Killzone poised to be bigger than Jesus

According to a Dutch newspaper de Volksrant, by way of GameSpot, Sony’s future *cough* killer PlayStation 3 app *cough* is setting all kinds of spending records in the native land of clogs and windmills.

Today, the long silence on the game was broken by the Dutch newspaper de Volksrant. In an article titled, “A video game more expensive than the most expensive film,” the daily highlights the next-gen Killzone and its developer, Amsterdam-based and Sony-owned Guerilla Games. The piece’s name comes from the fact that the game is costing more to develop than the priciest film in Dutch history, director Paul Verhoeven’s World War II thriller Black Book (Zwartboek).

While Black Book cost more than 16 million euros (approximately $21 million), Guerilla won’t mention specific numbers for Killzone’s budget. “Our budget tops [the film],” said Killzone director Arjan Brussee. “We’re working on the biggest multimedia project in Dutch history.”

Yikes, $21 million and change? That’s a whole lotta bones on a franchise that failed to live up to the Halo killer hype that was initially promised. Perhaps the injected millions and a spit shine will give us what we missed the first time around. I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one though.

As to why it’s costing so much, well, PS3 goods don’t come cheap:

Killzone’s high cost is due to the labor-intensive development nature of graphically demanding next-generation games. “Work that used to take someone a week now takes him a month,” said Brussee. Currently, some 120 developers are working on Killzone–roughly three times the staff of the first Killzone. Interestingly, half of dev tem comes from outside the Netherlands, up from one third on the PlayStation 2 original.

Another factor driving up the game’s price tag is localization, as the new Killzone will be fully translated in 20 different languages. This effort will pay off in the long run, Brussee thinks. “You sell 30 to 40 percent more [units] with a translated version,” he said.

Hints at possible downloadable content would point to the possible recoup of the expenses, but unless this thing is porting over to the 360 or it really is the second coming of Christ, then I smell bankruptcy in a developer’s future. 

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Robert Summa
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