Reviving a franchise as beloved as The Karate Kid is almost always a recipe for disaster yet somehow, executive producers Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald and Hayden Schlossberg defied all the odds. The series stays true to the original with lots of throwbacks for diehard fans while successfully managing to introduce several new characters without it feeling forced. With any luck, Netflix will be able to keep the series going for years to come.
Netflix has acquired the streaming rights to smash hit Cobra Kai from YouTube and will host the first two seasons of the series on its platform later this year.
Cobra Kai is the continuation of The Karate Kid trilogy of films from the 1980s. It picks up nearly 35 years after the events in the first movie and stars much of the original cast including Ralph Macchio and William Zabka and Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, respectively.
Current production model for AAA video games is ‘unsustainable’ says former Sony chairman
When it comes to video games, there are various complaints that players can have—cheaters, bugs, framerates—the list goes on. Not enough content or being too short is another, but what if a game is too long? How many times have you either not completed a game or interrupted it because something else came along?
The length of video games has increased over the years, from arcades where they lasted as long as you could survive to narratives that can take numerous hours to watch, let alone play through. The Last of Us Part II, for example, takes around 25 hours to complete—nearly twice as long as it’s predecessor, and it’s becoming common to see titles that take 50 or more hours to finish. So are games getting too long?
Shawn Layden, the former chair of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios, thinks maybe they have.
“I would welcome the return of the 12-15 hour game,” Layden told VentureBeat.
In addition to making it easier for players to finish more games, Layden points out that while games continue to grow in length and budget, prices have remained stagnant with only a $10 bump at the start of the PlayStation 3 era. He says this is “unsustainable.”
“The cost of creating games has increased,” he said. “Some studies show that’s gone up 2X every time a console generation advances. The problem with that model is it’s just not sustainable.”
The average production cost of a triple-A game, before marketing is factored in, is around $115 million (arguably) and spends three to five years in development.
“I don’t think, in the next generation, you can take those numbers and multiply them by two and expect the industry to continue to grow,” Layden opined.
The time and money investment are not even the only factors in the equation. We have heard just within the last year or so, allegations of studios overworking developers with mandatory overtime during the “crunch” heading into launch. Whether forced or otherwise, working 14-16 hours per day can take its toll on physical and mental health and instigate family issues.
Plus, Layden points out that the extensive overtime sometimes required by these massive games merely adds to the already unsustainable business model. The solution, he says, is to return to the days of shorter games.
“Instead of spending five years to make an 80-hour game, what does three years and a 15-hour game look like? What are the costs around that? Just like a well-edited piece of literature or a movie—I’ve been looking at the discipline around that, the containment around that. It could get us tighter, more compelling content. It would be something I’d like to see a return to.”
What do you think? Does a trend of a 15-20 hour game selling for $30-$40 sound appealing, or do you prefer the $60 (or more if you include DLC), 50+ hour epic?