In his latest in a series of columns devoted to MMO development, Red 5's Mark Kern takes a look at the way development happens and offers some thoughts about why it needs to change. See what he's got to say from his unique developer perspective before heading to the comments to discuss the topic.
The rise in development costs can be attributed to many things, but next-gen graphics are definitely a large part of the cost. On WoW, we used to be able to create a new monster in a week. These days, with millions of polygons and multiple materials and shaders, a single monster can easily take 4-6 weeks to complete and sometimes 8 weeks or more for a boss creature. Also, the feature set for MMOs is getting larger. Every new MMO finds itself competing with older MMOs with years of development. Catching up to the feature sets of these mature MMOs means more programmers, designers and development time.
Read more of Mark Kern's MMO Development Needs Change.