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Crysis Devs CEO Advocates for Affordable Development Cost & Game Price


Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch touches on the economics of AAA game development, the challenges the game industry faces currently, the studio's philosophy, and more.

Saber Interactive CEO Discusses AAA Development Challenges

Industry Troubles Are Attributed to Flaws in the Current AAA Model


In a recent interview with, Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch spoke at length about the game industry's current troubles. He believed that the ongoing challenges can be attributed to today's AAA development model, noting the escalating game development costs and the resulting soaring game prices.

According to Karch, AAA development is trapped in a cycle where increasing costs lead to higher game prices, which, in turn, affect production decisions, with newer, bigger triple-A releases notably slowing down. He further explained in the interview, "The reason AAA is so expensive is because everybody insists on doing AAA in the most expensive territories in the world.


"There's less [games] coming out. The consolidation that's been going on in the industry is gonna hurt that as well," he added, "and the costs and the turmoil that the industry has been going through… Teams will regroup but the capital at the moment, it just isn't there. And so the industry is actually contracting somewhat and the supply of content is going to be way short of the demand."

Despite recognizing the studio's biggest upcoming game, Warhammer 40k: Space Marine 2's AAA-standard price point of $70, he advocated for more affordable pricing. "I mean, Focus [now Pullup Entertainment] is the publisher and we’re the developer but this is Saber’s game, [and] I would love to sell that – at least the digital edition – for less than $70 because we can, and I think we should."

The CEO added that games don't need to be sold at that price point and he'd prefer not to over at Saber. "Part of the reason Helldivers 2 has had the success that it's had [is] because it comes in at a much lower price point and it's accessible."

Being the 'Next Activision' Isn't Saber's Ambition


The CEO shared insights into Saber Interactive's pursuit and the company's vision to empower talented developers overlooked by traditional publishers. "When I joined Embracer, part of my motivation was [to] go out and find other studios like me, studios that are really talented that nobody's given the time of day."

He added, "That was for the most part my philosophy, and what I wanted to achieve. And by and large, we were successful in that." The CEO also stated that he envisions Saber Interactive playing a transformative role in the gaming industry, bringing forward their ability to mitigate costs while delivering high-quality games.

"We don't want to be – and I never wanted to be – the next Activision," the CEO said, "Our ambition is to create great content, varied content, and to entertain people while also feeding ourselves in a meaningful way."

Saber's Matthew Karch: The AAA model is going to change

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