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Cost of games is "crazy", says EA Montreal boss

Alain Tascan, general manager at EA Montreal, has said that the cost of making games is now "crazy" - predicting that booming budgets will drive a change in business models.

Speaking in a recent Q&A session, Tascan said, "I'm not sure that the model we have here will be the model in 15 years, and that the EA you know today will be the EA you know then.

"I'm sure we'll do things differently, just because of the cost. The cost of games now is crazy."

When asked whether he'd agree that it's larger companies like EA which are driving bigger game budgets, Tascan replied, "I think a lot of [other companies] are spending even more money.

"It's people who want that, it's not EA per say," he continued. "I said to some of the guys here, 'The gamer is not buying lines of code; you have to promise him enough entertainment for him to put his hand in his pocket and buy the game.' It's a lot of money, so you need to give him a show, and we're just here to deliver the show."

Tascan went on to argue that the idea EA always uses huge teams to develop games is a misconception, observing that the teams at EA Montreal are made up of between 35 and 85 members of staff. "We take more time. It's a different approach that they let us do... Small is beautiful," he added.

According to Tascan, bigger budgets don't necessarily mean that smaller games companies are left struggling. "I think there are other ways to consume entertainment today - mobile phones, casual games... Games that take a shorter amount of your time are something where a smaller company can really have fun."

Visit GamesIndustry.biz next week to read further excerpts from the Q&A session.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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