to new heights, games need to sell more and more copies in order to turn a profit. DmC developer, Ninja Theory, aims to break this vicious cycle with their new game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
Tameem Antoniades, the Creative Director for the new title, told Gameinformer that “the industry used to be in a place where people took a lot of creative risks.” He claims that with games becoming larger than ever before, game developers and publishers have to sell as many units as possible. “But to sell as much to mainstream, it means you have to make a game that satisfies everyone. One size fits all. So we are getting games converging into the same thing and its to justify a price.” He goes on to say that he wants to “break the price point” on games and make games cheaper on the developer side.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a story driven adventure game set in a world of Celtic mythology. The game is set in pre-Christian Scotland (around 790AD) and seeks to address the mystery of what happened the Celtic population after the Vikings made landfall there. The game’s story is centered around the titular heroine, Senua. The lead protagonist suffers from mental illness and much of what she sees in the world is tied to that aspect of her character.
Further details on the game are scarce, but Hellblade aims to break from the formulaic design of modern games. It wants to engage players with its story and world. There are an abundance of games with massive worlds and budgets to match. Hellbade looks to provide gamers with an adventure that is narrower in scope, but with every bit of polish that comes with a AAA game.