Marvelous – 3DS Development Pricey, More Games in the Pipeline
A Q+A with Marvelous Entertainment reveals the existence of two forthcoming 3DS games, and the increased cost of making 3DS games.
Marvelous Entertainment, developers of Harvest Moon, have confirmed that they are making two titles for the 3DS. We already know the details of one of them – a charming Zoo sim entitled Animal Resort.
As for the other, we do have a few guesses. Sequels to 2D Hack-and-slash title Muramasa and Harvest Moon spin-off Rune Factory have been hinted at before, but neither represent the big gun in Marvelous’ arsenal. Whether it’s the game currently in development or not, but smart money rests on a 3DS entry appearing at some point in the core Harvest Moon series – pastoral management games which combine farming with dating sim elements.
This news comes from a financial Q+A session, where the developer also revealed some interesting information by disclosing internal documents. It’s not a huge shock to learn this, but the cost of developing for the 3DS is apparently much higher than developing for the DS.
It might surprise you, however, to learn exactly how drastic the price hike is. Marvelous estimate the price of a 3DS title to be between 50 and 100 million yen – between about £400,000 and £1,000,000. That’s small change compared to the cost of developing a AAA game for a home console, but it’s still very pricey when compared to Japanese DS development costs, which are estimated to range between £33,000 and £330,000.
Developing for the 3DS, then, involves a roughly three-fold – or, in some cases, even higher – increase in costs. An increase is an inevitable consequence of the requirements of developing for a more powerful system, but we hope that smaller developers aren’t squeezed out by the new machine. Even if “full” retail games are more costly to make, the little guy will hopefully find a natural home on the 3DSWare service.